Help me rebuild my life......

  • transient

    Posts: 427

    Feb 08, 2018 7:41 AM GMT
    As some of you might be aware, I lost my house, all of my possessions and my forestry project in the wild fires of Central Portugal last October.

    It has been a nightmare period of seeing all my hard work disappear overnight and my life changed from one of selfsuficiency to a life of dependence on charity and care from friends.

    Work has started to rebuild the house in all natural materials - xisto slate stones, clay and chestnut wood. And I am embarking on a reforestation mission having 350 trees to plant this weekend - aromatics, fruit trees, nut trees, ornamentals and a more diverse forest.

    Fire taketh away, but it leaves a blank sheet.

    Theres been ups, downs, wasted time, stress and depression at losing what means so much for me.

    Anyway if you feel you have something to offer, theres a Go Fund Me page some friends made for me here -
    http://gf.me/u/gbmt9c


  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 1188

    Feb 08, 2018 2:40 PM GMT
    Wow, this is an RJ first. It's one thing to lose everything and be poor and ask for help. But xisto slate stones, clay and chestnut wood, and replanting hundreds and hundreds of trees and you're asking for other people to pay it all and to foot the bill for your luxury sanctuary?

    Was starting that shameless "Ego?" thread to draw attention to yourself the plan all along to lead us up to the solicitation of funds?

    You are UNBELIEVABLE....
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1924

    Feb 08, 2018 6:02 PM GMT
    Agreed. I'm sorry for the loss of your house (no insurance?) but it seems more than insensitive to solicit help from the RJ population, most of whom own nothing, to rebuild your dream house. I know one member - a very sweet kid - who was thrown out of the house by his parents and had to live in a men's shelter until he got back on his feet. He never asked for anyone's help. Would you now ask for his? Would you have us help you and not him?
  • transient

    Posts: 427

    Feb 08, 2018 8:02 PM GMT
    Thanks for your support guys.

    The fires happened 3 months ago and iv been in a bureaucratic nightmare to even begin the process of restarting.

    I put everything I had into the property and have worked 7 days a week every daylight hour.

    Iv been under huge amounts of stress living in temporary accomodation with damp, mould and no heating which gave me a lower lung infection where fluid started to gather in my lungs....the start of pneumonia, caught just in time.

    My forestry project is to make a diverse sustainable environment where all firms of life can thrive.

    If you think living from the land, with no phone signal, generating all your energy and living off grid is 'luxury' , I suggest you dont judge till you walk a mile in my shoes.

    I have a 2km walk in or out of the property and im living on next to nothing.......UNBELIEVABLE right?
    1€ would buy a baby tree that would offset some of your carbon heavy lifestyles and my forrest will provide some of the oxygen you breath.

    I have not been contributing here much since iv not been online very much.

    Im sorry you feel im asking for too much, when it was only an open invitation to contribute if you felt it worthwhile.....if not, thats cool.

    This is where im at with my life, im sorry your not interested on my situation.

    I wish you both good luck and fortune and godbless you never fall into hard times and need the help or charity of others.

    Not even a kind word to say?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 08, 2018 8:58 PM GMT
    Life throws some big curve balls and it can hurt! I am sure many of the members here can empathise with you over the huge loss. I am sure many can because they've had equally huge losses. Recovery can happen and it will take time. Rebuilding for the glory days? Maybe, things are never quite the same. Perhaps a new direction is something to consider. It looks like you've reached your gofundme goals!
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1924

    Feb 08, 2018 9:33 PM GMT
    As I said, I'm sorry for the loss of your home. I meant that. But when I opened this thread I expected to see a story about someone whose life had been truly shattered, who had lost his family, friends, and means of livelihood, and desperately needs help just to survive. It wouldn't be the first such story I've seen here in these forums. Maybe it's your presentation that gave the wrong impression, but what I saw instead was a guy looking for a handout so he could restore his country manor to its former glory with high-end building materials and "ornamental" foliage. For someone who casts himself as a beggar, you seem to be quite a chooser.

