Take a good look at the garden mate, because come mid-July, everything here will be uprooted and bound for "greener pastures". Yes, in about 2 weeks time, I will be moving house, lock, stock and uprooted plants to another rented premises just up the road from where I am. Having lived in my current abode for the last 6 years, I've come to realise that houses such as these aren't livable beyond a certain number of years, simply because the so-called "refurbishment" which is carried out by the institutional landlord after the end of each tenancy is often shoddy and meant to last for a very short term. Maybe this is just the landlord's way of deterring tenants from locking in long leases at cheap rents.
So, having lived in my current unit for the past 6-years, which is way beyond the "shelf-life" of a Chip Bee Gardens house, various parts of the house has started to fall apart. For one, the bathroom tiles have started to crack and pop out, threatening not just the soles of our naked feet but also the possibility of the floor caving into the kitchen below. The tiles in various other parts of the 2nd floor are also showing similar symptoms. Also, the white walls are beginning to turn into a sickly yellow with stains which came from no where. Lately, I have also discovered larger populations of ants everywhere, from the kitchen to the bathrooms and even on my study table. The back-yard which is currently filled to the brim with plants, is looking a little sorry and the ventilation there is poor, a reason why some plants, like the orchids are beginning to die back.
Having rejected the idea many-a-time, I finally changed my mind and decided to move, even if the move is just temporary (as i'm still on a look-out for that house to buy). I was dead against the idea initially because moving house is a very stressful affair. Having moved around like a nomad no less than 6 times, I've suffered enough to know what the hassle feels like. But when you've amassed quite a load of stuff, and not to mention, plants over the last 6 years, you really do not want to move to another place for 6 months, just to move again after that. But as always, life is always full of surprises. The fat chef Angelo of famed "Michangelos" moved out about a month ago, thus leaving a vacant CORNER unit along my stretch of the road. Gerry and I decided to take a look at it whilst it was being refurbished and were immediately taken to the place. Although the plot size isn't anything much to go by, it's still a lot better than where I am, because the windows on the side provide a lot more ventilation and light for the house. There are also several tall trees growing alongside, thus providing much needed shade and offering loads of greenery. The tree canopy overhead is also rather breath-taking and I imagine many-a-lazy afternoon just sitting on the terrace, having a coffee and reading the paper. All in all, I think this house suits our lifestyles. Oh and there's the dogs too! At least they can run back and forth and instead of just up and down.
The other main reason for the move is timing and the rising market. Because of the sudden upswing in the property market, sellers have started to ask ridiculous prices again. However, such a market isn't sustainable given that the economy is still reeling quite badly from the recession and downturn. Without economic fundamentals, there is no way that the property market is sustainable. As such, Gerry and I felt that it was probably best not to buy now, but to wait till the market slides back down again.
Moving house is stressful enough, moving plants takes it all to a new level. For now, I can't even decide whether to move the plants first, or to move them after everything else has gone. I will probably dig up the plants in the front yard and transplant some of them in pots. The others I will take to the new place and plant them directly into the ground, but not before I revive the soil there. Currently, the soil is almost rock solid and devoid of life. As for the plants at the backyard, I intend to rent some sort of a pick-up to assist with the transport. This is going to be a very painstaking affair, given the hundreds of potted and hanging plants I have. I reckon it should take a day to do all that. I will also need to build some structures at the backyard of the new place to hang all the hanging plants. If need be, I may also need to hang shade cloth over certain parts for the nepenthes. The backyard fence would be useful for the creepers such as the passiflora, aristolochia, garlic and sandpaper vines. Which reminds me, I will have to make cuttings of the rangoon vine which I will probably not bring along with me as it is probably deep-rooted at its current location. This is so not going to be easy! Wish me luck!