The leafy two-in-one mango tree is a haven for the yellow-vented bulbuls and the glossy starlings. The tree provide both food and bed for the birds.
At dusk and the time just before the sun rises, the tree will be full of activities, from birds chasing one another probably fighting over insects to birds singing merrily on top of the highest foliage.
As for us, the tree provides two varieties of mangoes - the small indigenous but rather sweer pauh and the extra-large mempelam epal.
It was already full-grown when we bought the house. All we did was prune the foliage so that it did not dirty neighbours' compound with their fallen dried leaves.
Despite of the very little that we did to it, we are now blessed with almost non-stop supply of fresh organic mangoes. What more could we ask from the humble tree?
Next to it is the jambu madu (water apple) tree that I planted. I bought the seedling from a fruit stall near Karak. Like its neighbour, it too fruits almost non-stop. At any time you could see different stages of fruiting - from flowers, fruit buds and to ripening fruits.
The fruits are sweet when ripe. I have to compete with ants that bore into the fruits as well as with birds, fruit bats and even hornets. In the morning either my wife or I will have to remove the fallen fruits so that the smell of rotting fruits does not fill the air.
Next to Tan's house are two papaya trees. Though they are not the selected variety, they provide us with a constant supply of fresh papaya. Besides having them as fresh papaya, my wife sometimes prepare the semi-ripe papaya into a rojak betik with sadine sauce.
A metre away from the papaya trees are my favourites. They are my one-month old Moringa oleifera. They are thriving well after I replaced the original soil with plenty of organic matter in the form of peat soil bought from a nursery nearby, lots of powdered goat droppings and sand that I removed from the drain in front of the house.
I found matured Moringa oleifera pods at Ramli's house in Geliga. My wife separated the seeds from the pods and soaked them in luke-warm water for 24 hours. Then she planted the seeds in poly-bags. Two days later, ho and behold the seeds germinated well!
With them growing so well I hope that soon we will have a constant supply of fresh moringa leaves and pods to enrich our dietary needs!
The cherry tree is also beginning to show off its new leaves. Pretty soon I am sure it will attract many frugivorous and nectar-drinking birds. I have seen beautiful crimson-backed and olive-backed sunbirds on my mother's cherry trees in Bukit Kuang.
The recently bought sukun tree does not seem to grow as fast as the Moringa oleifera. Only a pair of new leaves indicates that it is growing.
Moving to the front of the house, the bed of mixed flowers my wife and her brother prepared seems to do well too. In no time I presume they will provide a fascinating break from the monotonous green that we already had.
Our house compound is slowly transforming into a beautiful garden. It brings life to our house,Teratak Syakirin. That is the name that we give to our house - in memory of our late son, Khairul Syakirin.