AT THE foot of a very imposing hill in Ampang, avid horticulturist Zauyah Abdul Hadi has created a little slice of heaven with her English-style garden.
Transforming verdant jungle land into a quintessential flower garden was no easy feat, said the 65-year-old Zauyah.
“Because it is very near the foothills, the land was very rough and the plants, mostly weeds, were very sturdy.
“It took a lot of hard work to clear the space of the weeds and add the proper soil suitable for a flower garden,” she said, adding that it took her seven years to transform the rugged jungle space.
Zauyah’s green fingers are certainly evident in the bright flowers and plants that fill the 1,000sq ft space.
Roses, bougainvilleas, heliconias and cacti are just some of the plants that she grows in her garden.
She has also dedicated a portion of the garden to growing herbaceous plants such as pandan leaves, bunga kantan (ginger flower) and limau purut (kaffir lime leaves).
With all the flowering plants, the garden has also become a small sanctuary for a variety of birds, squirrels, butterflies and other wildlife.
“Usually magpies, sparrows, mynah and pigeons are some of the species that visit the garden.
“When I first noticed the many birds, I installed a small birdhouse and filled it with bird seeds and small fruits,” she said.
Not satisfied with just plants, Zauyah has also created a small pond in her garden.
“My husband enjoys feeding the fish and I love watching the birds drink and bathe in the pond,” she said, adding that there were four tortoises and catfish in the pond.
Zauyah added that she started gardening for health and well-being reasons.
“I wanted a place where I could get away from the confines of an apartment. This garden has also become a sort of ‘therapeutic garden’ for me as doing work in the garden helps me with my arthritis and vertigo imbalance.
“It feels so peaceful here that I sometimes spend almost four hours working in my garden,” she said.
“I enjoy just sitting and having a cup of tea here and it is nice to have a place for my grandchildren to explore,” she added.