Saturday, November 12, 2011

Before & After: the garden

When we moved in to our house, our backyard was a pile of sand and our front garden was...well, also a pile of sand. Fortunately, Jeremy has developed quite the green thumb over the past 14 months, and he's put it to good use transforming our outdoor spaces.

Here's what our backyard used to look like:

Here is what it looks like now, 14 months later:
 From one end of the porch...

...and then from the other end.

I can't name all the plants back there (Jeremy can), but we've got a few plumeria trees and a citrus tree and some jasmine and a grape vine and an aloe vera plant. The trellises are all hand-built by Jeremy. Most of the plants are from the Sharjah plant souq, but a few are from the Sharjah nursery.

We also have this happy little row of greenery along our back sliding doors (we only use one of the doors, so these plants don't get in our way).
The plants here include another tree that Jeremy is nursing back to health, a basil plant, some mint, and a sicus/ficus/I can't remember what it's called. The smallest pots are tomato and lemon seedlings that Jeremy started. He has a secret lab (as the girls and I call it) upstairs in his office with all kinds of little plant experiments, to see what will grow.

How about the front? Here is 14 months ago:

And here is today:
I love love love our front garden. I can see it from our kitchen window and it brings me great joy just to look at it. Again, I can't name everything here. I know there is bougainvillea and portulaca (I love that stuff) and another plumeria. Jeremy will have to name the rest. Not pictured is our beautiful morning glory plant that runs up one of the carport pillars. Miriam likes to count how many flowers are blooming each morning as she waits for the bus.

Jeremy already has so many skills that I wouldn't dare to expect excellence in gardening, but it turns out he has a way with greenery. One of our neighbors calls him "the tree whisperer," and it is a fact that one of the official Sharjah city gardeners once asked him for some cuttings. Thanks for the beautiful gardens, Jeremy!


Glenda The Good said...

Oh it is a beautiful! A total little oasis in the desert...but the question is, what do the girls think of losing their sand box? Are they happy with the grass or do they miss the dirt :)

Jeremy Palmer said...

The little palm-like plant is actually called a cycas. They grow slowly and they have been on earth forever. We call it the dinosaur plant. In the front we have a few different flower bushes. The vine on the trellis in the background is called Blue Butterfly Pea. The flowers don't show in the picture well. There are also about 8 agave plants growing slowly (2 of them are big but the rest will grow in kind of a curvy design). There are also two 'desert rose' plants (adenium) at the front. Somehow a palm seed made its way into the front garden and is slowly growing. I think I'll move that later. I don't know what the tree is called. That is the only one we didn't plant. There is another plumeria in a pot in the front (visible in the picture). There is also a euphorbia milii plant in a pot (also visible). I guess some call it a crown of thorns. I just trimmed the portulaca so there are not as many bloomers. In a few weeks everything should be in bloom from abou 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. I think I got into gardening as a zen-like release from daily stress. It's great. I now correspond with several middle-aged women about gardening. Nerd alert.

Liz Johnson said...

Jeremy, your comment just made my year.

Bridget Palmer said...

Liz, mine too.

Glenda/Crys, yeah, the kids miss the huge sandbox. I don't miss it at all (especially not the little "treasures" of random construction material scraps they would find in it).

Katie said...

Your gardens are beautiful! I am sincerely impressed.


You're more than welcome to come visit us in Ohio and make over our back patio and front garden area anytime.

Kathy Haynie said...

Wow. That's quite a transformation.

Now about that secret lab...


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