Posted by: englishdubai | November 22, 2007

How Does Your Garden Grow?

When I was a kid I use to be dragged around garden centers on a Sunday which was something I was never a fan of and as a consequence I still get a queasy feeling about visiting such places today. So when Duncan (my housemate) asked me if I wanted visit the plant souq my response was “errrr, ok” but as this is is Dubai nothing is ever quite as you might expect.

We took the short trip to Jadaf which is close to Garhoud bridge and seemingly out of nowhere was a verdant strip of green which stood out in sharp contrast to the usual roadside desert.

Mooching around the plant souq was great. The watering of the plants and dense foliage made for a very cool environment that made for pleasant browsing. I probably could have spent hours there rooting around. The choice of plants, tree and shrubs was great. Everything from Bonsai Trees to exotic house plants and all green plants in between:

Of course everything is negotiable and even on just asking the price on a very nice cheese plant I was surprised the chap only wanted 120AED ($30) for perfect specimen well over four feet tall. Two things amused me – one was the “slang” names that are used for the plants that sound like the latin but are spelled phonetically and the way the discounts get much better if you are buying more than one piece.

Here is a little transcript of the conversation we had when buying some Indian Privet:

“Hello, Do you have any Clerondendrons?”

“Yes, we are having Dum Dums.”

“Can I see them please?”

“Yes, here – many Dum Dums”

“How much are they please?”

“12 piece Dum Dum ,25 Dirhams”

“I would like to buy 60 pieces please”

– short break while the manager is consulted

“12 piece Dum Dum ,15 Dirhams”

“So that would be 75 Dirhams for 60 then?”

– Laughter “Too much Dum Dum”

Here is the friendly sales guy helps us make the Clerondendron – and he insisted on giving ” three piece Dum Dum extra” as a parting gift.

If I knew buying plants could be so much fun – I would have been down the plant souq so much sooner. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to kill a few hours on a lazy Saturday afternoon.


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