Wake up Wednesday link party

Hello friends !!

If you were born in the 70s, then you probably knew what pen pals were ! (heard of them ?)  The world was too large for our small minds those days  (Without satellite TV, Internet etc ). Books were our only way to learn about the hidden treasures of the world.  A beautiful and perhaps the closest we could get to knowing a totally different culture and world, sitting right at home, was thru pen pals.  It was a lengthy process though, where you’d have to wait for nearly 10-15 days before your pal received your mail in a far away country and then it would take another 10-15 days before which you would receive your reply letter. Parents generally encouraged it too. Not only did it expose kids to various countries and cultures but it also enhanced their letter writing skills and vocabulary ! And to think, where those letter writing skills help us today !! I don’t EVER remember, the last time any one of my boys wrote a letter !!

There’s something very unique about writing or communicating on an informal platform with people you have never met. Your not worried about being judged or being discriminated. You can SHARE how much you decide, when you decide and why you decide, without being judged and criticized (for your flaws or inadequecies).

That is one of the most special aspects I like about the blog world today.  Making friends, (who know you from your profile) and accept you without being judgmental. I live in Dubai and I have made dear friends from the farthest corners of the world ~ They may seem like virtual but to me, they are real.  I read on a popular home and décor blog today, about how the author had undergone a lot of hardships in life while growing up being homeless and how having a “home” with her family, meant the whole world to her. These are intimate details about ones life that we share without inhibitions. Never the less, It takes a lot of courage to share our lessons in life to an unknown world.  It made me feel sad for her but also blessed for having a roof to call my own. Infact, I took a moment to revaluate some of my own priorities later.

Those are some of the friends we make along the way, in our journey, penning about our crafts or sharing our arts with eachother. I feel very fortunate having made friends like Angel thru this lovely link party called Wake up Wednesday.

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               Welcome to the 12th week of 

 

 Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 

 

27 Blogs  -  1 Party

 Giveaway

 

 

We are so excited to have you all party with us.

Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.

Last week we had  308 awesome linkups!   

 

 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 

We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!

 

 The hop is hosted and posted on 27 different blogs

 

Your link will appear on the blogs of

 

 

 Fiber Artsy  

 Facebook     Pinterest      Twitter

Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?

Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?

This weeks 

Featured Bloggers

(click to see All Featured Bloggers)

Featured Bloggers pinned each week. 

 

 

 

Easter Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Yoghurt | www.pinkrecipebox.com

 

 

 

Usually I’m not a fan of meringue (the base of the pavlova, in case you’re unfamiliar with this dessert) but meringue is the perfect thing to make a nest-shaped Easter dessert.

 

 

 

If you whip the egg whites up into the right consistency, you can pipe the meringue into a curly-swirly nest shape like I did. If you’re out of piping bags, you can always dollop the mixture onto the tray and then use a spoon to create the delicate swirls and nest shape.

 

 

 

 

Sally Hansen Limited Edition Palm Beach Jellies from “In the Makeup Aisle”

This collection consists of 6 sheer jelly polishes that really reminded of the OPI Sheer Tints. I swear every time OPI releases a different type of polish all the brands release there version of it. I don’t think this is the last sheer jelly collection we will see this season.

DIY Easter Egg Garland | The Jenny Evolution

Don’t you just adore Easter and all of the sunny decorations that come with it? This DIY Easter Egg Garland is the perfect chance to introduce bright, cheerful colors back into your homes even while the weather outside is rainy and dreary. (Well, at least it is in Chicagoland!)

 

I have a craving for doughnuts that just won’t go away.  And since I am truly incompetent at making fried doughnuts, the three or so

times I have made doughnuts have been in the oven. Although, I confess, I have

never actually ATTEMPTED to make fried doughnuts, I doubt that me and a pot of

hot oil are a good combination under any circumstance.

Optimize Your Blog Post for Pinterest in Eight Simple Steps!

