Nesting and growing in Malaysia

13 May

After my last entry about the death of the gecko, a few people commented on the change in subject material over the last few months. This time last year, I was journalling entries of London pubs, Japanese cuisine and sleeping on the Great Wall of China. Now, I write about geckos. “Is that all the news you have?” someone commented. Perhaps that’s what pregnancy does to you: it makes you nest. In the beginning, I felt like I needed to sit still to make sure I didn’t dislodge the baby. And home maker I am!

We have, once again, taken on the impossible home: a rather run down, simple home with a barren, uncared for and empty canvas garden. (Like moving to a new country, having a baby and surviving on one salary wasn’t enough of an adventure!) It seems as though we are forever project-bound, looking for ways to make the unloveable, loveable again. And, although it costs money and time to invest in someone else’s home and garden, we believe that making God’s space beautiful helps to change the world in some small way. And so we set to work.

The house was in desperate need of a paint. And although our landlord didn’t have time to paint it, he was prepared to buy the paint. So Baden and I spent 2 days painting the bedrooms, bathrooms, and living room.

Painting the living room.

Painting the living room.




The garden is going to be a 2 year project but we’ve made a slow and steady start. The only pot plant which had survived the neglect was a Frangipani. After 1 week of water and love, the plant picked up and grew brilliant healthy leaves. But I couldn’t get it to flower, until I moved it into the sun. Now it boasts some of the most beautiful pink flowers in the garden.

Flowering frangipani


We started with 1  plant, now I have 42 plants. The landscapist at Baden’s school has given us free plants, and I made friends with a lady down the street (who has a beautiful garden) and she has also given me some small trees and hibiscus – one of which flowered magnificently last week.

Flowering hibiscus

Flowering hibiscus






I did buy 4 pretty Cape Honey Suckle flowers, which I only later discovered are native to South Africa. They were just starting to grow buds, which I pruned off quickly. They now have a flurry of cheerful yellow and orange flowers. I have noticed, however, that the orange ones are becoming yellow and I know that some plants have a more dominant colour and shouldn’t be planted together. This is the point where I reflected to Baden how plants can teach us so many good life lessons: don’t hang out with the wrong company because you will become someone you are not!

After pruning and time

After pruning and time

Cape honey suckle in the beginning.

Cape honey suckle in the beginning.




















We have also planted a tree. We owe Mother Earth 24 trees from all the flying we did last year and, so far, have planted one. I have no idea what it is called because we actually rescued it out of the rubbish dump. Someone had dumped the tree and pot on vacant land and we dug it out and planted it in the ground. I do hope that someone is planting beautiful trees for me somewhere so that, one day, I can move into a house with a tree that is already big and beautiful.

The sad tree that we rescued.

Baden digging the hole for the tree.














We still have plans to add more trees, flower beds and grass but until then, we are also growing a baby.




One Response to “Nesting and growing in Malaysia”

  1. Ann Dowie May 13, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    The first word that comes to mind is “Freedom”. Compared to the adventures and experiences in South Korea, you now have the freedom to change things in your surroundings (to a certain extent) to meet your needs in Malaysia. Makes me think of when I was younger and stronger, digging holes in the soil to plant shrubs, climbing on ladders to paint and hammer nails in the wall. What fun!! Lovely photo of Cath’s growing “bump” in the mirror. Enjoy!!!

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