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First purchases!!!

55 comments


Hi to everyone from Nigeria!

It’s day four now and do I have any furniture yet…? The short answer is, NO!

But while we were out looking for furniture shops at the weekend, we just happened to find a little treasure trove by the side of the road, owned and run by a lovely man called Abdullah.

The treasure in question? Why plants of course!

The serious nature of my addiction meant that I had to reserve several plants and pots, which my driver, Peter, took me back to collect today…

This is a little diary entry of my day today…

First I caught sight of my first African spider…


Don’t worry…although he was very fast, he was also very tiny!

So, then, into the car…

And out, through ‘Checkpoint Charlie’

The main roads were even more busy than usual, so Peter decided that we’d go through ‘The Village’.

As you can see the rainy season has left quite a lot of standing water…

But the roads were quite quiet and passable…

Through the big market…

And on to the Express Way…

Okay, I took these ones on Sunday, but still part of the journey!

Now we’re in the posh part of town, Lekki, and here we are at our destination! Abdullah the Flower Man’s plot!

Not many flowers…mostly green…

…but Abdullah says he’ll try to get me other things!

So….what did I get, hmmm?

A nice green leaf…any ideas as to what it is?

A dracaena…

A lovely red and green foliage plant?

A couple of palms…?

And a bougainvillea!

So…what are they going in?
Beautiful, aren’t they?

And…where are they going?

African Adventure…I’m loving it!!!x

More blog posts by karenfranceafrica

Next post: Up the creek (without a paddle)!



Comments

 

Oh well done you karenfranceafrica! Plants are looking really good, can't wait to see them in place.

4 Oct, 2011

 

they look lovely plants and i love the tubs, looking forward to seeing them in place..what an adventure

4 Oct, 2011

 

Great adventure. Quite envious really.

4 Oct, 2011

 

Pleased your settling in, im sure you will soon have a little oasis! :o)))

4 Oct, 2011

 

Wow, thanks for that little trip. It will be nice to see your new "little oasis" (Pa) come to life.

4 Oct, 2011

 

Oh and I loooove your new pots.

4 Oct, 2011

 

Identification of your plant is violet stem Taro elephant ears. So your plants are going in an oil tub lol not sure if they will survive in oil haha, glad you arrived safely and hope your adventure is an experience you ll never forget. Travel broadens the mind.

4 Oct, 2011

 

Well you don`t need furniture as much as you need a few plants and gorgeous big pots to put them in. Lol.
Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of your adventures.....

4 Oct, 2011

 

You'll soon get that space filled Kfa. Just imagine if you were in china you'd now be KFC!! lol What a great opportunity, you are able to grow things we can only grow as houseplants. Abdullahs place was a great find. I think you have your priorities right - hope the furniture arrives soon.

4 Oct, 2011

 

Wow!! Very good start Karen but I now see what you mean about culture shock! Love the pots as well!
Wondering how prices compare to Europe?

4 Oct, 2011

 

Hello from Australia, Loved your photo's looks like quite an adventure.

5 Oct, 2011

 

Hello and welcome to GOY....Lol

Anyone can grow that stuff you are buying Karen, typical tourist. What you need is a challenge, build yourself a cool house and we will send over some exotic specimens....Senecio jacobaea and Epilobium alsinifolium from me, I am sure the other GOYers have things they could spare from their collections to get you started.

The pots are great!

5 Oct, 2011

 

Hi all! Thank you for your kind and funny comments :)))

I am having fun and the local people are very warm and welcoming...although they already think I'm a bit mad paying for plants at all...!

Just imagine what they'd think if I tried to create a little winter wonderland, Pimpernel!

Peter just shook his head and said I paid too much (around $300 for the whole lot) and in future he will negociate African prices for me!! And he says he can procure some very good soil...
Fair enough, since this is only the beginning!

Thanks for the ID 6d...any ideas on the red leaf?

Going out with Peter again today...I really, really must get some furniture!! :)))
(Well, at least a couple of chairs for sitting in the 'oasis' and looking at the lovely plants and pots! lol!!!)

5 Oct, 2011

 

Brilliant Karen...you have exactly the same priorities as the rest of us on here! :)). I have to admit, unlike Cinders, I really do not envy you. Africa, though beautiful, has never been on my list of 'musts' for travel. I love Europe best of all, so we'll see whether your blogs will change that....you never know! The plants look lovely and the pots are wonderful...I do hope your balcony/courtyard will be strong enough to take all the extra weight you'll be loading on it. Enjoy yourself though, I expect you will be really inspired to make some pots of your own soon!

