I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed that some shoots were already starting in the nursery just two days after the seeds were sown! I was so happy about that progress. It’s now just five days since I started the nursery and now we’ve got quite a few trays exhibiting signs of life.
First to make an appearance were the Amaranthus seedlings, followed by the Holyhocks, Marigolds and even the Weeping Love ornamental grass and some calendulas too. This morning, I saw signs of a couple of Alyssum shoots, I’m particularly interested in these coming through as I’ve got three trays full of their seeds. The Alyssum – I hope – will be the main feature of every border as they will reside right at the front and provide the frame for that border. As you might have noticed from my inventory, I’ve got two kinds; the white Snow Cloth and the yellow Gold Dust.
Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment. I hope that your seeds are doing well too. Let us know how you’re getting along by entering a comment.
The gardening season is about to start in Bahrain and I can’t wait for the weather to change for the better. However, it pays to prepare; hence, I share with you how I built my seed nursery and some gotcha’s that will help you avoid some of my mistakes. (hint: don’t over complicate things!)
Alright guys. I went out this morning and got the material to build my nursery. I’ll put it together this afternoon and it will be the subject of a future episode.
I also took the opportunity to buy some plants: a fig tree, a cheeko tree, an adenium, an indoor fern and a few flowering shrubs. I’m not yet sure where I’ll plant some of those yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure that out by this afternoon.
My wife complains that our small garden is over-run with trees. I agree, but I can’t help myself. I particularly wanted a couple of fruit trees, so I when I saw the chikoo tree (or sapodilla as some call it) I thought I’d give it another go. I did have one before but that only produced a single fruit before I yanked it out. I thought this time I’d position it in the front garden where it’s a bit cooler and shadier and where I hope it’ll have a better time. This plant is grafted and the garden centre guy assures me that it will be easy to grow. Let’s hope so. I love chikoo fruit. I’ll keep you updated.
Another tree I bought is a fig. This time at the behest of my wife. She loves figs and as it’s her birthday tomorrow I can say no now can I? We had another fig and it did do well, except that the rose-ringed parakeets love it so much that they would not let even unripe fruit to stay on the tree. They kept eating whatever it produced. We didn’t complain. We like parakeets. Unfortunately, they all bug disappeared since 2011. No idea why. Maybe this will bring them back. I’ll keep you updated on this one as well.
Recently I removed a bunch of coffee plants I used for ground cover along the side of the garage. They were denied water because someone screwed around with the irrigation system and didn’t have the courage to fess up, noting that this was the doing of a so-called garden maintenance company is doubly worst. Anyway, their action left the garden dry for a few days, a fact that I noticed immediately on my return from a brief trip abroad. Needless to say, they got fired immediately. Today I bought a few shrubs to replace the coffee plants. I have no idea what they’re called. The garden centre guy – bless him – just jotted down a name which has no relation to reality. That gives me the chance to dig around the internet to try to identify the plant. I’ll post pictures of their leaves and flowers soon, maybe you can help?
My wife also notice a beautiful double adenium. Light pink. Really nice. We got that one too, but as it’s flowering at the moment I won’t bother repotting it. I’ll just put the plastic container in a nice pot as a temporary measure until it’s ready to be re-homed.
Since the weather turned to the better about a week ago, I’ve put more effort into two things:
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.
My friend Rami and I visited Anne Al-Jalahma’s "The Garden Nursery" this morning, despite the horrendous weather we are experiencing in Bahrain – thanks to the huge Iraqi sandstorm earlier in the week – the nursery itself was a sight for sore eyes and a replenishment for the soul.
It is the ONLY nursery in Bahrain that I felt is made and maintained by a gardener for gardeners. It really shows where the others are going wrong; for while the others are interested in "moving pots", ie, bulk sales with whatever the season throws at them, Anne’s garden is a well thought out collection of wonderful plants which she herself has propagated in Bahrain and have been tested in our own climate.
The gardeners working with her are also knowledgeable and give good advice as to where and how to place the plants once bought.
It is also one of two nurseries – the other being Jannusan Exotics – who actually bother to label every plant with common and scientific names. Anne’s; however, comes out on top once again as most of the plants not only have the clear labels, but pictures of the plants when mature and flowered. I am sure that if you take a picture of an obscure plant to her, she might even help you name it, as she did with a very tiny picture of a Clitoria I showed her on my mobile phone.
Overall, this is the best garden nursery in Bahrain, barring none, and should be the real refuge for all of us who are frustrated with the box movers.
I planted three kinds of poppies in seed trays on Sept 21st and none of them came up. Unfortunately I have had to give up on them; the ones I tried were:
I think the reason they failed is probably due to (1) over watering, and (2) overzealous with the plant food! Even others didn’t fair very well actually except for the Calendulas and Antirrhinums of the same batch linked above.