Friday, January 11, 2013

Week 102: Landscaping Next

Photo from site before starting construction (the window and old wall has been preserved as part of landscaping)
First post on Nivim in the new year and we are almost at completion... This is the time for numerous lists, for close inspections and several walk throughs, all to determine any mistakes, forgotten details, and bad workmanship...

When I say completion, I mean completion of all building works. The only major work remaining is the kitchen cabinets and the closets which will follow right after we are satisfied with the building works.

This is also a time for us to begin the installation for our furniture, lighting and landscaping. We have already bought most of our furniture and it is a combination of period pieces and very contemporary designer ones. Most interior lighting is purchased from Delhi and already installed. And then there is landscaping... Who would have thought that something so simple would be such a nightmare.... We can always execute ourselves but I was hoping to hire a sub-contractor so I don't have to run around crazy from nursery to nursery sourcing the right plants and mostly because I don't feel that I am right judge for the health of the plants, species and quality of soil, forget about the right way to plant, transplant and care for the plants. Now the tough thing about building in Goa is that first you pay a premium for all your services and material. Most material is brought into the state from elsewhere so there is usually a wait time and several delays. Also, the number of service and material providers is so limited that the good ones have too many projects and they are unable to manage their time effectively. We started our quest for a landscaper and landscaping about 6 months back and by now, we have been stood up by two landscapers after multiple site visits, advance payments, etc. etc. What really gets upsetting is when the service providers don't answer their phones... I mean really dodge your calls after agreements and after advance payments have been paid. I mean how does one deal with that?

Existing trees before construction

Same existing trees after construction

Landscaping is so critical for a project like ours that is built around nature. We have 13 existing trees on the site that we have incorporated in our house plan so the site is already quite green but then we have created really deep planters on the peripheries to we can plant fruiting and flowering trees making the site even greener and add a layer of privacy to the property. We have also chosen to plant mostly local indigenous species so once they are mature they require minimal irrigation and maintenance. Indigenous species have adapted to the local climate and therefore are accustomed to the dry and rainy spells in different seasons.

In any case, our quest for a landscaper continues. I am giving myself another week or 10 days then I guess we will have to jump in and figure it out ourself...

Until then let us just celebrate our special 13 trees. The existing full grown trees include:
1 Mango tree
2 Jackfruit trees
2 Tamarind trees
1 Kelful tree
5 Scholar's tree
1 Drumstick tree
1 flowering local tree

Existing trees before construction

Same existing trees after construction

Existing trees before construction

Same existing trees after construction

Existing trees before construction

Same existing trees after construction


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