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The Witch’s Cauldron

It’s flourishing this year, thanks for my wife’s choice of filling it to the brim with red chrysanthemums 🙂

The Witch's CauldronAnd here’s a close-up of those gorgeous mums:
If you wish, click the picture above for an original size which you can use as your desktop background, or flip it 90 degrees and use it as a background for your iPhone.


Stock take

600 Allisum (white, pink, purple)
200 Geraniums (white, red)
300 petunias
100 marigolds
20 chrysanthemums
75 calendulas
100 stock (white, purple)
10 rose bushes (sultani)
10 jasmine bushes (full)
2 variegated hibiscus bushes
25 flowers, can’t remember there names at the moment!
25 colius

Did I paint a picture in your head yet?


Good progress on Hillside

Have a look at the progress done on Op Hillside since this morning:


Really glad. And I think once finished it will be quite unique too. We’ll be leaving things to set now and put the plumbing and plants in place next weekend.

Can’t wait!


Operation Hillside

Today I start the “hills” outside the house. This area was just lined with conacarpus trees hiding the beauty of the house and not contributing much to the environment.

Not going to divulge much now other than to say xeroscaping is probably be nicer with less maintenance.



The sunflowers germinated

Since the weather turned to the better about a week ago, I’ve put more effort into two things:

  1. Golf
  2. Gardening
I’m not showing much improvement in golf, but the garden has taken the bit and is off and running to full glory. During the Eid long weekend I took the chance to redo the vegetable patch and although no vegetable have been seeded there yet, I’ve prepared the ground and for the moment am using that patch’s sprinklers to water the small number of seed trays I’ve started. This morning, I was really happy to see that one of the sunflowers trays have sprouted with what looks like very healthy growth.
These are two types of sunflowers: at the top of the picture are the Mammoth Russian variety which can grow to 10 – 12 feet in height and with flower heads the size of dinner plates; while the others at the bottom are the much shorter Velvet Queen variety.
I was actually not holding on to much hope that they would germinate as their sell-by date has long past. They were marked to be used by 2010. I’m glad that they’re doing well (so far!)
At this rate, I’ll have to replant them into their permanent places within a week.
Me happy!


Introducing Hope

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I just realized that I didn’t introduce Hope on the blog! Sorry. Well, meet Hope, the newest addition and the very much long awaited addition to the garden. Here she is sitting at her pond and being quite happy and content.

I had my eye on her for months, but unfortunately the seller and I couldn’t agree on a price. Now that they’re going out of business, they have met my stipulated price and I brought her over about 3 weeks or so ago, and yesterday afternoon was an opportune moment for to me clean up around her and spruce up her throne a bit. Now with the cable and various pipes hidden, I’m quite happy too.


The Suffering Hydrangea

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Just a few weeks ago, this lovely hydrangea was doing well enough – considering it’s not supposed to survive at all in Bahrain’s climate. Alas, this is what it’s been reduced to in its first ever Bahraini summer. I’ve not lost complete hope yet though, you will notice that against all odds, it’s got some new growth showing.

I do fervently hope that it’ll survive the next few weeks and come back growing stronger come November.

Here’s for hoping for the best.

Update 3 Nov 2011 – Unfortunately the hydrangea didn’t survive much beyond the original post. It completely withered and dried out in the heat of the summer. I guess I have to simply give up on hydrangeas in this kind of climate.



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We’re innundated with various kinds of tomatos from our vegetable garden; cherry, regular and also these huge monsters, the heirloom tomatoes. I think next year I’ll half the amount of plants in that patch just so we can handle the volume 🙂

What helped this year with the produce is that we regularly gave a large part of it away to friends and family. On second thoughts, I think I’ll double the plants so we can share more!


The lawn is on the mend

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The lawn is on the mend

The lawn is on the mend, originally uploaded by malyousif.

If you’ve been following my gardening blog at you already know my trials and tribulations with our lawn. From a lush, thick, carpet-like heaven, to a mud field just a few weeks ago.

I took matters into my own hands and seeded the lawn with Ryegrass. Now, three weeks later and after cutting it for the second time yesterday, fertilising it with NPK and Urea, rolling over the freshly cut and fertilized lawn to firm the ground up, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it at least appears to be recovering.

It’s a pleasure now to sit in the garden, have a Turkish coffee and just while away the time, without having to scrape your shoes afterwards from the mud that would have caked them.


Cherry Tomatoes

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Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes, originally uploaded by malyousif.

Last year my wife produced many kilos of cherry tomatoes in her rooftop garden. This year I thought I would plant them in the vegetable garden and try my luck. It looks like a successful experiment as all of the plants are growing nicely with healthy fruit.

Looking forward to eating a few soon.