What makes a garden truly Malaysian? Desmond Ho is an expert in creating Malaysian gardens which he calls Neo Nusantara. He incorporated elements that are traditional to Malaysia in his landscape designs. Desmond creates designer gardens to fit every family’s lifestyle. He takes pride in making sure the garden he creates is not merely to host the greens, but should be a functional outdoor area where families should hang out and spend their afternoons. Yellow Pages interviews Desmond Ho to find out more about his classic Neo Nusantara designs.
Desmond Ho calls his interpretation of the Malaysian Garden, Neo Nusantara. Malaysia being so close to Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines it gives birth to a mix culture one can call the Neo Nusantara. Desmond Ho spent many years studying Malaysian culture and living habits. He wanted to create a garden that was truly Malaysian and functional for each family. One iconic element of the Neo Nusantara garden is their unique lattice design which is inspired by the kain pelekat (Malaysian sarong) design. The sarong can be considered a staple of truly Malaysian lifestyle as one can find men of all races using it even today. The lattice is usually used for creepers and other similar plant.
The pangkin is another must-have item in creating a Malaysian garden. The Malaysian garden bench takes its form after the pangkin, which is a raised timber platform commonly used by padi farmers as a resting place under the shade of trees. Terra Garden’s pangkin benches blend well in the surrounding tropical landscape like a custom - designer piece of art. The jantung pisang or banana flower is one of several inspired designs in the Malaysian Garden. The beauty of nature provides plenty of ideas for us to create visually stunning garden lamps or water features. Each elements created for the Malaysian garden has a rich history and heritage story behind it. He truly captures the essence of a Malaysian garden, and manages to showcase it in a work of artictic landscape. Desmond Ho takes into account the five senses when creating a custom Neo Nusantara garden.
1. Sight - A garden must be pleasing to the eyes. With a focal point and beautiful layout, a garden becomes inviting and entices you to enter and experience it.
2. Touch - Once you enter, a garden must reward you with comfort. It should allow you to sit and stay to enjoy the surroundings, or even take a nap with cushions on the floor.
3. Sound - Once you are comfortable, the garden must produce soothing sounds to lull you to rest. Such sounds are created from bubbling water features.
4. Smell - The breeze will carry delightful scent of fragrant plants. The positioning of these fragrant plants is very important-ideally located beside the seating areas.
5. Taste - Imagine having a cup of coffee or tea in this outdoor setting, gazing at the stars or full moon. This is what outdoor living is all about.
Mr. Desmond Ho Lai is Managing Director of Terra Garden and founder of the Terra Group of companies, that among others, boasts the country’s largest and most extensive garden center. Professionally trained in the fields of Architectural draftsmanship; and in Tropical Horticulture, Mr. Ho has over 15 years of experience in horticulture, particularly in terrariums, container-gardens, designer gardens and greenhouse designs. His designs are recognized worldwide, especially in Japan, evident through the “Good Design Award” he garnered from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization.
About Terra Garden
Terra Garden is a company with a vision; to forge a truly distinct Malaysian garden identity, one that is instantly recognizable around the world. Neo Nusantara incorporates elements of Malaysian heritage in a garden, cultural icons like the malay pangkin (bench), pucuk rebung design and latticework representing the traditional sarong pelikat. The Neo Nusantara concept has struck a chord with Malaysian craving for their own identity. Terra Garden has a growing client base of more than four thousand (and counting). The company has transformed many a garden and open space into a slice of uniquely Malaysian paradise.