MARANG: Visitors who set foot for the first time in Pine Hill’s Garden in Kampung Bukit Kemas, Kelulut, will feel like they are in the English countryside.
This is the first impression of almost everyone who has visited the home of Mohammad Salleh Angullia Isa, 26.
He lives with his wife and infant son on a 4.8ha land located 61m above sea level, with pines growing in the front garden.
There are also grapes, strawberries, figs, passionfruit and many other types of fruit growing in the back.
Salleh, as he likes to be called, is the son of a Marang resort proprietor. He bought the tract of land in 2014 to build a family retreat.
“I wanted to build an English-style house, so of course the landscape has to be special with unique plants like the ones found in an English village.
“That’s how I got the idea to grow grapes and strawberries in the back garden. But the grapes weren’t easy and only on the fourth try was I successful,” said Salleh.
The property also has a view of Pulau Kapas, he said.
Salleh, who does not have any formal training in agriculture, said he acquired his knowledge about plants from the Internet and continued to source for information on how to solve plant problems through research.He acquired his grape vines from Russia, adding: “What I grow is merely for my family’s consumption.”
But ever since Salleh had people over for an open house during Hari Raya last month, photos of his abode, especially the plump, sweet grapes, have gone viral.
This has led to a stream of people coming to see what the buzz is about.
“Every week, I’m visited by 800 to 1,000 people. I’ve counted more than 10,000 people coming to see the grapevines and recording the amazing surroundings, which they say is like a mini England,” he added.
Salleh, who seeks advice on gardening from his dad, said he grew five types of grapes and wanted to plant nine more next year.
He said Pine Hill’s Garden not only attracted curious locals, friends from Singapore and Melaka and production houses looking for an attractive place to film their commercials and dramas, but also state secretary Datuk A. Rahman Yahya, Pengkalan Berangan assemblyman Sulaiman Sulong and Marang district officer Tun Ahmad Faisal Tun Abdul Razak.
They have all commended him for turning the place into a new attraction for Terengganu.
“The positive feedback has motivated me to develop it as an east coast agro-tourism product. My dream is to start a resort and give people a chance to experience something unique without going far from Terengganu,” Salleh said. — Bernama