 

 

 

Optimizing your blog for Pinterest has become almost a necessity for anybody that’s serious about blogging.  I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that have really helped me get the best results from Pinterest.  I hope these help y’all too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a fun vignette to create, using the pink gingerbread travel trailer and  spring flowers I purchased to use in the gardens. Since it is much to wet to work in the flower beds, I arranged the flowers around the little trailer and snapped away. A fun way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

Google-Plus-SEO 

I love Google+! I like it sooo much better than Facebook, mostly because it doesn’t have all the drama and personal issues that are posted all over FB, at least I haven’t seen it on G+. I also find it easier to use and more visually appealing than FB with more features, no games or requests for help building or upgrading their Post Office.

 

Anise Hyssop (an herb) is an excellent addition to your garden both for the herbal benefits and for attracting butterflies.  Pollinator such as the butterfly are very important for your garden and for balancing a sometimes delicate eco-system.

Transform a Dollar Store glass plate and candlestick into a beautiful gold glitter cake stand!

 

 

Now, let me tell you something about my house. If you read this blog regularly, you know I have 3 boys. Which means I don’t get to bust out my girly side all that often. My life is way more sports and dirt than princesses and glitter.

But today, my friends, I’m embracing the glitter. And gold. And all things sparkly.

How to Make Vanilla Extract from “LittleOwlCrunchyMomma”

Vanilla extract is one of those things that you should always have on hand in your kitchen. It just adds that little bit of flavor to so many homemade goods that just make them shine. I first learned how to make my own vanilla extract from Marillyn over at just-making-noise. I pinned her recipe a long time ago, and finally got around to trying it months later.

Small Armoire Makeover from “The Interior Frugalista”

Small Armoire Makeover from bedroom to dining room

My most recent project is a Small Armoire Makeover that I’ve had since the late 70′s.  When we completed the Master Bedroom Closet Expansion we no longer needed it so I decided to give it a makeover. Now that it’s finished, I think it’s Too Pretty For A Bedroom Armoire!

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  • Remember to Follow Your hostesses- the first 27 links and your Guest Hosts.  
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Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.


Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

  • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.
  • Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional
  • Please No adult content blogs
  • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)
  • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  

Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

Angel

 

The Final Garden Makeover !

And finally, I am absolutely delighted to share with all my blog friends my lovely garden!  From a dry barren sandlot, its taken a lot of sweat, love and perseverance to bring this change into lush green :)

And I love it !!!

To see the actual transformation and tutorial of the “growing grass process” perhaps, you’d like to visit Here

A lot of garden accessories were also transformed while we waited for the grass to spread. View them Here

PicMonkey garden 1Collage PicMonkey garden final 2Collage PicMonkey garden3 Collage

This is the house plan ~ so its easy to understand where the gardens are.

PicMonkey Collagehouse final

The first thing I do in the morning is peep out of my bedroom window and this is the view that welcomes my morning. (We had a rain shower this morning)

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The above tree trunks have been with us for nearly 8 years now !! Someone had dumped them on the highway and ofcourse, they needed a home ! :)

In the picture below, these solar powered lamps are available at ACE hardware.  We’ve had ours for nearly 4 years and you just need to change the battery and clean the small solar panel on the head of the lamp and your ready to go !!

Inorder to keep the grass away from the Petunia, We have placed a large plastic/rubber tube ~ this goes into the ground nearly 1 foot. But it is an expensive buy.

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These bougainvillea have also seen many years with us and although they have thrown this beautiful pink pops all over the garden, for some reason they have not given a lot of leaves this year ! hmm ~ I wonder why ??

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That’s the wheel cart, that Daddy repaired below. The whole idea was to place the smaller round pots into the open space of the cart. But I rejected that decision and let it just add an ethnic look, instead.

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Remember the concrete Mushrooms ? To view the tutorial of how I made them, please visit  here.

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Little sofu, basking in the sun :)

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All these pots mainly carry seasonal flowers except some of them are beds for Zenia and Desert Rose.

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Here are some of the seasonal plants that we planted in the pots this December.  We bought scores and scores of these bright and happy seasonal flowers from Al Warsan. Most of them cost dhs 15 – 12 per dozen. Some however are more expensive.

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Most of the seasonals can be planted by late November and will bloom till around late April/Early May.

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That’s my precious xiora.

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White bougunvilae  always look so pretty, Isnt it ?

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This purple shrubby plant is mainly leaves but they do give out lavender colored flowers between January to Feb.