    It doesn't matter how dedicated you are to your "forestry project" or how much good you believe it will do for the earth. If these trees are not your means of livelihood then they're a luxury. You're asking us to fund your hobby.

    And I'm sorry but your horror stories of "living off the grid" don't faze me. I grew up adjacent to a large Amish community, and am very familiar with the "off the grid" lifestyle. If walking 2 km is a hardship to you, I'd say you haven't seen may hardships.

    If you're looking for sympathy I'm afraid you need to be more forthright. How are you funding the reconstruction of your house? Was there no insurance? What is this "temporary accommodation" you're living in, and is it your only option? Are you lacking in the basic essentials of life - food, clean water, etc? I understand how emotionally devastating this whole experience must be, but so far nothing I've heard sounds like you're truly in need - or that you even comprehend what that means. And yes, it still sounds to me like you're asking people less privileged than yourself to fund a self-indulgent lifestyle.
  • JackNNJ

    Posts: 1415

    Feb 08, 2018 10:58 PM GMT





  • metta

    Posts: 43530

    Feb 08, 2018 11:11 PM GMT
    Losing home is a terrible thing. I wish you much success in your endeavor.

    http://gf.me/u/gbmt9c
  • transient

    Posts: 427

    Feb 08, 2018 11:15 PM GMT
    Ok......firstly, my 'country manor' is a converted goat shed with 30m/sq internal space with one room downstairs and one up stairs.

    The reconstruction materials are the local traditional method - dry stone walls built with stone extracted from the mountain by hand. And the original chestnut beams came from the farm but since the trees are burnt, I sourced them in the village.

    This isnt luxury, it's actually seen as a throwback to antiquity and all modern portuguese houses are cement.

    I already rebuilt this goat shed into a home the first time 5 years ago using the same local and traditional techniques.

    I have lost all my sources of income......the pine trees that burnt were due to be sold this summer to provide me with an income to invest further in the farm. They are now worthless after spending the last 40 years growing to maturity. I could have lived on the money from the trees for 5 years, or invest it further into the farm.

    My other source of income has disappeared since my herd of organic goats now have no pasture or food to eat. One aborted two kids early since they recognise they dont have the conditions to rear the kids and in an act of self preservation, they auto abort. I had one kid born healthy but with such little food, the mother's not making enough milk to sustain her.
    I also had another die due to the lack fresh food and a change in diet.

    I make my income selling the organic meat to friends and when they goats have milk I hand make individual batches of traditional organic cheese every day.
    This consists of milking the goats, curdling, separating the curds&whey, salting, creaming , pressing into forms then taking all the half cured stock out of the cheese cupboard to wash and dry so it doesnt get mould.....this takes 2 or 3 hours/day.

    My income sources are zero at the moment.

    The 2km walk in and out of the valley isnt a hardship, but its extremely steep terrain and im normally loaded like a donkey carrying any suplies, materials and tools those two km.......then I walk the goats in the mountains for a further 4 hours up the mountain and back down again.

    Then I walk back up the 2km uphill to return home after I have spent 4 or 5 hours cleaning the land, cutting trees and prepare the building materials for the house reconstruction.

    My 4x4 was burnt out as well, and being illegal since it needs no insurance to use on my private land, I must find a few thousand euros to replace it.

    All the work is competed using hand tools, nothing mechanical or electric. Axes and handsaws for the forest, and hammers, chisels and iron bars to extract the stones. Each stone is then worked and shaped to make it usable by a stone hammer.

    All the trees I am planting are to provide food, building materials and a future income.

    Cork oaks which take 20 years to before before harvesting the cork. I will be 60 by the time this comes.

    I am planting lots of species of Oak, since the valley is called Vale da Carvalha, Carvalho being Oak.

    Umbrella or Stone pines will be planted providing the extremely expensive and nutrient rich pine seeds after about 12 years.

    Hazel, Almond and Wallnuts are being planted for highly nutritious storable food with an excess to trade and sell.

    Silver Birch are being planted too - they are fast growing and will.stabalise the mountainside which is in danger of landslides since theres no vegetation. Silver birch also provides a similar quality syrup to the maple tree.

