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Jill & Linda's Garden, Lori's too!


Linda is my wonderful, big sister who has joined me in my gardening adventure from afar. This will be the story of our garden for 2012-2013. Perhaps that is where I should begin.

This garden takes place in Muscat, Oman; specifically, the suburb of Madinat AlSultan Qaboos, my backyard. (Specific address is not important!) Our weather here ranges from 125F degrees (happening now) and dips down to 60F come January and February. The cooler months are our mosquito season.

Linda is in the US and gardening vicariously through me. I’m happy to have her along. We don’t often have the chance to do things together as her children are not the same ages of mine, and, oh yea, there’s that other “obstacle” – I live half way around the world. So a garden is perfect! (Only in cyberspace could this be possible!)

Lori is my friend by choice and Omani sister (she’s really American but like me, lives in Oman.) She is a gardening NUT and if I can get her to make a blog here, too, of her own amazing work, I will! (Stay tuned!) Lori, who has had her hands in the local dirt FAR longer than I have, is serving as our Adviser on this great project! :) She has already given some really great advice about how to enrich the local compost using local ingredients.

Back to the 2012-2013 explanation. Here we start our seeds in August, planting season comes to an end in about March. March to November are when we experience high temps but by September, late, “winter” starts to move in and temps take a noticeable dip, into the 90s. Cold and flu season kicks in then, too. So even with 90 degree weather, we’re good to go with these seeds.

This garden will have its share of challenges. Not because I don’t know what I am doing (okay that might be some of it) but we don’t get the amount of sun we used to get. No, nothing celestial has occurred, then again, it has. A particular contractor (who shall remain nameless but for this blog the company will be called Grrrr Co.) built a HUGE apartment building RIGHT behind our home. Four floors tall with a parking garage below which only served to boost the fourth floor higher into the sky. Thus, it has greatly reduced the amount of sunlight that now falls onto our property because their monstrosity is built so close to the property line. (All legal but not the best of laws, clearly.)

As a result, our plants will not look green and luscious because they will not get the required amount of sunlight they need. However, they will still thrive. We had an amazing season last year with tomatoes, lemon grass, papaya, banana and sweet potato. And now that my Omani sister is on board as Adviser, hooking me up to local nurseries and sharing her books as well as her own experience, perhaps we can counteract the daily loss of sun.

I should mention that we have 8 residents in our garden space. Dug (a Chihuahua with little man complex) along with his siblings…Flash (Indian Star Back Tortoise), Kabbage, Gomez, Princess Consuela ( Syrian Tortoises) as well as Kaiser II and John Doe (Madagascar Tortoises) and Harper (a South American Tortoise). They are a loving bunch and enjoy the vegetable garden as much as we do (perhaps even too much!) You may find them in a few of the pics every now and again.

Our next post will be about the seeds we will plant. They arrived just yesterday and we are ENORMOUSLY excited!

More blog posts by omanigarden

Next post: The Seeds are Here!!!!!



Can't wait for the next instalment, what difficult conditions to contend with.

23 Jul, 2012


welcome to GoY

i shall be very interested to see how you get on, all the very best, hope that building doesnt spoil things too much for you ~ maybe having the shade could even help???

23 Jul, 2012


Thanks to you both for your comments. I've got great support so I am feeling very optimistic about this. Good thoughts only, right! :) Thank you, again!

23 Jul, 2012


:-) all the best

23 Jul, 2012


Welcome to GoY Omanigardener. I enjoyed reading about your garden. Such a pitty that building is taking away the sunshine, but you sound enthusiastic enough not to let it dishearten you ....

23 Jul, 2012


I like the tortoise too...

23 Jul, 2012


Welcome from me too its going to be interestin g following you

24 Jul, 2012


Do you really recognize tortoise by names? I liked those names, it is so funny :))))

25 Jul, 2012


Yes, Katarina! Just like any other animal, each tortoise is distinguishable from the next and have their own personalities!

Harper, Kaiser and John Doe will grow to be much larger in size whereas the other four will remain smaller animals. We're hoping to get more of the larger breed, which are able to live as long and longer than humans, with the hope that they will one day be a joy to our grandchildren, as well!

25 Jul, 2012


That´s nice plan, too. :)

26 Jul, 2012


welcome to Goy : )

26 Jul, 2012


I am the big (that's big as older, not big as size) the omanigardr has referred to! Just wanted to send congratulations on the beginning of a wonderful growing season and experience. I do have a question... seems this blog may be as much about the tortoises as the garden... what happened to Kaiser I? And who named poor John Doe? :-)

26 Jul, 2012


LOL Welcome to our blog, Bigsister! LOL No, no, the tortoises will not steal the limelight, I promise. But since they are a part of the yard decor, I felt it was only right to mention them. :)

Kaiser (I) "Potato" Marie, that was her full name, passed away about two weeks after Christmas. We all were soooo upset. We took her to the vet for her first ever checkup with us and three days later she was dead! The vet never saw it coming and this is a vet who worked in Madagascar with the wild tortoises so it's not like she's someone whom has never worked with wildlife. We also lost Luna, one of our South Americans, the day after we took her to the vet. Needless to say, we stopped visiting the vet! (Funny but true!)

John Doe is named such because Ray can't think of a name for him. So, as an unidentified male (though not in a morgue) until Ray comes up with a better name, John Doe it is. But as we've had John Doe for a while now, I think John Doe is sticking. And he's never actually called "John" but always "John Doe".

Now THIS post was more about the tortoises than all the other posts combined! LOL

26 Jul, 2012


Hi Bigsister its lovely to meet you all....and the torties past and present ( they evidently don't like the vets.....), couldn't you change his name to johnjoe.....?

26 Jul, 2012

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