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One of the best quality of the bouganvilea is that you can actually mold it into your desired shape ~ like a topiary. Doesn’t this yellow one look like a bouquet ?

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And that’s all ! Rains in Dubai are an absolute blessing so I wanted to end this post with a picture of what the front yard looks like after a lovely shower :)

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I hope you are inspired to try out alittle gardening this year. If you find so many flowers and plants overwhelming, just try out with 3 or 4 planters and some shrubs, Aloe vera or Desert rose and see how that grows ~ shrubs are resiliant and can adapt with very little water so you really cant go very wrong with them.

As for me, the real test begins now !! Now that we are looking at four awfully hot months :(   But lets not go there, just yet :(

When I was growing up, both my mom and my grandma had green thumbs so as much as I didn’t really bother about gardening or looking after plants, I guess, it came naturally once I got married :)  I am not a professional at gardening by any means, I used to read a lot of books when I had started balcony gardening, initially around 10 years back ~ kept learning by trial and error and I am thankful for all those mistakes coz it made me a wiser gardening person, today.

I am sharing this post with my dear friends at the following parties here .

Thank you for visiting me today and if you liked what you saw, please subscribe to my blog posts by any of the following media.








I hope you have a beautiful and safe week ahead of you :)
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Wake Up Wednesday Link Party

               Welcome to the 11th week of 

 

 Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 

 

25 Blogs  -  1 Party

 Giveaway

 

We are so excited to have you all party with us.

Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.

Last week we had  317 awesome linkups!   

 

 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 

We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!

 

 The hop is hosted and posted on 25 different blogs

 

Your link will appear on the blogs of

 

 

 Fiber Artsy  

Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?

Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?

This weeks 

Featured Bloggers

(click to see All Featured Bloggers)

Featured Bloggers pinned each week. 

I have made cornbread and cornbread muffins in the oven before, but hadn’t yet tried a yeasted one in the breadmaker.  I tweaked the recipe and came up with a delicious version.

Cacao vs. Cocoa: What's The Difference?, cacao Pods, cacao beans, theobroma, superfood,

How delicious is chocolate? Ummmmm it’s so delicious, but there’s also a lot of confusion about chocolate—what type to eat, how much, and what types to avoid.

So I decided it was time to get educated about all the new research on chocolate.

 

Hey there!!  Have you noticed

signs of Spring?  I sure

have!  It seems that one

day it is frozen winter and the next Spring is just bursting around us.

Saturday evening I attended a really fun baby shower for a friend and fellow navy wife. Our husbands are on the same sub and work in the same division, and she’s one of the few wives from the sub that I’ve actually gotten to know. Anyhoo, she is due to have her baby on March 18th, and she’s having a girl. During our conversations I asked and listened for information about things she liked for the baby.  She mentioned ladybugs, chevrons, pink, gray, and she told me she wanted me to make a blanket. So I acted like I didn’t feel up to making a blanket, but I really was making one, of course. Originally, I wanted to make a pink, gay, black, and white chevron blanket, but I didn’t like the pattern I was using, so I went back to what I know, granny square.  So I made a 30 x 30 gray, pink, and white granny square blanket with a crochet ladybug applique.

Topped with a rich cream cheese frosting, this lovely cake will make you think of Spring. Beautifully simple with no extra add-ins: just carrots and nuts and a hint of cinnamon throughout moist, tender cake. Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a classic for any time of year, but is especially good for a special Easter dessert.

 

 

 

 

But this year we decided just to make our toffee because we wanted to enjoy our 2 toddler princesses running around in kitchen. Toffee is not too messy and it makes up fairly quickly into an amazing treat and we only had one pot going at once so we could switch off duties.  We even finished before my husband came home to take us out to dinner (the traditional ending of our day).  It was great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The one thing homesteaders have in common, no matter how much land you live on, is that we are all trying to do more for ourselves. Our family for instance gardens, taps maple trees, cures meat, bakes and so on. But, because of where we live we can’t raise large livestock. And for now, that’s okay because we know people who can. We don’t have an orchard in our yard, but we know where to go to get apples. You see, we have gotten to know farmers, lots of them! What we can’t do here, we can partner with others to get done. If you have never been to a “FARM” you really should look for one, or two, or three to go visit. Visits to farms can be entertaining, educational, and think of the things you can eat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Spring, everyone!