    Chestnuts ate being planted primarily for their timber and secondly as a source of food. It will take ten years for them to produce food and 20 years before the trees are worth cutting for the first harvest of timber.

    Carrobs are being planted as fodder for the goats and a food source since ground carob flour is highly nutritious high quality fibre, antioxidants and tastes fantastic.



    I made this post primarily because im coming out of a ling period of anxiety, depression and a withdrawal from life. I hoped to share my story and explain my relative absence here, to a community I have been involved with for almost 10 years (I deleted an old account as a request from an expartner).

    I was hoping for support, empathy and understanding mostly - to share the trials, tribulations, challenges, fails and successes of my project . The gofundme was just the final point and like I already said, 1€ would buy a baby tree to contribute. Im not expecting anyone to include me in their will or remortgage their house for me.


    I find it difficult to hear my life described as self indulgent. If you check my post history theres been an ongoing offer for everyone here to work and live with me at my expense.

    I enjoy sharing the traditional skills of shepherding, organic traditional construction and forest management.

    All of my guests are treated like family, provided with three meals a day and taken around to be introduced to friends and see the beauty the mountain has to offer.

    You can check my page here to see how I have accommodated, taught,and enjoyed the company of lively people at my own expense to help soread the knowledge and realisation that a more sustainable life is possible.

    http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=18666

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 09, 2018 5:36 AM GMT
    I was very surprised to see this post, out of the blue, after having read your post of a week ago about your new photos. I think most RJers would sympathize with your plight. I do. And from what you say of yourself, it sounds like you are doing a a good deed for Portugal in running your farm. But remember that most of the men who were on here over the last 10 years are no longer here. And do we really know the other men on here? Most of us do not - this is an anonymous site, and usually we have only a photo to go on (and in my case, not even that). I have only actually met 2 RJ men in the years I have been on here. I'm sure, that though not being said, many men here might be suspicious of the veracity of your claims of loss.

    I have not experienced the loss of a home by fire, although here in the US, in California, thousands of people recently lost their houses to fire, including some people I know. I take it you did not have insurance.

    You would probably do a lot better if you were posting on Facebook, and had Facebook friends who could repost your gofundme page. If your farm has had a lot of visitors over the years, they will actually know you, and could be a source of aid - and in reposting your gofundme page.
  • metta

    Posts: 43530

    Feb 09, 2018 6:24 AM GMT
    ^
    My thoughts are very similar to yours. I also thought that this post would do better on fb than here. RJ was a nurturing community long ago.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 09, 2018 4:49 PM GMT
    metta said^
    My thoughts are very similar to yours. I also thought that this post would do better on fb than here. RJ was a nurturing community long ago.


    I think so metta. I know he's sincere. Also, trees are desperately needed in the world. He have a big tree community here that's operated by SRP. If RJ members donated something to his cause it would help him, MORE than it would hurt us.
  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 1188

    Feb 09, 2018 7:26 PM GMT
    Puppenjunge said And do we really know the other men on here? Most of us do not - this is an anonymous site, and usually we have only a photo to go on (and in my case, not even that). I have only actually met 2 RJ men in the years I have been on here. I'm sure, that though not being said, many men here might be suspicious of the veracity of your claims of loss.


    You're defending all the forum trolls and their fake sock accounts. This isn't an anonymous site for me. I, along with a few others, are verified. The OP isn't even verified. Yet he stated he worked with a professional photographer to create his new pics. Did the OP pay for the photographer's services instead of paying for his xisto slate stone, clay and chestnut wooded home?

