Sunday, July 3, 2011
That Little House with the Cactus Flowers
It is just a simple house in the city. But my friend Bimbo has fashioned his cute little abode into a shabby chic shack of surprises by filling it up with stuff which no one would think could be beautiful anymore. He has an eye for rendered useless stuff which he could transform into gems. His modest castle in the heart of Quezon City is fully stacked with his art pieces.
Bimbo is also a gardener by heart. Since there was little space to garden, he transformed every available corner in his house into a possible place to plant his passion, cactus and succulents. As a result, his 2-storey home is planted literally to the roof with his thorny collections. All spaces are used to the fullest. A big person such as myself would have a hard time navigating through the free space he devoted as corridors. But still I braved squeezing my large built into narrow doors and passageways just to see his interesting plants and pieces. I even climbed the rickety ladder going to the roof where he had his most cherished possessions, the bigger Agaves.
All parts of the Bimbo's house are an attraction. His sidewalks are lined with plantboxes to keep the biggest plants in his extensive cactus and succulent collection. He planted his rare Agaves (genus originally from the Americas) in front to also serve as security fence (the intimidating thorns would probably do the deterring job). The slightly sensitive Aloes (natives of Africa) line the more secluded areas below the eaves. Hanging Plectranthus grow soilless on a gutter, appearing like a natural curtain. The very front door is an expression of his art, adorned with old handmade picture frames. Even an old chair Bimbo played around with by inserting aloes into viable planting holes.
Bimbos main collection are displayed meticulously on deck areas in front, at the back and on the the roof. He personally mixes his soil medium and chooses the containers for his more prized succulents. Pots he used for some are also artfully done, which some Bimbo hand-painted himself. Plants with offshoots, he readily separates which contributed to a well propagated number of specimens and varieties in his still growing stock. In no time at all the plants will completely cover every surface, if there are still any left available. This shows there are still numerous ways to integrate greens into very small living spaces. Bimbo painstakingly established his own way of urban greening in his small extents of his home. His creativity will probably prove to be more than just a eye candy for his community. It could be a treasure that more urban-gardeners could emulate.