Sharing these cookies I made to celebrate spring though she never shows up here on our side of the pond. It was still summer the last time I checked!

5 Days of Organization for Bloggers - checklists and ideas to keep every blogger organized

Are blogging tasks keeping you from getting things done?

With a few simple rules and checklists (and a timer!) you can finish more tasks in less time.

 

Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric #1 

Translucent Strawberry from Beyond Blush

I’ve been trying out a lot of different cream blushes over the last month or so, and my latest obsession has been Giorgio Armani’s Blushing Fabric in the shade #1 Translucent Strawberry* ($39/20 ml). This was my first time trying anything out from the brand, and I was really excited to do so! Read on to hear my full thoughts on this unique blush…

 

From I Wish to I Will from Cayla & Ashley

Here’s a reminder: you have the ability to do amazing things with your life. Dream it, believe it, do it. Focus on what matters, and don’t forget– always wear your invisible crown. 

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You can enter our Rafflecopter  

Win Paypal Cash

 

 

 

  • Remember to Follow Your hostesses- the first 25 links and your Guest Hosts.  
  • 25 times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others too.



Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.


Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

  • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.
  • Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional
  • Please No adult content blogs
  • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)
  • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  

Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

Angel

 

 

Middle East Film and Comic convention 2014.

Finally, after a two week spell of being under the weather ~ I was really looking forward to spending some “quality” time with the family ! Whatever THAT may mean what With 3 young boys between the age of 12-15 ~ It is rather difficult to cater to the “needs” of this particular generation.  1: they never want to leave the house. 2: Why should they, when they live in the fantasy world within the 3 screens at home. Incase your wondering ~ I mean the video games, the internet and the tv !!

And then again,  you wonder what else can be attempted to entertain this age group of boys ????  Easy answer  ~ Movies !!  Nah, They just watched The Divergent on a recent play date so that was out. The weather was being so unpredictable so we opted out from the beach plan. That left us with one of the events running in Dubai.

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MEFCC ~ short for Middle East Film and Comic convention at the World trade center. For film buffs, comic book lovers and visual arts connoisseurs ~ this was the place to be !  This was the third year of the three-day convention and strangely enough, we never knew, it existed, until just a week before.

For someone who was bought up on fairy tales and happy endings ~ It almost felt like we entered a fantasy land with creative stickers, badges, key chains being made one minute to a host of spray painting on shirts being carried out on the next ! And along the way, being greeted by a host of “Halloween-like” characters. It felt like an extraordinary and  unique experience.  From the gaming arena, the celebrity lineup for Comic Con, the Marvel Stand, the new venue, and the Geek Out Zone, everything about the convention was awesome !

Stalls displayed valuable merchandise of the superhero’s, comic books, science fiction and other fantasy genre ~ there was something for everyone from age 3 – 43.

The Dubai Culture Arts Alley was where we came across a rows and rows of stalls with scores of creators, enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs on display, giving fans the opportunity to meet or purchase some unique pop culture art. It also made me realize just how much the youngsters in Dubai dig pop art. Not only the men but even the local women were participating and displaying their talents in pop art.

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Here are a few glimpses of the lovely time had at the Comic con.

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If you were wondering what all the fuss was about ~ well, now you know !! And If you missed it this year, I hope you can attend the next one in 2015.

Have a beautiful week and stay safe.

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Wake Up Wednesday Link Party

Hello friends !

I’m very excited to cohost the Wake Up Wednesday Link Party ! This is the first time I am being a part of hosting a link party and I hope to have aloooot of fun :)

 

               Welcome to the 10th week of 

 

 Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 

 

21 Blogs  -  1 Party

 Giveaway

 

We are so excited to have you all party with us.

Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.

Last week we had  282 awesome linkups!   

 

 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 

We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!

 

 The hop is hosted and posted on 21 different blogs

 

Your link will appear on the blogs of

 

 

 Fiber Artsy  

Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?

Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?

This weeks 

Featured Bloggers

(click to see All Featured Bloggers)

All Featured Bloggers will be pinned each week. 

