Creating a garden in the summer months

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Any landscape design is made up of hardscape and softscape. Hardscape refers to the structural elements such as paved walkways, swimming pools, decks, water features, pedestals, planters and outdoor kitchens, among others. Softscape covers irrigation, soil preparation, grass, trees and plants. Ideal gardens are made up of 70 percent hardscape and 30 percent softscape.

It may be useful to know that creating a garden takes anywhere between 30 and 130 days depending on the plot size, design and features. Although one can create a garden any season provided it is well irrigated, in the UAE, it is advisable to build in the summer and plant towards September or October so that it will be ready for homeowners to enjoy in the cooler months. Plants, trees, vegetables and herbs that grow well in the UAE include the following:

• Flowering plants – Bougainvillea, Wrightia, Taebernaemontana, Tecoma stans, oleander, Thevetia, Jatropha, jasmine, Ixora, Canna indica, Barleria and Leucophyllum grow throughout the year. Seasonal flowers, although they need to be replaced every three months, are loved for their visual impact on any landscape. These are petunia, aster, chrysanthemum, zinnia, Catharanthus roseus, begonia, celosia and Tagetes erecta.

• Bushes – The perennial green ones are Acalypha, Eranthemum, Cyperus grass, Pennisetum rubrum (fountain grass), Pandanus veitchii and Duranta.

• Trees – Perennial trees that thrive well in the UAE climate include all palms, plumeria, bottlebrush, Bauhinia, Spathodea, Cassia fistula, Cassia javanica, Cordia, Tabebuia, Portulaca, ficus, Delonix Regia (flame or fire tree) and many more. Fruit trees, which are ideal for backyard gardens, are date palms, papayas, pomegranates, guavas, mangoes, lemons, oranges, chikoos and figs.

• Vegetables and herbs – Planting vegetables and herbs is much enjoyed by many who grow chillies, aubergines, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, coriander, mint, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, basil and chives.

Whether you want to concentrate on vegetables or opt for flowering plants, there are garden centres all over the UAE that will help you pick the best option.


Handy Hints

• Flowering plants that grow well in UAE are bougainvillea, jasmine and oleander

• One can grow fruit trees like papaya, pomegranate, date, orange and mango

• Popular herbs grown by many are rosemary, basil, coriander, thyme and mint



Source: Sejal Nagjee, Special to Properties

The writer is CEO & Creative Director, Milestone Landscaping


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