    In America where forest fires ravage the west coast neither the locals nor the government rush to replant the areas that were destroyed by a fire. Also, in many cases the previous tree trunks still stand and nature eventually takes over and new vegetation forms on its own. I could be wrong but rushing to repopulate green space with specific trees of your choice in a formerly burned down site may not be the best idea. If there are heavy amounts of ash in the ground from all that was burned it's not a good idea to plant just several months later. You have to simply wait and let nature run it's course for organisms and nutrients to reestablish themselves to ideal levels to support arboreal growth. This would mean waiting at least a year for soil conditions to balance out. But this all depends on the severity of the fire and the damages it caused. In more severe cases the time to wait could be longer. Not to mention, planting all those hundreds of trees need watering and care for at least a year before they can establish themselves and develop deep enough roots to become maintenance free. The Iberian Peninsula can have some very dry summers. Is the OP prepared to hire a staff to keep these several hundred saplings hydrated through the dry summer months?

    http://www2.nau.edu/~gaud/bio300w/frsl.htm

    Also, who can plant 350 trees in a weekend? I've landscaped professionally in the past. Unless these are tiny seedlings in 4" pots you have to have an army of people to plant that many trees in two days. And even still one person can't feasibly plant 100 saplings in a day. They better know what they're doing too. Because planting trees either too deep or too shallow can cause other problems that can't be fixed without the complete removal of the tree in the long run.
  • transient

    Posts: 427

    Feb 09, 2018 8:48 PM GMT
    Thanks for bumping my thread up MMMM.

    You obviously know much more about this than me, maybe you want to come and manage the project for me?
  • transient

    Posts: 427

    Feb 09, 2018 8:51 PM GMT
    The trees wont regrow since pine doesn't coppice.

    I live in the mountains and have 8 springs and six water tanks......watering the trees wont be a problem.

    I already have an army of friends helping me this weekend after we all spent last weekend doing the same job for another friends project.
  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 1188

    Feb 09, 2018 10:13 PM GMT
    transient saidThanks for bumping my thread up MMMM.

    You obviously know much more about this than me, maybe you want to come and manage the project for me?


    Sure!

    But Ize don't work foh' fuhree! icon_wink.gif Let me sink my jaws into that go fund me account! icon_twisted.gif

    I would actually help you out (for free) if distance weren't a factor. I love planting and I'm handy with carpentry.

    I would rather give someone an actual helping hand than throw money at them.

    But getting back to the replanting. You could possibly have your soil analyzed. Depending on the severity of the fire and calculating the level of ash in the soil will determine how long you should wait to replant.
  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 1188

    Feb 09, 2018 10:52 PM GMT
    Just a slightly related tidbit of info on how NOT to plant trees in a city:

    Before I met him, years ago my boyfriend replanted a sapling along the grass strip in front of his home. Typical cities have tree lined streets along the patch of grass that separates the sidewalk from the curb/street area. Either the city or a volunteer group to keep the city "green" planted the tree. But my boyfriend didn't like the position of where it was located. He knew it time that it would block his view from his windows so he moved it over about ten feet. To be honest I don't know if that would have even made a difference as trees eventually branch out pretty far. Although this was a tree that reached a maximum height of about twenty-five to thirty feet. Trees they plant along streets nowadays are much smaller than what was planted a few generations ago, for obvious reasons.

    Anyway, now it's years later and the tree is established and I come into the picture. I noticed that the tree had very long lateral roots that run as long as eight to ten feet outward and away from the tree. The roots themselves are halfway above the ground. When you see this on a tree it more than likely means it was planted too deep. When a tree gets planted too deeply the roots try and compensate by moving to the surface above the soil to obtain oxygen. Yes, even though trees give us oxygen they also need some oxygen too. A tree planted at the correct height will not do this. Look at trees while outdoors and you'll see what I mean. Some have a neat stump all the way to the ground and others will have crazy roots running all over the place.

    Lateral roots in cities and along sidewalks are one of the main reasons that cause sidewalk and curb failure. In fact, just in California alone there is a 1$.4 billion proposal to repair damaged sidewalks caused from trees. That's how grave and costly this can become.

