Gardening in the Red Sea Riviera 2

Dessertgardens

We start with plants that will thrive under these hostile circumstances that we have to deal with, here in Hurghada.
Look in the dessert, what is growing there?
Well, we will find plants that are able to survive without water for a long time, like grass, cactus and all kind of plants which are family of these species. These plants have no thin leaves that evaporate too much water, but a specific root system and most of the time a possibility to store water. So you can have a nice garden just with yucca, cactus and agaves, all plants that can stand a bit of harsh conditions. Spiky, prickly, most of the time, but with waving and whispering grasses and white pebbles you can create a beautiful garden with low maintenance. Although keep in mind, you still have to do something with the soil, because plants, these plants as well, need food and of course water.

Water, most of the houses here have no regular water in big quantities. So you have to store water if you cannot open your tab and have all the water you need. For that you have two solutions, tanks (on the roof, near the house, underground) to store tap water so you can use it when there is no water in the line, or have the smelly hotel water. If you don't have children, you will not eat things from your garden (fruit, vegetables) and you are not really walking barefoot in the garden you can use the hotel water, cheep and full of nutrition's for the plants. Okay, it is not nice when they just have flooded your garden, you better close the windows and stay inside for some time, but after some hours the smell is gone and your plants love it.

Cactus, Agaves and Yucca are available in all kind of sizes, colors, shapes and most of them also will flower once in many years or some every year. Be aware of the spikes and needles, give them space so you, or your visitors will not be hurt by them, they can give nasty wounds and inflammation of the skin (special the cactus which have needles that will break off under de surface of the skin).

Blue Agave
Yucca

Example of spiky bigger plants

If you do not have a big garden or you like to have plants in pots, most of the dessert condition plants you can keep in pots, even if you don't have much time for them, they are used to harsh conditions, as I explained. With nice pots and a good arrangement you still can steel the show.

Cactus in all kind of shapes and length

So as you know now, these plants can be grown by almost everybody in almost every condition, just a gift of water from time to time and you have a green and even colourful garden. With garden lights in good position, to light out the spiky plants, I'm sure you can imagine the special and even dramatic effects in your garden.

To keep in mind, plastic pots will keep the water better than terracotta pots, the last ones evaporate the water and will dry out the soil faster. To cover the most of the time not so nice plastic pots, you can paint them in for example Mediteranian colors, or buy nice pots to cover the plastic ones.

click here for page 3, how to get the good conditions in your garden

2006 ©Garden Designs-Hurghada

questions, comments or ideas: e-mail