The Growing Season

During the long, hot summer months our once beautiful garden dwindled and disappeared, except for a tenacious origanum, basil, mint and jasmine. We had to concede that the desert won, but we bided our time, and two weeks ago, we made good use of the retreating heat. Almost overnight a new garden was born.

Michael built three boxes for raised beds, and rolls of instant lawn transformed the sandy patch into a lush green space. A variety of seed packets found their way into my hands: broccoli, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, rocket, lettuce, coriander, rosemary, sweet basil, and lavender. I also planted some mystery black seeds kept from last winter, which most probably are miniature sunflowers. The Moringa tree seeds I brought with from Lamu Island last year, also got planted, and already two beautiful little trees are growing faster than I thought they would.

Our strawberries, last year, fared rather well, and I am quite anxious to get some planted, but I am a bit over-eager as the plant souk has not yet received their new stock. The great thing is that it is providing me with an excellent excuse to visit the souk regularly, browsing it for unexpected finds like lemon balm.

I feel a deep connection to the earth when I am in the garden, and growing something I can use in the kitchen brings boundless happiness. The amount of life that is attracted to our patch of green is quite extraordinary, and all sorts of bugs, welcome or not, crawl or fly around. The birds and ample gecko population works really hard to keep the pests under control, and I am often amused by their antics when in hot pursuit of a juicy morsel.

Our garden is a place of peace and quiet where we can linger at sunset when the day is slowing down, and the building activity next door is coming to a halt . . .