Of Desert, Gardens and Random Musings

‘To be a flower, is profound responsibility’ wrote Emily Dickinson and I would like to add, so it is, to be a garden too. As I walk in our community in Dubai every morning, I feel my soul aired outdoors in sunshine, filled with gratitude taking in so much beauty, so much grace!

There are gardens which make you wonder how the resident could turn a patch of sand into a green paradise! There is one where the jasmine creeper has moved to the neighbour’s, entwining with the orange-pink bougainvillea as if to proclaim its undying friendship. I find an entire garden wall and the ground below taken over by sky blue cluster vine flowers. The graceful flow of green leaves dotted with these cheerful flowers looks like the loose end of a silk saree draped on a party-ready woman.

Something about the Allamanda -golden trumpet flowers always make me stop. These flowers are common in most gardens, embodiment of tiny grace and strength. In one garden these yellow flowers along with morning glory have heavily arched on the black fence, giving an English country-side cottage look.

Then there is the well-curated vegetable garden. The papayas, egg-plants, pumpkin, banana plant lined in the garden and on two sides of the house. It is a mini-farm! My gaze rests on a garden with numerous hibiscus flowers. All the flowers are a striking red and they seem to dance in the breeze without any of the mundane human worries.

The sight of toys strewn on the grass, lonely swing-sets, a brimming cloth drying rack makes me imagine the busyness of the garden at later hours. The neatly laid out walking paths are lined with fiery Gul mohar trees, dotted with my favourite Frangipani trees. They are wreathed with masses of white blossoms so the lanes look like a wedding venue.  I awe at the wildly growing pumpkin creeper’s leaves which are so broad that it can perhaps cradle a baby.


Even the vacant homes with untended gardens tell a story of what it was and what it could be. I find a solitary sacred fig tree in a bare garden. I wonder if it misses the company -maybe gossips with the climbing blue pea flowers or hugs from Oleander trees …

I usually end one stretch of my walk after the ‘Forest gardens’. Giant neem trees cool the entire area, with dense greenery all around. The constant chirping of birds in the cages and on the tree branches, makes one wonder if this is really Dubai!

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I come back to my own ‘beginner’ garden. Every day I go around admiring what little things have appeared in the last twenty-four hours in the way of a new leaf or delicate new tendrils. I have been motivating the neem sapling to grow up fast and strong, coaxing the vinca plants to carpet the entire stretch! However, the truth I have learnt is not to rush any aspect of life that requires growth time. It takes a while to thrive, we need to trust ourselves and enjoy the process.

Meanwhile, I shall wander around the numerous green paths, feasting my senses with joy and drenching my heart with delight.



About the Author

Archana Shivmani Rao

Archana was raised in Chennai and lives in Dubai.She was a banking professional for more than a decade. She holds a diploma in creative writing from Writers Bureau,UK and a master's degree read more...

11 Posts | 23,887 Views

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