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Outdoor Living Space

SOME OF US must have still find it hard to believe we’ve arrived at the year 2021. Time sure flies, doesn’t it? What ever happened to the colonies on the moon or the huge space cities we were all dreaming about 60 or so years ago?

Well, who would’ve thought the future would be nothing more than computers taking over our lives. Forget epic explorations and such. Instead, we’re living in the Information Technology Age, where it’s normal to spend hours staring at the monitor or getting real-time information through your cellular gadget.

But those baby-boomers can recall when times were so much more uncomplicated. Remember when electricity was a luxury? Reminiscing writer’s kampung days memory, a bunch of us kids would gather at our teacher’s house every Friday night, and crowd around his veranda. That’s because he owns the only television (it was still black and white) for miles around, and plus, Friday nights were when P. Ramlee’s shows came on.

We used to spend as much time outdoors as possible to catch the sunlight, when a full moon was cause for celebration, and family bonds were stronger without the distractions of home entertainment. In fact, we relied on each other and Mother Nature for entertainment.

The point of all this is simple: we sure knew how to appreciate the quality of life, didn’t we? We are surely not against technology. God knows where we’d be today without our WAP phone. But if modernisation keeps pushing us indoors until we can’t recall the last time we delighted in a sunset, isn’t it time we looked for a balance?

Regulars to our monthly blog post would notice the term Outdoor Living Space mentioned whenever we talk about Malaysian Garden concept. It means exactly that. To us, a home is not a home without a balance between indoor and outdoor living areas.

But to many, a home is all indoors with air-cond, 29” TV, computers, hi-fi and what-have-you, while outdoors is just where you park the car and leave your shoes.

A few readers used to e-mail us asking for tips on how to create outdoor living areas so that’s what we’ll touch on today.

First of all, size does not matter. You don’t need a mansion with a massive lawn. As we discussed in earlier articles, even the little balcony garden in apartments can provide your home with a splendid outdoor living space.

Secondly, nobody wants to spend time outdoors in an unsightly or smelly environment. An outdoor living area is more than a garden. It’s a place where you can entertain guests, sit and chat with family or friends, or just relax on your own.

We have always stressed on creating gardens that stimulates all five of your senses. Sight is often overrated. Most beautiful gardens are appreciated from a distance. A garden that appeases all your senses makes you want to be part of it.

The scent of fragrant spice plants, the sound of rustling water or the plip-plop of raindrops, the cool feel of grass or cengal wood and the taste of sweet fruit - there are countless ways you can create that outdoor living space with Malaysian Garden.

At the heart of the Malaysian Garden is the emphasis on living in your garden, hence the use of pangkin (wooden decking) and water features, plus a lattice to promote privacy.

Ultimately, your garden is everything you want it to be. Try different concepts, play around with plants. Make it a place that you want to come home to, where your children can play and learn, instead of leaving the job to the home computer.

After all, with all the modern technology this new millennium promises, it’s also good to remember the simple joys in life.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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