Social Media platforms are far and wide & as soon as I master one here comes another.  Gurvy Green has made a debut on Google+, yet still in the early phase of making connections.  I’ve added other bloggers to my circles and recently solved the daunting skill of “private messaging” someone.

from Jenn’s Random Scraps

Earlier this week we celebrated a birthday, shamrock style.  We wrapped it all up with this wonderful coconut banana chocolate chip snack cake, as requested by the birthday girl.  It’s an easy, no fuss snack cake, packed with flavour,

 

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Hello everyone! Today I’ve posted Part 1 of my new short story series called A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance. I hope you enjoy it. Please remember to leave me some feedback in the comments. I enjoy reading your opinions and ideas.

 

Wood Photo Backdrops from The Pin Junkie

When I attended the Six Sisters Build Your Blog Conference, they gave away lots of prizes.  One of them was a wood photo backdrop.  I didn’t get a good look at it, but from what I could see, I thought it looked simple enough to make my own.  In fact, I was able to make three wood backdrops and I made them for FREE!  It helps when you can get the wood for free.

 

6 Effortless Ways To Cope With Stress That You Can Do Now

from The Chill Mom

Last week’s visit from my sister and her two kids has turned me ‘un-chilled’. In fact I was stressed out. My family and friends have always seen me as a chill and calm person; my sister was surprised to see this other side of me. I was feeling tense and easily irritable.

Grow Your Own Food – Container Gardening in Small Spaces

from Driftwood Gardens

I have written a few posts about gardening recently and I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers who are short on space or just aren’t ready to commit to a full vegetable garden and want to  learn more about container gardening.  I love gardening in containers.  Even though I have a full raised bed vegetable garden, I still grow all my herbs in containers.

 

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You can enter our Rafflecopter  

Win Paypal Cash

Rafflecopter Here

 

  • Remember to Follow Your hostesses- the first 21 links and your Guest Hosts.  
  • 21 times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others too.



Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.


Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

  • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.
  • Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional
  • Please No adult content blogs
  • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)
  • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  

Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

Angel

 

get the InLinkz code

Gardening in Dubai ~ Growing grass in the desert !!

This is the third post on our Garden Makeover.

In Dubai (and for that matter, most of the Arabian peninsula), grass is a luxury. Infact, growing plants is not as easy as in some other parts of the world.  The weather is harsh for a good 6-7 months ~ The area is covered with predominantly with shifting sands. Hence the soil is not really suitable for grass and a lot of effort has to be made to make it possible for the grass to find nutrition from the soil, strength, support and some shelter from the summer heat.

Having  a balcony garden comes with its own advantages.  A large variety of plants manage to grow in shelter. Money-plants creeping on a trellis, potted plants which can be protected from the scorching sun ~ and a single corner or edge to water, makes balcony gardens ideal.

If your a newbie trying to activate your green thumb, I suggest a quick visit to Dubai Garden Center would be a good idea, for some sound advice and a large variety of plant collection ~ however you could also visit Al Warsaan Nurseries area ( located on the Dubai-Hatta road ) for more competitive rates.

There are two types of grasses “planted” in Dubai :-

1) The carpet system. Where rolls and rolls of grass are got and planted on a mixture of compost and soil. It is rather expensive but the results are more quick and it sustains well.

2) Plug in : The second way is where, small patches of grass are plugged into a large and thick layer of compost.  Over a period of 50 – 60 days the small patches of grass spread across and fill the area like a carpet.

There are various types/qualities of grasses too like the American and sharji grass ~ but don’t get too overwhelmed by these names, sharji grass is equally good ~ it all boils down to how well you look after the grass.

The upkeep of grass is rather expensive and high maintenance. Apart from the regular mowing and weed collection ~ in Dubai, we have to water the grass twice a day in the summers !!  Like I said ~ it is high maintenance.

The Electric & Water rates in Dubai are monstrously high so we decided to have a tube well dug. Sadly, even at 45 feet below ~ we could not find any sweet water but salty water was in abundance. That was literally  money-gone-down-the-well !!

For as long as I can remember, We’ve loved having a lawn in our home but since we stayed right infront of the community garden at the Ranches, we opted for paving our backyard so that the boys could be “boys” and have fun cycling etc in the courtyard.