5 Oct, 2011

 

I love those pots, Changed time for you but with mixed feelings I guess? Its all so different but a great experience and thats what makes life worth living. Enjoy your time there KFA

5 Oct, 2011

 

Very nice insight to Lagos and the plants there. I still think you can do something with the oil can, maybe cut it in half for two big planters

5 Oct, 2011

 

Im so jealous KarenF, We are facing the winter and destroying our gardens :( and there's you in all that sun, planning your garden :))) Great pots and plants, the pretty red plant looks like Colius to me, I agree with Sixpence, Taro, Colocasia. Enjoy your shopping and planning of your garden, good times lol.

5 Oct, 2011

 

Leaving France for doing gardening in Nigeria!! I don't know if you are in Nigeria for business, work or to settle there. It is none of my business to know, but you are an adventure woman. People say a few things about Nigeria and they must exaggerate as usual. Look forward to seeing your plants which I believe all to be tropical.

5 Oct, 2011

 

How exciting - and thanks for the drive through Lagos! I agree with Youngdaisy . . . the reddish leaves look like a very large Coleus. Great to find a variegated Bougainvillea too - and love the pots - what a colourful patio you're going to have. :))

5 Oct, 2011

 

What an adventure. Plants always before furniture!!

5 Oct, 2011

 

Hi K! Lovely journey!Pots fantastic.Seems like a coleus as YD says,the red leaved one.Look forward to more episodes.Furniture will always wait!

5 Oct, 2011

 

KarenFranceAfrica...Lol, lets hope you don't move to Scandanavia come spring!!

5 Oct, 2011

 

If you mean the cut leaved red variegated plant, Karenfrance, its a Coleus (now called Solenostemon). I'm having trouble deciding whether the large greenleaved one at the top of the pics is Caladium, Alocasa or Colocasa...
What an exciting place - seeing all those plants on display, talk about nectar to a bee... impossible to drive on by, lol!

5 Oct, 2011

 

Thank you again all! Plant IDs gratefully noted!

Guess what? I've been ALL over Lagos today...it's enormous!!! Everyone I meet is warm and friendly and even passers by say 'good morning/afternoon'...

And Peter was right...the plants in Ikoyi are much cheaper (especially when bargained for in the African way!) So, another road-side stop and another new friend, called Jacob...and a few more plants to ID...please watch this space!

I did get as far as ordering some cane furniture to be made for the garden, though! ;)))

5 Oct, 2011

 

LOVELY!!!!! I can't get over how much it all looks like Manila :))) It is exactly how I imagined it would be.
You will get conned money wise....the mentality is you are forgein therefore very rich!!! (For those reading this I want to point out that I mean do disrespect - this is my experience) Take a local with you when buying furniture -I once tried to buy a bed in a little town very near to my SIL's village - they wanted me to pay £200 for a single bed frame. I sent a local the following day and got it for £30!! gosh I could go on giving you advice but I better not bore you :)
Love the plants, love the pots and most of all am very jealous of you getting all those lovely new things :)
The GC (Abdullah's Pad) is laid out exactly like a lot the nurserys I visited.
Had you thought about training bougainvilla (sp) on wires along the wall....I've seen some beautiful examples. Wish I had lots of pictures....didn't have much of an interest in taking pictures of plants back then!

5 Oct, 2011

 

Well, I guess from their perspective, we ARE rich - we don't think we are, but in the west we all have stuff we take for granted - and people in other countries don't.

5 Oct, 2011

 

Oh, Scottish, this must bring back so many memories for you...and I would have been just the same before digital cameras...

Peter, my (born and bred in Lagos) driver is now taking me to all the 'right' places and doing the haggling...today's plants were 1/8th of the price of the last ones!!!

And the cane furniture is being made in a workshop under a flyover! :)))

To be honest, I think he's enjoying himself almost as much as me...it beats driving boring old oilmen from meeting to meeting! lol! :)))

(He's booked for tomorrow as well!)

