Dubai: If gardening is your passion, but you do not know where to begin, there is now help at hand. A book, launched in Dubai on October 16, promises to be the perfect guide for all your gardening needs.
‘My Arabian Almanakh’, a gardening journal, has been put together by four Dubai residents.
Laura Allais Mare was the one who came up with the idea of the book.
She said: “It has been over 18 years that I have been involved in this field. When I came to Dubai, to join my husband who got a job here, he said to me, ‘I don’t know what you can do here, because it is so hot and it doesn’t rain much’. I said to him, I will start with my balcony.”
After managing to grow plants in her balcony, she first started a social group. After seeing its success, she decided it was time to write a book.
She said: “Four years ago, I thought I am going to have to do a book.”
With the help of three of her friends, who were equally passionate about gardening, she started her work on this project.
Prachiti Talathi Gandhi, one of the co-authors, hopes that people will get back into gardening after reading their book.
She said: “Those who come here and say that they miss Nature, they should read this. I come from India and if you throw anything in the soil there, it will grow. But, here you need to make an effort.”
She advises readers that “everything has a purpose”. So, when they go out to choose the plants, soil and fertiliser, they need to be well informed.
Leilani Coughlan supported the project by doing the illustrations and page layout. As someone who loved gardening in the UK, she wanted to do the same here.
She said: “I wanted to get back into it and learn more about the region, because it is so different.”
When it comes to growing plants, she believes that the most important aspect is the soil mix.
She said: “Whether it is in your garden or pots in your balcony, if you create the right balance of soil, your plants will thrive.”
The book has a section dedicated to soil, which will work as a guide for readers.
Cherida Fernandez, the person behind the cover of the book, claims to always have been close to Nature.
She said: “Every fibre of my being has been close to it. I’ve always wanted to work with projects that were Nature-based.”
But, what tips does she have?
She said: “Don’t over water your plants! Most plants die from over watering. We think we need to feed them like children, but stop that. Put your finger in the soil to check it and if it is wet, you do not water it. Also, fill a bucket with water and let it lie still overnight. The next morning, use it to water your plants.”