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What gives?

Frances got me this Passiflora from her last trip to the UK which is labelled “Caerulea Constance Eliott” which is a completely white cultivar

Passiflora - label

… one that I was so looking forward to – but after months of it being in the ground, I am surprised today to see that a “regular” Passiflora had bloomed!

Passiflora - NOT Constance Eliott!

What gives?

Yes it is still beautiful, but but but…

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The Cuttings Border is complete

Cuttings border [before]

Cuttings border

The Cuttings Border

The Cuttings Border, originally uploaded by malyousif.

I was determined to finish this border so I attacked it when I got home from work last night. It took me about 3 hours to finish this new border in which I laid down the irrigation pipe and just a few drip-heads for the banana tree, dig the front of the border and then carefully lay the red-bricks, level the earth in front and behind them then install the white metal fence in its place. I didn’t put a door there as it’s low enough to get in and out of the area if needed.

The main idea behind putting this little fence in the first place – apart from it looking nice – is to get the dogs to think that this is a private area and that they’re not allowed in, considering this border is right next door to their kennel! They’re good like that and get the idea very quickly of what’s private and what’s theirs. Most of the time.

It’s almost ready to receive some seeds and plenty of bulbs. The remaining job is to install the drip heads all along the pipes and that’s it done.

Just imagine what it would look like in 12 weeks’ time or so!

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Cuttings border

Cuttings border [before]

Cuttings border

The first phase of the new “cuttings border” is now complete. I’ve spent most of the day clearing the grass and preparing the area for planting. I mixed in 4x 50kgs bags of cow manure and 350 liters of peat moss for good measure. This are is part of the front garden and it receives the sun throughout the day regardless of the season. So I wanted to make sure that there is enough stuff in there to keep the moisture.

There are a couple more things I need to do to make it completely, other than planting of course, but on the structure side. I need to put in the drip lines throughout the area and put in the fence I bought this morning from Manazil.

I think as I intend to use it to grow flowers for cutting, one additional feature might be some paving tiles to create a simple walkway. I’ve got a few of those left over from other projects that I might use. I will also create a red-brick border to prevent the grass from creeping in again from the lawn.

What are the plants I want to put in there? Bulbs and various other flowers that could be cut and put in vases all around the house!

Optimistic? You bet! I’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to learn. So if you know any specific flowers which lend themselves to the task and can grow happily in Bahrain, please do let me know.

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Hippaestrum (Candy Cane)

Hippaestrum (Candy Cane)

Hippaestrum (Candy Cane), originally uploaded by malyousif.

The first Hippaestrum (Amaryllis to some) of the season. I love these bulbs as they always reward you with huge showy flowers like no other.

I’ve planted them outside in the garden before with good success. This year, I wanted to have some extra colour in the house. They’re all in pots of course so I can cluster them however I wish, this is what makes container gardening such a nice thing to do, the flexibility.

Apart from the Hippaestrum, I’ve got some lilies, gladiolus and two types of Hyacinth so the arrangements when they all flower (if they all flower at the same time that is) should be quite a sight for sore eyes.

Have a wonderful Friday my friends, and stay in peace.

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A very satisfying weekend

There is so much happening in my little patch of Heaven that it’s difficult to find a place to start. Suffice it to say that it was brilliantly tiring! I love it. I really do. Such a sense of fulfillment is really hard to come by. I guess this is one of the major reasons that I have been so taken by gardening. It is truly a rewarding activity.

Since putting Mr. Buddha in his place to christen the Oriental patch, the adjoining side which is overlooked by the “Old Lady”, our trusty and gnarled Frangipani we brought with us from the old house, just didn’t look right. It had a few shrubs here and there, a few cacti at the back wall (I got those for my last birthday) and well, it now looked completely unbalanced. So it need a major rethink on what I wanted it to be.

I decided to make it complement the Oriental patch, in fact, I wanted it to be completely integrated and not regarded as a separate piece of the garden at all. I decided that probably the best thing to do there is take everything (apart from the Old Lady) out and cover the whole area there with stones or pebbles. This will immediately bring the “Zen” back into the game and the Oriental patch would simply flow into the dry river-bed motif.

Plan in place, I started working. The first thing was to remove all the cacti and put them in pots, those pots I wanted to position on the pool deck in a cluster of variously sized pots and shapes. I think looking at the previous post where I featured this change, you will probably agree that they look quite the picture. I promise you that in real life they look even better!

Not all were moved as I didn’t have enough pots. I certainly didn’t have a huge pot which I needed (wanted) for the big cactus. That then had to wait until I bought more pots and they get delivered. I had two bushes in there too that needed to come out, a hibiscus and a lantana. The lantana was thriving while the hibiscus was just sitting there not doing much, but not dying either. A bunch of mother-in-law’s tongues and another cactus as well as a henna tree were scattered in that patch too.

I was rather happy that I moved the majority of the cacti on Thursday evening. That would free up a lot of time for Friday and beyond to tackle the various tasks.

Friday morning comes and I am awake at 4.45AM (I know I know!) and down having some tea, reading the papers and thinking about the stuff I needed to do. By 8.00AM I had cooked breakfast and had everyone up! I needed to get out and wanted to drag Frances out with me too. Time for some quality time together too.

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Shopping!

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Shopping!

Shopping!, originally uploaded by malyousif.

A Friday is not Friday if I don’t go visit some garden centres. Fortunately, as it is “the season” they do have nice things and it is the best time to landscape in Bahrain. The stuff you see in the back on my car all went into the “Oriental garden”.

I spent the whole day out of the house, the first few hours were spent in garden centres getting what I needed (you only see a small part of what I got in this picture!) and then the remainder of the day working over the Frangipani Patch which is now an integral part of the Oriental Garden. I’ll post some pictures of my efforts tomorrow.

Other than the stuff in the back of my car, I got deliveries this afternoon of 1,000 kgs of river stone, 8 big pots, 4 bags of 50 ltrs compost, 175 petunias of various colours and I an awful lot of backbreaking work, and the patch is still not finished!

Have a wonderful weekend my friends… a bit later than usual I know, but I hope you understand.

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The cacti gathering

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The cacti gathering

The cacti gathering, originally uploaded by malyousif.

The weekend has officially started! I’ve taken some time off work this afternoon to come and spend some time in the garden, an activity I haven’t been able to partake in for almost a week – yes, I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms – and I have put the first phase of my plan already in motion.

I’ve relocated these lovely cacti from their erstwhile abode which has been taken over by Mr. Buddha, and potted them and gathered them in this location on the pool deck. I think they look rather fetching now, don’t you?

They were definitely lost in their previous location.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends, I know I plan to 🙂

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Veggies

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A lot happen in a garden in two weeks, unfortunately for me; I’ve been really busy in the office that I didn’t have a chance to muck around with it. Last weekend was taken up by motorsports at the BIC – which I thoroughly enjoyed – but am determined this weekend to spend as much time as possible in it… and I started yesterday evening!

Look at this:

Cauliflower seedlings

I think I might have been a tad generous in my spreading the cauliflower seed. I had to thin them last night and the result was a small bucketful of seedlings. The story is repeated with the onions and cabbages as well. All of those removed seedlings went on the compost pile.

Ah well, next time I’ll take care not to spread too much of the seed, even if each packet is only 300 fils! Maybe I should just take comfort in that old farmer’s saying: one for the birds, one for the pot and one for next years’ seed. I feel quite all right after thinking of it like this, all is not wasted. I even can add “and a whole lot for the compost heap too!

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