Fortunately Al Warqa house has presented us with the added advantage of not one but four large yard spaces. Sam and I were both keen on having the grass laid right away but we managed to wait till October

If your garden space is small, you might want to consider looking after it yourself, however, if your garden is very large, hiring a gardener may be a good idea.

A few key pointers about gardeners in Dubai in general :-

  • Having gardeners to tend to your garden is really great but don’t “assume” and here is why :-
  • “Labor” rates in Dubai are relatively low in comparison to some of the other western countries.
  • But you rarely get skilled and knowledgeable gardeners here.
  • Most gardeners belong to small scale gardening firms who source  “common labor” from Asia ~ with barely ANY knowledge in gardening.
  • Assuming that they will be able to tend to all your precious greens could cost you dearly so be involved( not interfering though)
  • Most of them are taught to water and that’s that !!
  • The wiser ones learn by trial and error ( unfortunately its comes at the price of  having damaged scores of plants )
  • While you notice the first signs of a plant withering ~ ask your gardener to keep a careful eye on it ( keep it in the intensive care area )~ Different plants have different reasons for withering, excess of water, potassium level in the soil, need for fertilizer, direct sunlight etc. are just some reasons.
  • If you don’t ask, you’ll never know ! So know when he is going to use MPK as well.
  • Have them clean fallen dead leaves. (Don’t take it for granted ~ They wont do it if you don’t ask them to )
  • Most gardeners are not aware of the difference between weed – grass – plants. Be patient and show them the difference.
  • Most gardeners are not aware of the different bugs that effect plants. eg mealy bugs or caterpillar and how to treat them.
  • Ask the supervisor to visit once a month ~ without fail !!
  • One of my early observations about gardeners was that, in most cases, they are not aware of which plants need partial sunlight and less amount of water !!  So if your going to bring new plants ~ its best to do some research on your own, rather than relying on the gardener.
  • It is human nature to always take the easy route ~ gardeners are no exception to the rule. Given the chance they will be happy to throw in some water in a jiffy and rush out of the villa.  So in short, as much as having a gardening help is a blessing in Dubai ~ you have to be active, keep an eye on your plants and regularly check their progress.

One of the benefits of having a lawn in your home is that it holds back the sand from entering the house. Since we had already made-up our minds on having the grass placed in two areas of the house (the picture will help you understand better ) ~ we opted for the second way of planting the grass ~ we negotiated a good deal with our gardener who then got a couple of fellows and had the job done. Naturally, we were going to have to feed the grass municipality water ($$$) and that really had me worried initially.

Al Warqa house is surrounded by a huge plot of sandy land and some pavement on all sides. We decided to lay out the grass on two of the largest “front” areas. There is one sand pit for the cats to enjoy, at the back of the house. Two large 6 ft x 6 ft sheds sit on the back side as well. These, we’ve carried from our previous home.

The backyard also houses my kitchen garden. ( about that in my next post)

This is what I had in mind when we started the garden project. And I’m happy to report that progress has been slow but fulfilling.

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  • Some trees that thrive really well in Dubai are  Palm trees, Damask trees, Neem trees, Frangi pani, and some other wild trees.
  • Some of the plants that survive the typical temperate climate are Bouganvillea, Desert rose, Zenia, zaater, lemon grass, fig, lemon, Aloe vera, cactus and a few more.
  • My kitchen garden hosted batches of green chillies, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, brinjal, strawberries, cabbage, curry leaves, tulsi, basel, coriander, fig, onion and lemon.
  • Between November to March, all seasonal flowers bring a spring-like feel to Dubai.

Oh Yes, What a strange joy to simply pop over into the kitchen garden and pull out a couple of tomatoes, green chillies, onions and fix a quick Spanish omelet  for the hubby :)

Emaar properties had issued a circular to the residents at Arabian Ranches, about the damage caused by Damask trees. They are a very resilient breed but their roots tend to spread across large areas of land underneath the property and weekens the foundation of the house as well as the fence. Hence we have kept ours in a large pot since many years. However, I decided to rehome some of my trees who had made their homes in large giant size pots, to the grass area.

This is Garden 2.

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This is garden 1

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You can see one of the shed popping out in back side.

All these potted plants below have been with me for the last 8 years at the Arabian Ranches.

