I am Justine Nabwami, a compound designer with Jowy Creations.
Jennifer Arinaitwe wanted a new look for her compound. It had been in place for some time. I helped her come up with a new look.
She did not have money at hand but we agreed that payment would be in instalments. It was to cost Shs2m overall, but we agreed on Shs500,000 for each instalment.
So I started working on the compound. She didn’t save for it, she was getting it from her monthly pay – she would put a portion aside.
However, I wanted the first instalment in order to pay my workers. So, the moment she gave me the first instalment, we started working.
It took about three weeks before paying the next instalment, but she would make sure the required materials were available. She ferried two trips of black soil from Busabala. Each trip cost Shs150,000, including transport. Then she ferried one trip of sand, although I don’t know how much it cost. We also had to buy new plants. These cost between Shs600,000 and Shs700,000.
The compound had a lot of old plants, which I removed and replaced with new ones. I trimmed the ones that remained. The rock garden had old, oval stones which I removed and washed. I re-designed it.
I placed long pots in the corners of the compound, to make it look unique. The verandah had the usual big plants and big pots. The plants were old, although they still looked good.
I advised Arinaitwe to remove them because they had congested the shed. I advised her to buy a stand which could accommodate smaller pots, with different types of plants and she liked it. She bought two stands each at Shs140,000. We decided to put the potted plants that were in the shed along the verandahs by the sides of the house.
The driveway was also a little bushy. It had tall, big plants with no flowers. We decided to have shorter, flowering plants there. We also planted a number of creepers that would spread over the stones, to make it attractive.
We trimmed the shrubs – the Bird of Paradise, the Suya, the Ixora and the papyrus. The Hibiscus shrubs were old and we decided to replace them with new ones. We also trimmed the yellow palms.
We planted a few fruits – Lemon, mango and some grapes. The grape seedlings are in a bed. I will transplant them at the right time. We’ve also created a small portion for vegetables. We planted tomatoes there.
It is a good idea to re-vamp an old garden. Inter-change the plants in your pots and trim the ones you cannot replace to the desired levels. Also, keep adding new plants where possible, spray them and add manure.
We have also used the grass we cut from the lawn to mulch. You can do the same and if money is a problem, you can do it in phases.