Raised sandpit at the front of the house.
We have outside access all round our villa, the front part is mostly block paved, but it features a raised sandpit. To the right of the villa there is a larger sandpit, at the end of the block paving. The back of the villa, is again block paved and it's where the washing gets hung out. To the left of the villa there is a small lawn and further block paving.
Larger sandpit to the right of the villa.
The villa is painted white and the gardens are walled around 5-6ft tall, there were only bougainvillaea planted in the garden when we moved in and little else.
The first year we were here I decided to experiment with the weather and growing plants directly into the sand and I managed to germinate and grow marigolds, tomatoes and a variety of other plants and vegetables.
Last year I didn't experiment as much, as I was working, but I did grow basil from seed and nasturtiums.
This year I've been more adventurous and I'm growing accidental potatoes. I attended a gardening demonstration and organic seeds were being handed out, I managed to germinate them, as well as squash and aubergines. I say 'accidental' as I had no idea what was in the packet I received. So far we've harvested 2 aubergines and had them for dinner on Friday night in a curry.
I've also grown this year, from seed, the following:
Tomatoes, peas, chillies, more basil, parsley, peppers, mint, nasturtiums, sweet peas and sunflowers.
March in Dubai is Plantation and Park month, celebrating the opening of 5 new public parks in Dubai and green spaces. To mark the 33rd year of this scheme, free plants were being handed out around parks in Dubai. I now have several trees, 2 of which will yield lemons, several shrubs, some strawberry plants, bedding and ground cover.
I spent Saturday from midday till 10.30pm levelling sand, digging, planting and watering.
Digging a hole in the sand was actually harder than you'd imagine, the sand is so fine it just kept refilling the hole.
There was a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards, which I'm ashamed to say I left mainly to the gardener, well you can see from the 'before' pictures there really wasn't much for him to garden anyway. I washed the patio, walls, windows and got all the garden furniture set up as I intend to spend most of my week sitting in the garden, as it will be too hot to enjoy very soon.
This is the end result, I will be in the UK at the end of the week, so I'm hoping that between Peter and the gardener they will water the plants for me twice a day and I look forward to seeing the progress on my return at the end of April.
Left of the villa.
Right of the villa.
Front of the villa.
Beans and chili
Rosemary, parsley and Lemon tree.
Do you have a garden or an allotment? What do you grow in it? Have you faced the challenge of gardening in the desert and planting directly into the sand?