In Hong Kong, landscaping is hard to do right. Two firms share what it means to incorporate it to the home
In Hong Kong, landscaping has become a necessity amid the growing presence of concrete. Here, two rms share what it means to incorporate it to the home 優美迷人的園林景觀變化萬千，讓石屎森林搖身一變城市綠洲
“One of the most important elements in a successful cosmopolitan city are plants,” says Samson Ho, garden designer at Hunt Yen Consultants. “Concrete is the most common building material in Hong Kong, and we know that plants have the power to soften and civilise public urban spaces.”
One trend in the pursuit of tasteful landscaping is Japanese minimalism, notes Jason Wong, landscape architect at Anterra Florist. For instance: a setup involving a single plant, such as Maidenhair Ferns; water, such as a quiet waterfall or stream; and palettes of porcelain, stone, and wood. Bamboo, moss, rocks and pebbles also contribute to the natural look.
「植物盆栽是美化空間的關鍵。」紅映顧問有限公司的園景設計師Samson Ho說：「本地大多數樓宇主要採用混凝土建成，加添植物能柔化空間，注入活潑氣息。」Anterra Florist園藝設計師Jason Wong則認為靜觀自然的日式美學是裝飾庭園的佳擇。單盤蕨類植物、含小瀑布和流水的場景，能夠與瓷器、石塊和木材完美配搭，加上竹林、苔蘚、岩石和卵石再作延伸，成就和諧自然的畫面。蔬果菜園也是目前的潮流趨勢。Ho指出：「檸檬、辣椒和蕃茄等盆栽適合狹小空間，寬闊的地方則適宜種植果樹或建構有機農場。」
Food and vegetable gardens have also become more popular. “Even without much space, we can find corners for a pot of lemons, chillis, or tomatoes,” observes Ho. “If there were more space, fruit trees or an organic farm could be planted.”
Surprisingly, there is one trend we’d be better off avoiding. “More and more people like the plantation wall. I hate it,” chuckles Wong. “It needs very high maintenance and it dies very easily. You need to change it all the time – and it’s not like you have to kneel down to plant it. You have to climb up, and you need a special ladder,” he explains, adding that the constant need for exposure to light, air and water can become expensive.
He proposes an alternative, however: for vertical gardens, use preserved plants instead, such as moss. “They’re real and natural, they’re just not living” – requiring little to no maintenance at all.
Indoors, consider the use of pots and choose containers according to available space. “Planting both flowers and vegetables in the same container gives you the best of both worlds in a small space,” says Ho. Evergreen plants are also a good option, as they are easily maintained year-round, but pick “no more than three colours to keep a small space from looking too busy.”
For those with the luxury of more space, especially outdoors, don’t forget lighting. Says Ho: “The right lighting can make a garden look much more romantic, atmospheric and an all-around pleasant place to spend time in.”
Ultimately, don’t forget to get to know the plants themselves – and the kind of care they require. It may seem straightforward to water them regularly, but ‘regular’ varies widely between different plants. “Hong Kong is a very unique place – in the winter it’s freezing cold, in summer it’s hot, and in spring it’s so wet, everything gets mouldy,” points out Wong. “How can you deal with these problems?”
Not one to discourage the pursuit of landscaping projects, he quickly adds: “If you can think of the solutions, you can do whatever you like.” //