5 Oct, 2011

 

You are right of course Bamboo, most of us do not realise just how luck we are to live the way we do.
Since spending so much time in a developing country I take nothing for granted.
However, that does not mean that we should accept being ripped off - a fair price for fair service or a fair product is what we should expect to pay.
I didn't mean to offend :)

5 Oct, 2011

 

And, you are right Bamboo...when you drive through and see how people are 'getting by'...you realise how lucky you are. I don't really mind being conned a bit, as long as it's not outrageous...but Peter, the driver, won't hear of it...

5 Oct, 2011

 

Those are the best places to go Karen....if you find local places you should be able to find some magical handmade beds, cabinets and other furniture.
Peter will be in his element - he will be telling all his family and friends for years to come.
I am soooooooooooooo jealous.
I just showed my mum your photos without showing her where you were and she said to me that you were in the Philippines.

5 Oct, 2011

 

I think you will be Ok KarenAfrica...Aren't the manners SHOCKING! Like 1950's England.

5 Oct, 2011

 

I think my comments have been taken the wrong way, I will say no more.

5 Oct, 2011

 

I'm fascinated really - I can't think of anything worse than going to a country like Nigeria - I even baulk at 2 weeks in Spain, I'm not a traveller at all, like my home territory, so people who actually live in other countries, specially ones like Nigeria, are a source of amazement and interest to me. I like to look through their eyes at what they see, but would hate to actually do it! Always been the same, not an age thing... my mate reckons its cos I'm Taurean, and bulls don't like changing fields... wish that were true, but its much more likely to be because I'm a control freak, lol!

5 Oct, 2011

 

If you are a control freak, then it would defo not be for you Bamboo. 2 weeks in Spain don't do it for me either:)

5 Oct, 2011

 

No they haven't Scottish. You are talking from your Many , vast, plentiful years of exp..... See! That is how to put your foot in your gob

5 Oct, 2011

 

Surely Pimpernel's comment about shocking manners was intended to be a humorous take on people saying good morning and good afternoon, Scottish - can't see what you've said that it would be intended for you. Correct me if I'm wrong, Pimpernel, but that's what I got from what you said.
Scottish, I like my comfort too - fussy about beds, pillows, hot water, somewhere comfy to sit (typically Taurean), can't take heat any more, not to mention food, which can be new and foreign, that's fine, but must be well cooked and prepared, not tough and inedible... so all in all, Jersey's probably about as far as I'm going now, lol!

5 Oct, 2011

 

Oh, now who feels like a pratt :)!!
Having looked again and read it a different way. I wasn't around in the 1950's so can I be excused of my ignorance in that way please :))
Jersey is very nice Bamboo....never been but have heard :) If it is less heat you are after, Scotland is the place for you!! The Haggis don't bite either :)

5 Oct, 2011

 

Karen, I must try look out my old pics of my brother's honeymoon - yes we all went on that one, 10 of us!!
The villa had a beautiful pool and trained all around were the most beautiful bougain...thingies you have ever seen. I will get Lee up into the attic over the weekend and see if he can find them!

5 Oct, 2011

 

I meet African's every day in my work..And I am struck by the very good manners. It is the same with Eastern Europeans , I know it is morning because I am greeted by "Good Morning."

I hope I have not upset you Scottish.?

5 Oct, 2011

 

Pimpernel is going to have to learn to shut it.

5 Oct, 2011

 

You didn't upset me Pimpernel....I thought I had upset you :) My skin is much thicker than that :)
You are absolutely correct re manners - always good morning, good evening, please and thank you :)

5 Oct, 2011

 

Thank you and Good Night Elvis is leaving......Lol XXX

5 Oct, 2011

 

Watching documentaries, and I have watched lots, I find they are more fortunate than our children in happiness, always smiles on their faces and a lot of freedom of land not living on top of one another like ours, worring of being attacked like a 14 year old lad on Monday got stabbed in the neck here from a 32 year old man and now is fighting for his life, neither are they druged up to keep them quiet like ours. So there are bennifits to each side. I feel for them with this fammine on the east of Africa which they are experiencing at present.