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Phase 1 :- Bags of potting soil arrived.

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  • A very large part of the top soil/sand is removed/dumped and the patch is “prepared” for the compost.
  • For nearly a 4 – 7 days, a bed is prepared by watering the soil.
  • The compost is purely cow dung. Hence the stench is really unbearable for the first 2 days !!

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And then bits of grass is plugged into the soil/compost mix.

Potting soil is best used for plants in pots rather than the grass.

Finally, the ground starts showing some green !!

It will take nearly a month or so, before the grass roots begin to get a firm grip on the soil.

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Phase 2

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These trees are planted in the ground in garden 1

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The view from the other end of garden 1 looking towards the gate of the house.

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So that’s that ~~ And then we waited patiently for nearly 1 1/2 month for the grass to spread and grow ~ and it did.

Kindly subscribe to my blog to find out the outcome of all the efforts made to bring some grassy green into our courtyard.

I’m sharing the grass story with the following linking parties HERE

I hope this post benefits you in some way and perhaps, you might be inspired to kick start your own little garden. :)

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Have a beautiful week !

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Garden Makeover 2 ~ Transforming garden accessories

The first part of this make-over were my initial attempts at making the Concrete Mushrooms which made very attractive pieces scattered in the lawn.

Frankly, when I begin any art or craft or diy project, I don’t have a clear picture of what the outcome “look” would be, but when the finished “look” is close to good, taking all those pictures and making notes etc, of when it was being processed, becomes so worth the while.

I love making tutorials. Its my way of sharing some joy with my readers and it gives me a great sense of achievement when someone finds inspiration, by something, I shared.  So a BIG THANK YOU to all of you, my dear readers, who appreciated and encouraged me with your lovely comments for the CONCRETE MUSHROOMS !

Back to the Garden Makeover :- The other improvements included giving a facelift to some of the accessories that have been an integral part of the garden for several years.

In a country where most old items and furniture are chugged out easily ~ I don’t like the idea of dumping “things” if there is considerable “life” left in it. I prefer to give mine alittle TLC,  some shine and hopefully some better days ahead for them.

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Dubai receives some very harsh treatment from the Sun for a good 5-6 months. It can become incredibly unbearable for any idle object to sit in an outdoor area and soak up the direct sunlight with temperatures running anywhere between 45* – 49*Celcius for hours, endlessly.  Most of our garden chairs, glass tables, benches and accessories bear the brunt of the merciless Sun.

So this October, I armed myself with some sanding paper and a couple of cans of spray paint and “got my sons to do the needful” !!!!

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The bench was a real sore eye ! So my oldest got around to sanding it with the sanding machine. I cannot emphasis just how important sanding is for wood or anything rusted as well. It is time consuming but it almost renews life into these pieces, let alone the smoothness achieved.  Each one of the boys, took turns to paint a couple of coats of white paint on the bench.

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My Eldest, buddy working his charm on the bench :)

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Two days later ~ we had a beautiful white “shabby chic looking” bench !!

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These Ikea lanterns had gotten so rusty and ugly that it was incredibly difficult to sand the nooks and cranny of these lanterns. But I wasn’t ready to present them to the garbage bin :)  ~  I think, the boys did a good job considering its previous hideous state.

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Not bad ~ what say ?

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I have used this tray earlier to display some seashells ~ I have something else planned up for it this time round :)

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What a drastic change, isn’t it ?

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These lantern stands have been a part of my garden for quite a few years and had undergone transformations earlier too, but I think, I like this one much  better :-

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Needless to say, just how gross the stands look !! and how pretty the transformation turned out !

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Last but not the least, we bought these lovely pine cones from out trip to England last summer. I spray painted it with silver color (I know it looks like white but it is silver)

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So there you have it !! A little facelift can make a huge difference. I was trying to add up all the little transformations that I had made, to bring about a sense of aesthetics and charm in the garden and porch.

Please tell me which transformation is the best  ( in your opinion) :-

  1. the bench
  2. the lanterns
  3. the stand
  4. the pinecones

I  would like to share my makeovers with the following friends and their lovely blog parties :-

Thank you for visiting me today. Your comments add a lot of encouragement to my creative endeavors.

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