Yee helping her husband to shape one of his bonsai trees.
AFRUITFUL garden takes time, a considerable amount of patience, love and a certain artistic sensibility to grow, especially one with over 50 bonsai trees.
One such garden is tenderly cared for by Yee Chow Fah and her husband, Law Kong Yee.
This practical and minimalist garden, with carefully chosen plants, has bonsai trees Law had nurtured for 20 to 30 years.
“My husband sculpts the bonsai trees once every two weeks and he never waits longer than a month as they will grow out of shape.
“He also has to remove the bonsai plants from their pots once in a while to trim their roots, otherwise they will rot,” said Yee.
These trees hold a place of honour and are put on display shelves that show off their simplicity and artistry.
There is a special bonsai tree that Yee says has a 30-year legacy from Law’s father who shaped it into a peacock.
At the heart of this garden stands a majestic rambutan tree. This 50 year-old tree is surrounded by timber decks and is a quiet little breakfast nook.
The rambutan tree is not the only plant that bears delicious fruits as the garden also has a pomegranate and jambu air shrub, chiku, honey starfruit, lemon and soursop trees as well as a mulberry bush.
“I sprinkle a tiny bit of humus fertiliser once every month but I never knew the chiku tree would produce so many fruits.
“The trees face west, it could be the less harsh evening sun that suits fruit trees,” said Yee, who advises covering the fruits with plastic bags to avoid pesky birds and squirrels from getting to them.
She also recommends using a rain harvest system when watering plants to conserve water and placing coconut husk around the soil to help retain moisture after watering.
Yee and Law have another 50- to 60-year-old beauty; a bougainvillea plant that is set in a Japanese-inspired corner complete with white sand, stork figurines and woodcarvings.
Their backyard is far from neglected with a vegetable and herb patch growing basil, mint and spring onions as well as sweet potatoes and even bird’s eye chilli.
“It’s our hobby, a way of relieving stress but it took two years to conceive this garden’s simple layout not only for practicality but also for a welcoming feel,” said Yee.