I was informed by a friend that has just had to come back from Africa, a couple of years ago an x farmer, who stated that they live in a shanty town in squaler, yet their sons have big limos and rich and leave the rest of the family in the squaler to get simpathy from us, the charities now make them work for their homes to pay them off not like they use to give them for free which I ve seen recently on tv, so know what she has told me is true, I do feel for some but we are being conned, last year I watched a program where a famous african footballer from this country, went out to find out what has happened to all the charity money we gave them for the bee farmers out there as they did nt recieve it, he found it, their goverment had given it to their police, to buy 14 4x4s, and the program showed the vehicles too, he then went to find where all the medicines we donate to the poor and poverished out there, the goverment had sold it to the chemist and they were selling it, the footballer went into a chemist and asked for medicines, where upon it had uk donation written on it, he confronted the chemist asked why is he selling to him these prescription when it was the uk donated it for the poor, his reply was he bought it from goverment which said it was ok for him to sell on. When he questioned the goverment of his findings they claimed they did nt know yea right.

This makes me sick to think people here are good enough to pay out a donation when the rich men out thre per usual the bullies are getting it, I no longer will give to any charity, as I watch and see what corruption is going on. When the miners were on strike, and food donations were sent from the eu for the villages, butter, tins of steak, tins of mince beef, their tins were stamped with the donation mark from the eu for the miners, yet no less than 2 miles away an Indian shop was selling these tins which were suppose to be for the mining children and families to eat, as they were broke. If you report it your raceist.

5 Oct, 2011

 

I wouldn't get your coat just yet, Pimpernel - some of your posts can seem a bit obscure at times, but I've never thought they were rude or impolite.

5 Oct, 2011

 

Hi Karen .. glad you arrived safely :o)

5 Oct, 2011

 

You Paying for the Taxi Bambi xxx ?

5 Oct, 2011

 

Elvis has left the building!!

5 Oct, 2011

 

My goodness! I missed all of this last night! One of the down-sides...unreliable internet connection (and electricity supply)!

I don't think you'd like it here Bamboo...although the food has been very nice so far, it's very spicy...and you don't always know exactly what it is! lol!

I've only been here less than a week...so I'm still finding my feet...but Peter is a fountain of knowledge and since most of the people he's driven are business men (who don't care) he's quite happy to fill me in on all the ways of the city (and the countryside, since he tells me his father is a chief, upcountry - which I believe, because there are chiefs everywhere!!).

Sixpence, as in many African countries bribery/corruption is part of the culture here...they call it 'dashing' - you have to 'dash' the appropriate people for services required/rendered. It's a bit like giving a 'tip' and the line between the 'tip' and 'back-hander' is very blurred. Of course, people in positions of power are taking it as far as they can and maybe other ways of distributing aid need to be found.

When I told Peter that in France, giving corporate gifts has been outlawed (in case it could be construed as bribery), he was completely aghast!

But I'm afraid that 5 days here is not long enough to speak with any depth of knowledge...

My son in law has just set up a blog website for me. There's nothing on it yet...been too busy not buying furniture! But, once up and running I'll publish the address for anyone who might be interested in 'Life in Lagos'!

Hi TT! Thanks and nice to see you again! :))

Scottish, I've been trying to take photos of the fishermen's villages on stilts (quite difficult from a moving car with the windows up!)...I'm sure that it must be very like Manila :))

Pimpernel, I'm too young to remember the Fifties too! lol! :))

6 Oct, 2011

 

I don't remember much about the fifties either, I was little - its the sixties I recall more clearly.

6 Oct, 2011

 

Didn't I read somewhere that you weren't supposed to recall the 60s clearly! :))))

6 Oct, 2011

 

Only if you were old enough to be part of the drug culture, Scottish - and I wasn't, 10 years old in 1960... and I was extremely shy and conventional as a teenager and early 20 year old, believe it or not. I dunno quite what happened over the years ... seems like another person in some ways, lol! Probably all that therapy...

6 Oct, 2011

 

I'm very glad you found a garden centre :o) I hope they can get you some flowering plants :o) I loved your pots !

6 Oct, 2011

 

Thank you, Hywel...I'm sending Peter to buy more of these lovely pots to house my new dwarf baobab, crown of thorns and bird of paradiseplants - all flowering!! :)))

7 Oct, 2011

 

I think baobabs are fantastic. I've seen one for sale in a garden c near here.

7 Oct, 2011

 

I've seen them in the wild, Hywell...fantastic trees. They used to use one as a prison in Kasane, Botswana! I hope that when they say 'dwarf' , in this case, they actually mean it! lol!

7 Oct, 2011

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