Gardening

Kitchen Garden a.k.a Herb Garden

Hello friends. I have been sharing my journey from a sandlot to a peaceful and serene garden over the last couple of posts. You can view it here :- Final Garden Makeover

I read somewhere ” To plant a seed is to have hope in tomorrow.”  I don’t know how long, we may stay in this house ~ but I know, if any of our trees survive, it will be a source of joy for the next tenant.  I may not be able to enjoy the fruits of the tree but atleast, its something positive and fruitful that I left in this world where greed and consumerism has been a major cause for mass deforestation.

The kitchen Garden

We have a lovely narrow patch in the backyard right behind my kitchen, part of which was being used as my DIY work area ( more like dumping ground !! ) with loads and loads of wooden planks, pallets stacked up and paint cans everywhere.

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The dead sandlot

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In all my previous homes, we grew all the herbs in pots but this year, I decided to be more adventurous ~ why adventurous ? Becoz herbs don’t survive outdoors in the summer 😦  But I felt it was worth a try. We’ll see.

We bought several pots of baby plants from the nursery in Al Warsan area, which included :- Basil, coriander, Tulsi, green chilli, capsicum, aubergine, okra, green beans and tomatoes,

We also bought a few larger plants which will “hopefully” grow up to be trees such as Fig, lemon, pomergranate and Curry leaves plant.

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After clearing that patch, we decided to use the pallets, to make large rectangle frames.  Three frames were laid next to eachother with a small gap in between. We then  prepared the bed of soil and compost and later had the plants planted.

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Baby basil

 

baby coriander
Baby coriander ~ a must in almost all indian dishes

baby special chilli

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Tomatoes ~ You have to provide a trellis or a system which can support the tomato plants becoz they tend to become very heavy once they start bearing fruits.

 

cabbage aubergine
Raised bed with Pallets for cabbage and aubergine.

curry leaves

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My kitchen garden made with pallets 🙂

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Quite honestly, it has been just booming since then !! Very little maintenance and we’ve had an endless supply of tomatoes, green chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves.  All the trees have rewarded us with their first fruits. Yippee !! All the photographs below are of almost 3 – 4 weeks after being planted.

BASIL
Basil and capsicum

 

CAPSICUM
capsicum

 

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Can you spot the lemon ??

 

CAULIFLOWER and aubergine
At this point, the cabbage started having uninvited visitors ~ green caterpillars.

 

Cherry tomatoes
These cherry tomatoes were so sweet once they turned red.

 

CORIANDER
The coriander just took off ~ it grew into a bush !!

 

Curryleaves
These are curry leaves.

 

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Strawberries

 

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Can you spot the fruit ? What fruit is it ?

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FIG
I love the shape of the leaves of this fig plant.

 

green chillies
Yummy ! Green chilly

 

LEMON
Lemons

pomergranate fruit POMERGRANATE STRAWBERRY tomatoes

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tomatoes sprawling everywhere.

 

tulsi
Tulsi

And that’s where the fairy tale ends !! Ofcourse, this will not last long. Come May, the heat will dry everything out 😦   We have tied a nice canopy from Ace Hardware above the tree area so that they manage to survive the summer.  In the summer, even a tiny protection from the sun goes a long way .

So from November, right uptil now, April ~ we have been happily blessed with the fruit of our small hardwork.  Not only are the tomatoes more juicy but they are so much more sweeter than the store bought ones.

kitchen garden


If you’re living in Dubai and even if you have only a small balcony to spare, I highly recommend that you plant a few tomatoes, green chillies and coriander in pots. Just remember to give some form of elevation to support the tomato plants. You’ll be surprised and delighted at how quickly the plants grow.

I am sharing my little kitchen garden a.k.a Herb garden with all my friends at their fantastic parties here.

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Gardening

The Final Garden Makeover !

And finally, I am absolutely delighted to share with all my blog friends my lovely garden!  From a dry barren sandlot, its taken a lot of sweat, love and perseverance to bring this change into lush green 🙂

And I love it !!!

To see the actual transformation and tutorial of the “growing grass process” perhaps, you’d like to visit Here

A lot of garden accessories were also transformed while we waited for the grass to spread. View them Here

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This is the house plan ~ so its easy to understand where the gardens are.

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The first thing I do in the morning is peep out of my bedroom window and this is the view that welcomes my morning. (We had a rain shower this morning)

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The above tree trunks have been with us for nearly 8 years now !! Someone had dumped them on the highway and ofcourse, they needed a home ! 🙂

In the picture below, these solar powered lamps are available at ACE hardware.  We’ve had ours for nearly 4 years and you just need to change the battery and clean the small solar panel on the head of the lamp and your ready to go !!

Inorder to keep the grass away from the Petunia, We have placed a large plastic/rubber tube ~ this goes into the ground nearly 1 foot. But it is an expensive buy.

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These bougainvillea have also seen many years with us and although they have thrown this beautiful pink pops all over the garden, for some reason they have not given a lot of leaves this year ! hmm ~ I wonder why ??

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That’s the wheel cart, that Daddy repaired below. The whole idea was to place the smaller round pots into the open space of the cart. But I rejected that decision and let it just add an ethnic look, instead.

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Remember the concrete Mushrooms ? To view the tutorial of how I made them, please visit  here.

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Little sofu, basking in the sun 🙂

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All these pots mainly carry seasonal flowers except some of them are beds for Zenia and Desert Rose.

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Here are some of the seasonal plants that we planted in the pots this December.  We bought scores and scores of these bright and happy seasonal flowers from Al Warsan. Most of them cost dhs 15 – 12 per dozen. Some however are more expensive.

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Most of the seasonals can be planted by late November and will bloom till around late April/Early May.

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That’s my precious xiora.

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White bougunvilae  always look so pretty, Isnt it ?

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This purple shrubby plant is mainly leaves but they do give out lavender colored flowers between January to Feb.

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One of the best quality of the bouganvilea is that you can actually mold it into your desired shape ~ like a topiary. Doesn’t this yellow one look like a bouquet ?

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And that’s all ! Rains in Dubai are an absolute blessing so I wanted to end this post with a picture of what the front yard looks like after a lovely shower 🙂

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I hope you are inspired to try out alittle gardening this year. If you find so many flowers and plants overwhelming, just try out with 3 or 4 planters and some shrubs, Aloe vera or Desert rose and see how that grows ~ shrubs are resiliant and can adapt with very little water so you really cant go very wrong with them.

As for me, the real test begins now !! Now that we are looking at four awfully hot months 😦   But lets not go there, just yet 😦

When I was growing up, both my mom and my grandma had green thumbs so as much as I didn’t really bother about gardening or looking after plants, I guess, it came naturally once I got married 🙂  I am not a professional at gardening by any means, I used to read a lot of books when I had started balcony gardening, initially around 10 years back ~ kept learning by trial and error and I am thankful for all those mistakes coz it made me a wiser gardening person, today.

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I hope you have a beautiful and safe week ahead of you 🙂
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