[ By Hanafiee Azlee, 7th July 2021 ]
Well, where should I begin? My obsession with plants? Ah right, let’s start with who I am, what I am currently pursuing, my hobby, and/or life-long passion! Hello to the fellow netizens who are reading this blog. Especially at times like this, I hope everyone is doing okay and is staying safe. I am Hanafiee. Yes, with double e. Not Hanafi, and not Hanafee.
It's Hanafiee. I am currently in my last year at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, pursuing Landscape design and Horticulture. Basically, this course covers multiple design principles that can be implemented in the landscape industry and exposes us to the beautiful and scientific world of the Plantae kingdom. At first, I was hesitant about taking up this course as I was thinking about the possible careers that are out there for me. Will I be able to get a good highly paid job with this diploma? What are the possible branches for me if landscape design and horticulture are not what I want in the long term?
Well, as the saying goes, “If you can do something you love and enjoy doing it, it is like getting paid twice.” – Andy Strickland.
I can safely say that this is what I foresee myself doing in the future! I love to go to different gardens and parks in Singapore during my free time. Seeking inspiration through the perspective of landscape designers. How they twist and bend nature at their will. How each plant is planted not only for its physical value but for its emotional and psychological effects too. How they create stories by using natural materials that are at their fingertips. To this day, I can never understand the eyes of those who create. It is like trying to understand the divine God and His creation.
My interest in plants goes all the way back to primary school. My teachers would let us grow mung beans, scientifically known as Vigna radiata[ha1] , or more commonly known as ‘Taugeh’. I remember the thrill and rush before entering biology class and having to inspect those green babies that were growing tall and healthy. I would always bring my classmates to the ecological garden in my school, just to admire the luscious landscapes. There were butterflies, bees, caterpillars, and many more! I sought peace through these kinds of things. It was what made school bearable, actually.
I have always been filled with curiosity as to how plants and trees work. How they can grow big and tall whilst producing charming flowers that don’t only look good – they smell good too! The fundamentals of nature give us something to be in awe about. Nature, too, provides us with the necessary materials for us to survive. Crazy how people can derive such useful matter from them. From the oil that is extracted from flowers and leaves, and to the wood that the trees produce. Our human brains are so small, yet they could be filled with endless creativity. I guess that is what gravitates me to further learn and expand my garden of knowledge about the world of plants.
Writing this article gives me a sense of freedom as I get to voice out and share about the very thing I like doing. I get to be the man I envision myself to be. The environmentalist and horticulturist I wish to become. Of course, I am very thankful to the wonderful boss and the friendly colleagues that I get to work with. I am blessed to be a part of something that values the souls of various creative people. I feel as if I am not merely just an audience in the story but also a part of something greater too. What better way to tell a story than partaking first-hand in it?
Photos by Irfan Rosli (@_roniin)
Location: Urban Salvation Main Gallery