    A severe example to give you an idea:
    A11372_1_full.jpg

    Back to my predicament at my and my boyfriend's home:

    So, the lateral roots were literally lifting the sidewalk up and making their way toward a huge cement retaining wall that is part of my boyfriend's property. Unfortunately you can't just cut these down to try and eliminate further damage. You could cut a root and not kill the tree. But that's not the issue. The issue is safety. The root system is integral to the support of the entire tree itself. By cutting large lateral roots (in my case this one was about five to six inches in diameter) we'd run the risk of the tree falling over and causing significant damage to cars, or worse. Severe injury or death to a passerby.

    Unfortunately my only option was to remove the tree entirely which I hate doing as I adore them. They're truly remarkable. And they talk to me, no joke. icon_razz.gif

    I know that in transient's case this probably doesn't apply since he's replanting a forest. But I just wanted to share it. Planting trees incorrectly can have devastating effects in particular scenarios.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 10, 2018 12:13 AM GMT
    MuchoMasQueMusculo said

    Also, who can plant 350 trees in a weekend? I've landscaped professionally in the past. Unless these are tiny seedlings in 4" pots you have to have an army of people to plant that many trees in two days. And even still one person can't feasibly plant 100 saplings in a day.


    Tree planting - Canada

    Tree planting is very strenuous and seriously tough. Tree planters can walk on average 16-17km and sometimes plant around 1,600 trees a day per day.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3Pdg2Xq5Hz00lfJfKvsdBkq/tree-planting-canada
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 10, 2018 12:58 AM GMT

    Sorry to hear of your troubles...

    I am running my own go fund me page, explaining what my evil ex employer did to me, and has done to our country (yes its that bigly). Ive had zero earned income for a number of years because of my ex employers politics, religion and illegal blacklisting

    Although I have never put the link to it here on RJ for fear of backlash from the cunt-serva-posse that seems to have plagued this site since dictator Drumpf and his right wing nut jobs illegally took over our country, the divided states of ameriKKKa

    I wish you well in your own recovery
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 10, 2018 1:13 AM GMT
    Here is something to cheer you up icon_smile.gif



  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 1188

    Feb 10, 2018 9:53 AM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 said
    MuchoMasQueMusculo said

    Also, who can plant 350 trees in a weekend? I've landscaped professionally in the past. Unless these are tiny seedlings in 4" pots you have to have an army of people to plant that many trees in two days. And even still one person can't feasibly plant 100 saplings in a day.


    Tree planting - Canada

    Tree planting is very strenuous and seriously tough. Tree planters can walk on average 16-17km and sometimes plant around 1,600 trees a day per day.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3Pdg2Xq5Hz00lfJfKvsdBkq/tree-planting-canada


    Here's the part you chose to leave out:

    "Workers can expend the caloric equivalent of a person who has run a marathon, having to heave 50lbs bags of saplings hooked to their belt all day while they dig, plant and repeat for ten hours, often on a four days on, one day off rota."

    The tree saplings I plant are at least 150lb, are as tall as me if not taller and look like this:

    seedlings-trees.jpg

    "Fifty pounds of saplings hooked to a belt." I do dips with an extra 90lb in Olympic plates attached to my dipping belt. Fifty pounds attached to my belt while walking would feel like I was carrying air in comparison. But as anyone can clearly see, it's not possible to "hook" these saplings to my belt and carry on.

    A few more points you need to be aware of:

    1) "Reforestation" that involves the planting of conifer like evergreens is not the same as planting fruit, nut, aromatic and ornamental trees. You can't pop these types of trees in the ground like sticking a twig in untilled soil, walk away and expect it to survive with no care.

    2) Conifer/evergreen reforestation is done at a pace to allow for some tree failure and/or thinning in the not too distant future. In simpler terms, not every conifer planted ever four feet will survive nor will they all be allowed to. Trees planted this close together compete for resources (e.g. sunlight, water, nutrients). The accumulation of dead branches on the forest floor from too many trees poses an increased fire hazard. Specialists will go in and eventually remove some of the trees in ten to fifteen years to thin the heard so to speak and improve conditions for the remaining survivors. I highly doubt that this is what transient had in mind.

    3) Fruit trees canNOT be planted four feet apart from one another. They need at least 15-35 feet, depending on if they are dwarf or standard sized varieties. And some varieties need to cross pollinate so planting too far will negatively impact fruit production. In other words, a lot more careful planning is required for orchard growing.

