Landscaping entails all activities done with the purpose of beautifying a given area. Landscaping is pursued as a serious profession in some countries, especially outside Africa.
A florist in Canada, for example, earns USD 21,000 on median, from his flowers.
“In Canada, with basic knowledge of gardening or horticulture, you can live a lifestyle as good as a celebrity’s,” says Linda Ninette, a Rwandan model living in Canada.
She says there is so much demand for flowers for festive days like; weddings, homecomings and burials. These are expensive especially when prepared on order.
There are also recreation parks, where families can spend weekends outside their town apartment or narrow compounds.
Back to Africa, particularly in Rwanda, landscaping is not yet a competitive career.
Even with the country’s reputation for supporting nature, landscaping has been taken on just recently, and mostly in the name of cleaning up the cities.
In Kigali, below the Kimihurura main road, towards the shanty and infamous Kimicanga slums, land can be seen under cultivation for the purpose of beautification.
It has already worked wonders right opposite at the ‘MINADEF sphere’. The beautiful garden shows how much landscaping can uplift an overpopulated city.
Kigali is beautiful and clean. A trip to the square below the Rugunga bypass, the land neighbouring Gikondo industrial valley and, on the left of the Remera-Kabeza road, a few meters after the busy Remera junction, are all beautiful spots.
Landscaping comes with several advantages such as, business boom, environmental preservation and creating a safe haven for wildlife.
Though landscaping in Rwanda has not yet been exploited fully, some have started earning clean money out of it.
Sanya Gatera, the co-proprietor of the Gasabo based “Sanya-Ninzi Horticulture Team”, pays his university tuition, rent and feeds himself from this business.
“We always have contracts to make gardens in newly habited areas, especially posh homes, estates, schools and public offices,” Gatera said.
“We never charge less than Rwf100,000 for small work; with a great deal, our pay goes up to Rwf1million, minus land preparation expenses,” he said.
The gardener tells that they always make potted flower deliveries on weekends, which earns them more than Rwf50,000. However, they are still frustrated by the misconception of their career as a cheap profession.
Gatera adds, “People look at you as a desperate farmer trying to come up with an underpaid project; this has discouraged many new practitioners willing to come aboard.”
Landscaping also works well for property owners wishing to rent out their houses. Who would not rush for a home surrounded by well-landscaped gardens and their accompaniment fauna, like birds? Owners of such properties reap big.
Landscaping includes natural features like water fountains, and artificial structures like sculptures and lighting.
With Kigali’s reconstruction under the new city Master Plan, landscaping cannot be ignored. Magnificent buildings lose their glory without green scenery.