Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gardening in Oman

Gardening in Oman is actually not all that difficult, but if you are from a European climate like OPNO formally was, you might not know what plants grow in Oman best, and what type of soils to use for what. If you are absolutely clueless, as OPNO was before she married MOP [whose family are big on growing date palms and Omani lemons], then this book might be for you.

[I will upload a pic of the book when I get a chance but right now some of my new software is blocking all file uploads]

‘Gardening in Oman and the UAE’ in by Anne Love.

Available from; The Family Bookshop, Qurum and MSQ Smiths Shatti Al Fair branches, MSQ and Markaz Al Bahja PDO Green wing room 298 Charlie Love PDO camp Feather 96470806

Most people in Oman regard gardening as a difficult activity to pursue. Partly because of the lack of open spaces outside their homes, and partly because of the perception that not too many plants and flowers can bloom in the heat of the desert. Anne Love is an exception. With a degree in Biogeography and a second degree in Agriculture, her book Gardening in Oman and the UAE describes the hundreds of varieties of plants, flowers and trees that bloom in Oman. It also speaks of how easy and satisfying it is, to cultivate gardening as a hobby. This is her second book on the subject; the first one was published in 1995.

Anne Love: “The thing about gardening is that it is very easy to do. You only need a bit of space and the rewards are quick. Till date, no one has experimented much with gardening here in Oman.” [says this passionate gardener, who has been growing several different kinds of plants for over 40 years now.] “You would be surprised at the varieties of flowers that grow in Oman, even in the heat. In fact, there are hundreds of them.”

According to her, Oman’s vegetation includes Winter Annuals (like Petunias, Marigolds, Sunflowers and Geraniums, among several others), Herbs, that grow well in pots or window boxes (like mint, coriander, sage, parsley and basil), Permanent plants that grow all the year round, Ground Cover (like shrubs and bushes that grow flat and low), Trees and Climbers.

Anne Love: “There are even plants that bloom to their maximum in the summer heat, like the Rangoon Creeper that thrives in the full sun and the Urechites Lutea or the Yellow Mandevilla, tolerant of a wide range of soils including the alkaline kind found in the Sultanate.”“There are such lovely parks here that have beautiful gardens-the Qurum Park, the gardens of the Grand Mosque and the garden in front of His Majesty’s palace. They are all well maintained and a sight to behold. In fact, at this time of the year, one even gets to see flowers blooming on the roadside. Still people fail to notice this and take the plant life here for granted.”
According to Anne: “The best way to choose a plant is to go to a local park, see what’s growing there, then go to a nursery and buy the plant. The only thing is that for plants to stay green throughout the year, one needs to water them regularly. It costs nothing to buy a few seeds and plant them.”Anne is now planning a third book on Container Gardening, or gardening within a small area, “since space is at a premium these days.”

Anne Love can be reached on

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