Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 79, Tuesday, August 4, 2009




Desmond Ho

There is no worry so great that cannot be eased by watching green things grow. A garden, no matter how small, can become an important area for releasing stress and finding hope. To create a small heaven on your earth, look for spaces that can be transformed into an indoor garden. The obvious location is an enclosed sun-porch; however, you can create a green room anywhere there is light and ventilation.

This week, we take a look at some gardening principles by legendary landscape designer Desmond Ho, who creates a different style and concept about gardening.

A genius gardener, and horticulture specialist, Desmond's innovative style involves the use of indigenous products to create a unique garden unit without much cutting or digging. Thus he created the concept of “Neo Nusantara”.

Essentially, the Neo Nusantara design philosophy combines visual pleasantries with the calming sound of water or rustling leaves, the scent of fragrant flowers and plants, the touch of a smooth wood surface and such, all in a garden setting that reflects a tropical vibe. In short, all your senses must be engaged and stimulated.

Apart from that, Neo Nusantara's design is based upon local art and craft. Instead of garden chairs, we could use a raised timber platform resembling a pumpkin, or any such vegetable commonly found in farmlands and paddy-fields.

Water is an important element in enhancing the look of a garden. The rippling sounds of water echo our own natural rhythms and the warm moisture relieves muscle tension and calms the nerves.

Lighting, too, is important. Mood lighting may not be sufficient if your garden is large, so think about halogen lamps. The hanging garden lights are made to compliment the Neo Nusantara outdoor living space for that touch of illuminated elegance.

While indoor timber furniture can accommodate a wide variety of wood types, outdoors furniture not only requires weather resistance, but also chemical treatment. Desmond prefers wood because of its aesthetics. Since we are talking about pleasing our five senses based on Mother Nature's attributes, we do see wood as an excellent natural element in our garden designs. It's always nice to be in touch with something natural and imagining the pleasure of walking barefoot on wooden floors.

There is nothing quite like dining under the stars. If you have a large garden and want something different from the norm, you should consider hosting outdoor parties for your friends and colleagues, weddings or receptions.

The outdoor living room is a place to connect with family and friends. For the young, the pond area is a whole new world of discovery. Spend some quality time with your children here. Cleaning the pond is not a chore if you make it into a family affair of catching fishes and playing legend with water. These outdoor activities are a break from mundane daily routines, refreshing and fun for the young and old.

The aim behind this award-winning concept is to help people enjoy their garden space, no matter how small, and fall in love with nature again, by literally bringing paradise to their backyard the New Nusantara way.

The founder of the Terra Garden Group of companies, among others, boasts the country's largest and most extensive garden center.

Professionally trained in the fields of Architectural draftsmanship; and in Tropical horticulture, Desmond Ho has over 15 years of experience in tropical horticulture, particularly in terraria, container-gardens, designer-gardens and greenhouse designs. Recently, his concept Neo Nusantara about garden designs have also been recognized overseas (especially in Japan), evident through the award of the "Good Design Award" from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Council. In 2003 and the Garden Heaven Award (Bronze) at the Garden Heaven Show 2006 held in Ireland, UK. Neo Nusantara has also established in Switzerland, Ireland and Germany.

Interior Consultant
E-mail: journeyman.interiors@gmail.com
Photo credit: Tamim Sujat
Special thanks: Terra Garden, Malaysia


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