    Thanks for the attempt at correcting me.

    Hope you learned something. icon_idea.gif



    Reforestation is not the same as planting orchard and ornamental trees:

  • transient

    Posts: 427

    Feb 10, 2018 7:31 PM GMT
    What an amazing day......20 friends helped make light work of clearing the land, collecting the manure, digging holes and planting around 300 trees.

    I think your missing the point of my project MMMM - its diversity not monoculture conifers for the forest & of course the fruit and nut trees were planted in the fertile valley bottom.

    My life is a selfsuficency project - im not planting monoculture as a forestry project - its about biodiversity with the forest making a haven for wild life and a source of building materials, food, fuel and income.

    The orchards are part of the project, but of course they are planted with the right conditions, in the best position to thrive.

    The diverse forrest will encourage insects to live and breed.....the flowers will attract the bees, butterflies and insects that will pollinate the orchard trees.......its a holistic thing.

    Feeling blessed to have the support and help of such kind people, our community where I live always comes together in times of need to lighten the loads and make huge leaps and bounds in a single day.

    Lets see what tomorrow brings.x



    MMMM.What did you mean by 'Thanks for the attempt at correcting me. '?


    Thanks to the others for the kind words of support.

    2bnakd..... thus was ever so eloquently put - ' If RJ members donated something to his cause it would help him, MORE than it would hurt us.'




  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 10, 2018 9:47 PM GMT
    MuchoMasQueMusculo said
    Thanks for the attempt at correcting me.

    Hope you learned something.


    Thanks for the course. Just to remind you, the question you posed was :

    Also, who can plant 350 trees in a weekend?

    If you want to qualify your question after someone has answered it, it's easy to pretend the answer is wrong.

    I don't recall the OP specifying anything about the size of trees he was going to plant. The last trees I planted were bare rooted hornbeam (basically a 12 inch twig with a bit of root at the end) - and they are now a mature 6ft x100ft hedge. They were neither 4 inch saplings nor 7 ft, 4 year old trees - but I reckon I could easily plant 350 of them in a weekend.
  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 1188

    Feb 10, 2018 11:23 PM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 said
    MuchoMasQueMusculo said
    Thanks for the attempt at correcting me.

    Hope you learned something.


    Thanks for the course. Just to remind you, the question you posed was :

    Also, who can plant 350 trees in a weekend?

    If you want to qualify your question after someone has answered it, it's easy to pretend the answer is wrong.

    I don't recall the OP specifying anything about the size of trees he was going to plant. The last trees I planted were bare rooted hornbeam (basically a 12 inch twig with a bit of root at the end) - and they are now a mature 6ft x100ft hedge. They were neither 4 inch saplings nor 7 ft, 4 year old trees - but I reckon I could easily plant 350 of them in a weekend.


    He did specify the type of trees. That's where you weren't paying attention. You can't plant orchard and ornamental trees at the rate you can plant the ubiquitous types of resilient trees found in forests.

    It doesn't look smart to try and prove me incorrect when you blatantly try and substitute something completely different than what we're talking about. Either that or you need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills.

    Thanks for playing. Game over.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 11, 2018 2:34 AM GMT
    MuchoMasQueMusculo said
    He did specify the type of trees. That's where you weren't paying attention. You can't plant orchard and ornamental trees at the rate you can plant the ubiquitous types of resilient trees found in forests.

    It doesn't look smart to try and prove me incorrect when you blatantly try and substitute something completely different than what we're talking about. Either that or you need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills.

    Thanks for playing. Game over.


    I said the OP didn't specify the size of trees. There is no reason why any of the species he mentions cannot be planted as seedlings - and planting 350 in a weekend is quite achievable, including hole prep. Not only would planting them as seedlings prove a lot cheaper than planting the size of saplings shown in your picture, it would also lead to stronger growth over the years.

    Unlike you, I did comprehend that he's on a budget and not trying to create an instant landscape garden.