East meets Far East – our Zen-Tropical garden

In our old house, we had a Balinese garden, which was our pride and joy. People would stop by to admire it and ask if they could come in and sit in it for awhile, just to enjoy the atmosphere.

Then when we moved here, the landscape company that did our Balinese garden wasn’t around anymore, so we opted for a simple Malaysian tropical garden.

It started with this…

And it went through various transformations over the years…

And this is what it was before today.

For the past few months, we had been battling with the grub worms. Grub worms are just called “worms” because they resemble such, but they are actually beetle larvae. And these little wriggly creatures can really invade a garden, leaving it scorched and dried up.

We tried using non-invasive means and we lost the battle. Husband ended up getting backache from bending down to pick up the grub worms. And there’s no end to them coming back. They are usually thriving on the grass that is shaded from the sun.

So I suggested that we remove the grass and have an authentic Zen garden. But husband said he didn’t quite like the idea. All rocks and sand is too “hard” for him. Moreover, the cats might go pee and poop on the sand. Oh well, that is true too.

I found a Zen landscaper and he understood what we wanted – something Zen-ish, to remove the parts of the grass that is conquered by the grubbies, but maintain all our tropical plants for greenery.

So, voila…!! He did a very simple design for us and passed it over to his partner to do it.

Take a look….

East meets Far East! This is a Zen-tropical garden!! It is basically still a tropical garden with touches of Zen in it. 

I love these patterns on the gravel!

Sand or gravel raked into patterns represents water, while larger rocks suggest islands, mountains, animals, or natural elements such as fire and earth. The emphasis on abstract concepts is intended to spur the imagination and allow the mind to wander, a crucial part of the meditative process.

We removed the parts of the grass which is most prone to the grub worms’ attack and replaced it with gravel.

We kept all our plants.

I love it!  I hope Gerald and Misty like it enough not to pee and poop on the gravel!!

The reason we removed all our white pebbles is that pebbles allow water to seep through and there will be a lot of weeds. Gravel, on the other hand, is much smaller in size and the chances of weeds growing on it is lesser.

But we transferred all the white pebbles to Ginger’s Catio and Bunny’s Place.

Now, we will only have to maintain a much smaller patch of grass…from the grub worms! And this part gets the sunshine, so the sun should be able to help us too.