Tag Archives garden-design

Full timelapse video of the patio construction
Going potty

Going potty

This weekend’s project is to make use of some of the tens of pots we have lying around. My wife suggests we open a garden shop, or at least do a yard sale to get rid of some of them. No way, I say. Pots are meant to be mini-gardens, and that’s what I’m going to do this weekend. And to be fair, it was she who suggested that I use some of the pots, something that escaped my mind 😉

The cacti gathering

This is how one potted garden once looked by our pool. Most of those plants actually still survive but are spread around the garden and in my xeriscaped border to the side of our house. Let’s see if we can do something as nice this time.

But, you’ll have to wait for specifics as all will be revealed in the third episode of the Mahmood’s Garden Show scheduled for release this Saturday 16th August, 2014.

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Say hello to the Araucaria cookii

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Now that the sick palm is out, I decided not to replace it with another one. But I thought I would like to have a big tree there in any case, and as I’ve seen how beautiful the Araucaria looked in my neighbour’s garden, which is easily 15 meters tall, I’d go for that one too. Al-Bader on the Janabiya highway fortunately had a few in stock so I went there and got one. Here it is, happy in its new location so far.

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Mission Accomplished: The mound is complete

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It was a hectic day yesterday and only got back home at around 11PM. But immediately I parked the card and walked into the garden, I went to check the progress on “the mound”. Although it was dark (obviously) I was happy to witness its completion. Time is king now as only time will really improve it and get it to weave properly together and make it a complete whole.

I’m happy that the 60 trays of sod was enough to cover the full area. I saw this morning that a couple of slivers are left exposed and will buy just one more tray to cover those little areas. But overall, I’m quite happy with it.

Here are some pictures:

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The Mound

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The weather has finally turned in Bahrain. It’s no longer the stifling 50C, to a much more tolerable 35-40C. It was hovering between 30-35C over the weekend, which got me to finally get out and work in the garden. And that I did.

I missed doing “real” things in the garden. My garden is a little of 6 years old so it’s much more mature than it was when we started obviously. But that, I mean the trees have reached a respectable height now and are providing nice shade. The shrubs are all happy with their locations, and some are even fighting with each other. Almost all the plots are filled and there is hardly a place to position new plants unless I allow the lawn to be eaten into, which is something I have allowed to happen over the past few years.

With maturity, I guess it’s only natural to suffer from some hard to get rid of weeds. This is not a declaration of defeat, but just a fact of life and one that makes gardening somewhat interesting. A case in point is a nice mound in our front garden which for some reason got to be taken over by weed. I couldn’t bring myself to pour chemicals over it to get rid of the weeds, so I took this opportunity to take radical action!

I decided to remove all the grass and weed off the complete area and create approximately a five meter circle, get 10 tonnes of garden sand and create a new mound, a bit higher and hopefully much cleaner one. I tasked my trusty gardener Roy to start digging the area and get rid of all the grass and weed. He did that over a week or so (Roy only comes in twice a week for a couple of hours each time) and we left the patch as is to make sure that we didn’t miss anything. That done, Roy moved the sand into the garden and mixed in four 70 liter bags of compost into the sand, added some fertiliser and generally prepared the area to receive a carpet of Japanese grass next week!

Now to make it a bit more interesting, I decided to create a band of about 30 centimeters deep around the circle, inserted plastic divider both on the outside and inside of this band and decided to fill that band with river stones. I think the place will look quite dashing when it’s planted.

Here are a some pictures shot this afternoon for you to have a look at the progress so far.

That wasn’t the only thing we did this past weekend. My wife and I were out in the garden throughout Friday and most of Saturday as well. We purchase 660 kgs of river stones and I covered the area around the two Washingtonias by the pool (pictures to come soon), the first area was around nine square meters and the other was just over four square meters. We also purchased about twenty 70 liter bags of pine bark and spread those over a problematic flower bed on the North side of the garden. The design of the house and the garden there might as well be a Venturi tube! Wind comes in from the sea and almost gusts down that path. So it’s very difficult to get many things to grow there, and even the trees we planted there take a lot longer to establish. The rusty red colour of the bark contrasts very well with the green grass.

I also took the opportunity to cover a small bed by the front door and another under my study’s French windows. The place looks like it has received a nice fresh lick of paint now!

But it’s not over! I have an old small pond whose pump packed up. It was like this for several months I confess, I just didn’t get a chance (or the gumption) to do anything about it other than clean the pump and filter, get it to work for a few minutes – or hours if I’m lucky – and then just leave as is. Well no more! I got a good sized submersible pump and installed it there last evening. Now the water is circulating quote well and at last we hear the nice sounds of a water fall to add to the nice atmosphere of the garden.

It was a pleasant and very satisfying weekend. Needless to say both Frances and I slept like logs those nights to wake up to some welcome muscle pain the next day.

They’re delivering 60 trays of Japanese grass tomorrow so Roy should be able to lay the carpet over the mound. Can’t wait for that operation to complete…

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The Buddha patch

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The Buddha patch

The Buddha patch, originally uploaded by malyousif.

I can’t remember when it was that I showed you the Buddha patch last, so here it is as of a couple of hours ago. You can see how scorched some of the plants look. It’s summer. The death season for everything green!

Nevertheless, have a wonderful weekend my friends and happy gardening.

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Beautiful front garden

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Beautiful front garden

Beautiful front garden, originally uploaded by malyousif.

This is a house located at the middle of the Saar avenue and a lot of people pass it every day. I personally get to pass it once in a while and every time I do, as I am sure the many hundreds or thousands of others that do, it fills me with admiration and a sense of happiness at the beauty of the arrangement that this house always sports, seasonally.

There are a few other houses like this in Bahrain, I hope that if you come across one, or know of one, please let me know. I’d like to go and have a look myself.

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My Garden

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My Garden

My Garden, originally uploaded by malyousif.

A stitched vertical panorama of my garden. This is one of my favourite views of the garden, at the back "alley" looking into the front garden.

It’s Winter now, so there is barely any colour, but come Spring that story will change and I hope that I will post a comparative photograph then to see what I mean.

Have a wonderful day!

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Reclaiming the pool deck

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Reclaiming the pool deck

Reclaiming the pool deck, originally uploaded by malyousif.

The far side of the pool deck, by the changing and pump rooms, was neglected since we moved in really. I used that area exclusively to BBQs but when we’re not firing that thing up, the area remained rather dull and uninviting. I look at it every single meal time (you can’t miss it! it’s just opposite the kitchen and breakfast nook) I promise myself that I’ve got to do something with it but never get around to do it.

This morning, finally, I decided to install the hanging baskets bracks, put up the baskets and also remove the pile of wood I’d saved from a fallen tree. Those branches were cut in lengths of 40, 45, 50 and 60cms and created a patch of them lying next to each other demarkating the areas between the dry river bed by the frangipani and the oriental patch (with Mr. Buddha) it looked rather nice. But when I was done I was surprised to note the amount of space those logs were taking!

Anyway, I got that area cleaned up and just moved back and had a look at the "new" wall. I wasn’t satisfied. I thought I still needed some stuff there to bring out the whole area. Looking around, I saw that I had quite a number of pots on Arif’s (my son) basketball court which I had commandeered to be my nursery, so I started just moving pots and trying out different arrangements until I arrived at what you see in this picture. I think the balance now is really quite nice and am rather pleased with my efforts!

Have a wonderful Friday my friends.

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