Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category


Garden Update : July 5th, 2006

July 5, 2006

Unfortunately, it’s bad news.

My tangerine tree died. The first signs of trouble was when I had it re-potted at a nursery. I didn’t stick around to supervise, a big mistake. When I saw it really struggling, I decided to transplant it to the yard. Another mistake. It’s all dried up now.

My “toot” tree is burned up, the fruit is gone. My Spanish Lavender is burned and dead. Same can be said for my black-eyed Susan and morning glories. Even the mint and rosemary are finding it difficult to live in the hot burning sun.

The only things that seem to be doing well in full sun are:

  • Bougainvillea, although the purple flower variety seems to be drying up so I moved it to a shadier spot.
  • “Kala Karpis”. I don’t think I’ll ever find out what this tree is really called.
  • Mashmoom, a local basil.

The following benefit from partly shaded areas:

  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Zaatar, a local oregano

I keep watering all the dead plants because when it looked like there was no hope for my toot tree, I just kept the faith and kept on watering and sure enough, it came back to life. It also worked for the bougainvillea that I nearly killed when transplanting it in the yard. The root ball is sensitive and so you have to be extra careful when handling it.

Maybe if we put a pergola or some other shade-providing structure, I might have some luck in the outdoor gardening area in the future. For now, God bless those “Kela Karpis”!


Garden Update: May 11, 2006

May 11, 2006

The mystery fruit tree is quite possibly a blackberry tree. I believe in Arabic it's referred to as toot. What I've learned so far is that it doesn't do well in a pot. It thrives in the ground and likes a good watering once a day during cooler temperatures and twice daily during the heat. I mist it every day, making sure I get the top leaves nice and wet. It's in full sun and I fear that it may be too much during the hottest days of summer. It's already 42°C, so I can't even imagine what it will be like next month. And the month after that. And so on. My tangering tree is sadly not doing well. My children went through a phase where they would do anything to get to the tangerines and squeeze them because, according to my son, when you squeeze them, they look like "monster faces". It also didn't do well during a transplant that I had done at a nursery a few months back. Also not doing well is my Spanish Lavender. It's kind of woody at the bottom and no matter what I do, I just can't get it to thrive. It did, however, have those typical purple flowers last month which have now all faded but when it was in full bloom, it was really beautiful. (At one point I thought it might be creeping rosemary but I was wrong. I just bought some creeping rosemary and am waiting to transplant them in the front yard.) Thriving herbs/plants include: Rosemary Mint Basil (Mashmoom) Cuban Oregano Iboza or "Swedish Ivy" (Plants from the genus plectranthus seem to do really well in Kuwait.) Bougainvillea (Maynoona) I wish I knew the real name of "kela karpis", as my husband calls it. It grows fast and is great for new gardeners like yours truly. The only thing I noticed is that it doesn't handle transplantation well. It's great for shade, as two neighborhood stray cats found out recently. I bought some teeny-tiny "kela karpis" last year when we moved into our house and planted them in our front yard. Nearly a year later, they look like trees.


Garden Update : October 27, 2005

October 27, 2005

First off, let me reiterate that I'm brand new to gardening. My parents always grew great things in our yards but I always thought of gardening as something old women did. Well, now that I'm and old woman, I see the beauty in gardening. It's relaxing and therapeutic. If I come off as sounding like a ninny when it comes to all things gardening – it's because I am. I'm an amateur and would like some input from readers, especially when it comes to gardening in a desert climate. These are the herbs I've been growing for a few months now:

  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Zaatar – a variation of thyme?
  • Rehan – a variation of basil?
  • Mashmoom – another variation of basil?

Recently bought:

  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Grape vine
  • Lemon tree
  • Jasmine
  • Bougainvillea

So far, so good. Everything is potted because I don't have a yard yet. Basil is the only herb that I keep in the kitchen because it doesn't do well outside and because I use it so much in my cooking. Here are some questions I have:

  • Any suggestions on how to maintain a grape vine in a desert climate? I live close to the water, so I have a bit of humidity on my side.
  • Any tips on keeping a potted lemon tree?
  • I plan on making a pergola for shaded parking – which climbing plant would you suggest using as natural shade?