Build Diary 53 – Tree Troubles

If you’ve been following BI for a while, you’ll know I love nature. Even though I grew up in the big city (Buenos Aires), I’ve always been drawn to natural spaces. In Australia, I was lucky to live a few blocks from the beach and it was my daily ritual to go there. Here is Bali, even though it’s easy to get caught up in the Canggu bubble, there are so many gorgeous natural areas that are so close.


Many of the beaches near where I live now are next to rows and rows of villas, so I need to look inland for my fix of nature. It’s gives me great joy to see the mountains from my home and take daily walks to the rice fields with my 2 dogs.


I incorporated this love of nature when I designed the BI villa. I included a central courtyard and wanted to have a lot of trees in there. My amazing landscaper Diane brought the vision to life. I absolutely adored the central feature, an incredible weeping willow-style tree that grew above our second story and spread wide to bathe the courtyard in shade.


I absolutely loved this tree and the whole courtyard. It brought nature into my home and created a sense of calm in my home.

Bali Interiors Build Diary 51 Tree Troubles

Then, on the eve of Nyepi, which is my favourite Balinese celebration, something terrible happened. The tree must have been too heavy for its roots, and in the middle of a strong gust of wind, it fell 45 degrees. Suddenly, it was leaning at a dangerous angle and about to fall down onto another building. Nyepi was upon us, which meant the entire island shutdown for 24 hours. No one could leave their home. The streets were completely empty. There was no way Diane and her team could help us deal with the situation. We were on our own.


Immediately we moved a heavy ladder and placed it under the tree to hold it up. Then we moved a very heavy pot to stabilise the ladder. We tied ropes from the wall to the tree. Hopefully this would keep the tree in place while we cut it back.


The tree was clearly too big and heavy, and needed to be trimmed. Both to reduce the weight and span of the tree. Normally, we couldn’t easy access the side branches, but now, due to the angle of the tree it was possible to reach them. Hubby climbed up onto the nearby building with an blunt old rusty handsaw and started trimming. Eventually, we were able to trim the tree to reduce the weight.

Bali Interiors Build Diary 51 Tree Troubles 2
Bali Interiors Build Diary 51 Tree Troubles 3

Post-Nyepi, Diane came over with her team. They said they could save the tree, but it needed significantly more trimming. Soon it looked a sheep after it had all its wool sheared off. It didn’t look like my gorgeous tree anymore. Honestly, it was heartbreaking because I loved that tree so much, but I had faith in Diane.


And, amazingly, within a few months, the free had sprouted new branches and leaves had reappeared. She was more compact than before, but she was back! Once again, she creating shade and a calming environment in my home. I am so thrilled that she is returning to her former glory!

Bali Interiors Build Diary 51 Tree Troubles 4

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