Sultan Palace’s new microclimate

Thursday December 31 2015

The real estate developer is introducing lots

The real estate developer is introducing lots of greenery around its beachfront property to protect the environment and add value to it. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Real estate developer Sultan Palace Development has set up a tree nursery and a 15.5-acre garden, to complement its 43-acre beachfront property, conserve the  to environment and  add value to the luxurious property.

The garden will have a  combination of indigenous and exotic shrubs and varieties of palm trees, including some rare species, to support the  tropical conditions and coastal architecture of the  development, says General Manager  Mr Liu Tiancai.

Indigenous and exotic plants have  more impact than just aesthetics  because they play a  critical role in protecting the coast, thereby conserving the environment.  

“Many of our indigenous forests have been cut down for development, so, by  planting indigenous trees, Sultan Palace Development  is trying to replace some of the flora and fauna that has  been lost,” says Mr Tiancai.

 “The garden will create a  microclimate that will contribute positively  to the  environment in general. The trees and shrubs will act as protection against any future incursion from the ocean such as strong winds and floods. On the seafront, we will use a selection of palms trees and shrubs that are hardy enough to  tolerate the salt-laden winds and the harsh oceanfront  conditions. The growing of coconut and other  indigenous and exotic trees along the coastal landscape is  crucial, and also a long-term measure in stemming the  devastation caused by global warming and climate change,” he adds

 Trees and shrubs act as a shield against strong winds that  characterise the Kenyan coast and also absorb solar radiation much better than buildings. Shade trees can significantly reduce air temperatures indoors during the hot season as  they intercept and soak up the sun’s heat while  transpiring cooling moisture into the air, adds Mr  Tiancai.

 Landscaping using  natural coral  boulders and rocks will be used to create rock gardens will  also help in getting maximum returns from the investment, while at the same time minimising  the negative effects on the  environment.

“It is important to note that a  well-manicured property with an appealing landscape is often a  selling point.

Often, people tend to focus more on the  inside, but it is critical to note that first impressions,  even from the outside, matter. Research has shown that complementary landscaping provides the highest return on  investment on any type of home improvement,” says Mr  Tiancai.

To ensure that the plants thrive in the salty and humid environment at the coast,  landscape consultants have selected those proven to be  to withstand  the local conditions.

Work on the garden began earlier this month, with a  nursery already established and plants bought.

Daily maintenance will also be undertaken to  ensure that the gardens flourish.

“We  have trained garden maintenance personnel to look after the  plants and also invested in recycling grey water to be used  in the gardens to avoid water wastage, says Mr Tiancai.

Some of the rare flora to be planted are the bamba kofi and mpingo, also known as  African black  wood, and which are under threat because of over harvesting,  despite a ban on the two.

The indigenous trees  and shrubs to be planted include the hardly millettia usamarensis, with its beautiful sprays of purple flowers, baobabs, and a variety of scented shrubs.

Other exotic plants that will be planted to create a tropical feel include various  varieties of the coconut palm and numerous other exotic  palm trees, such as the golden cane or butterfly palm tree and travellers palm tree.