Vibrant colours, optimal use of space make this home one of a kind

The family’s backyard is  an ultimate secluded haven for entertaining family and friends and gives them a place to relax and enjoy a meal. 

What you need to know:

The family compound is filled with colour, pattern and furniture creating a chic feel. Careful thought has been given to materials and how they blend in with the colours and the general feel of the home

In a sea of drab, dark and monochrome homes, Maureen Babu and Pius Kahangirwe’s home is a sight for sore eyes. The couple has created a relaxed world that seamlessly merges interests and activities in a vibrant and warm environment. 

Babu and her husband Kahangirwe are both passionate about environmental conservation and that passion can be seen in the flourishing flowers and plants surrounding their home in Gayaza, Wakiso District.  Outside, the property rises gradually from her front door as it meets a leafy green trees and hidden swimming pool.

Creating a green haven

Because the couple was intentional about having a green environment, Kahangirwe planned the layout of the garden during construction.

“My husband did most of the landscaping beforehand. He decided where the fence would go, where the play area would go and where the swimming pool would be perfect. My role was to choose which flowers and trees we should have in the compound,” Babu says.

Now in its maturity, the garden gives the colourful home that serene and cool shades of green. It is a mixture of succulents, flowers, leafy green trees that are used as a screen from the outside world, herbs and vegetables. Before moving into the property in December 2015, the couple hired someone to look after their plants to make sure they were watered and were safe from pests.

To keep her compound thriving, Babu has dedicated every Wednesday to gardening. 

“Every Wednesday I take full stock of the condition of the garden in general and the health of every plant. I do some weeding, pruning and add manure where it is needed. Some of our neighbours have cows, chicken so it is easy to get organic manure. We use organic manure for ornamental flowers, fruits, trees, shrubs and vegetable gardens. We use organic manure and organic pesticides such as rabbit urine,” she says.

Professional help

Through experience, Babu has learnt that gardening is an art and a science because different plants have different water and nutrient requirements. To avoid making mistakes during planting, the couple has also hired a gardener who comes once a month to plant new flowers or plants as desired. 

“The gardener knows which plants can thrive together and which ones cannot. They are aware of which plants need too much water and which one thrives in dry conditions and they plant them according to these considerations,” she says.

Even with an expert gardener, Babu has taken it upon herself to familiarise herself with the plants in lush her garden.

“You have to understand your plants;  learn to contain those that can easily spread  and remove flowering plants from the shade because they need plenty of sunlight,” Babu says.

She says anyone can and should try to live in environment that has live plants because of their numerous benefits.

“Plants are therapeutic. It has been proven that being around plants helps people concentrate better and calm down while the natural aesthetic beauty of flowering plants is soothing and helps lower levels of stress and anxiety,” says Babu.

But on a more global scale, as plants grow, they help absorb and sink the carbon that would otherwise contribute to global heating. Plants help control global warming because they use sunlight energy during photosynthesis thereby feeding themselves with the carbon we desperately need to avoid getting to the atmosphere.

Babu says her garden is now home to some wildlife such as squirrels which always fascinate the children when they come out to forage for food.

Outdoor furniture

The family compound is filled with colour, pattern and furniture creating a chic feel. Complete with its own kitchenette, this addition provides the family an ultimate secluded haven for entertaining family and friends and gives them a place to relax and enjoy a meal. The dining space features a greyish custom made table and wooden armchairs.

The family has children of varying ages, so it was important that they have somewhere to run wild and play without getting in the way of the other family activities.

“There is a trampoline which the children and their friends love. There is also a mini basketball court and a swimming pool. All these keep the children engaged, active and ultimately improve their health,” says Babu.


Careful thought has been given to materials and how they blend in with the colours and the general feel of the home. A bicycle painted turquoise creates a bold contrast against the clay pot planter resting in its carrier.

Traditional materials such as concrete planters are given an edge by painting them colourful shades of orange.   But the most arresting feature is the front door which is painted turquoise that adds contrast and depth to the burgundy wall. Asked where she got the inspiration for such unique bold colours, Babu says she was inspired by décor shows on TV and homes on Pintrest.

But she has also found inspiration locally on social media. 

“Learning never ends and there is limitless inspiration if you know where to look. People share their gardens and it shocks me that these homes are in Uganda. When I spot something I like, I contact the person and get tips. this way I have built a network of likeminded people,” Babu says.


The avid gardener says although her backyard looks like it cost an arm and a leg, you do not really need to damage your wallet to create what she has achieved.

“Everything in my compound is sourced locally. The fiberglass pots cost Shs150,0000 and the furniture is custom made. You just have to know where to buy and whom to buy from. Also, you do not have to have those expensive flowers and plants, your space can look beautiful with what you can afford. The trick is in proper landscaping maintenance and creativity,” she says. 

An even cost effective way to grow your garden is to request garden owners for seeds or saplings.

“Whenever I visit a home and I see something I like, I always ask my host if they could give me some planting material of the plant I have admired. You will be surprised at how generous people are,” says Babu.

She also buys some plants from a roadside nurseries while she gets the more exotic plants from Maua and More at Garden City and at Kensington, Kyanja.