Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Liberian Garden

This post has nothing to do with kids...but I think it's time for a light-hearted post. Since I came back to Liberia, I have spent a considerable amount of time experimenting with seeds in my yard. I've always enjoyed gardening (I come from a line of gardeners...), but it's even more fun in Liberia! There are so many things that grow here that would never grow back home in Georgia! And, there's also problems and pests and plant mysteries that aren't in Georgia either! So, I thought I'd give you a tour of my garden! It's nothing spectacular, and I have a bunch of plants with one tiny tomato to show for it, but it's been a great way to get out in the yard in the evenings to get alittle dirty and sweaty. So, I present to you, Ashley's Liberian Garden.
This is my front yard and house. The best time to garden is when a killer storm is approaching...nice and cool!
You can usually find me here.

Completed nursery...and my sweet boots!  
Momo (and One Love) proud of our nursery!
 The Herb Garden:
Cilantro (which has since bolted) and basil.

There's a frog family that LOVES my basil. Every morning Momo will take the frogs out and throw them over the fence, and every morning they somehow find their way back into the basil. Makes Momo and I laugh!
Oregano and Liberian peppers--like Scotch Bonnet (on nursery).
The front wall...

...includes okra... 
...and cucumber. (And eggplant, which hasn't come up yet)

The tomatoes. My labor of love. Started these from seed in a handy little nursery ($8 at Walmart), and now they're about 3-4 feet tall! I have Brandywine, Early Gray Hybrid and Big Boy planted. Early Gray and Big Boy have done the best.
Only problem is the pests are LOVING all of these new tasty treats! After consulting The Tomato Doctor (my mom & Mr. Bray), I have learned alot about tomato miners.
My one and only tomato--he's pretty cute! He's on my only Early Gray Hybrid plant that survived.
The other half of my nursery (this side is not thatched) is my testing ground. I had some green beans that did amazing, until the bugs ate every last leaf. I had cantaloupe too, until the bugs got them. Currently, I have squash (back left), lettuce (white sticks...I don't think they're working) and every other stick is collard greens.
Buds on a squash plant.
Random 'pumpkin' (more like butternut squash) vine.

 The Exotic Garden:

The barbed wire on top of my fence is nicely camouflaged with beautiful passion fruit vines (the blooms are BEAUTIFUL!). And this year, the passion fruit are already in abundance--usually they don't arrive until July or August. 
We have probably half a dozen pineapple plants around the yard.
Of course, we can't forget about the 'plum' (mango) tree!
Sugarcane along the front fence. We have sugarcane on three sides of our house, as well as outside the front of our fence. Momo loves his sugarcane!

 As you can see, I practically have an entire produce section in my yard! I also have other things growing--like galia melon (cross between a cantaloupe and honeydew melon)--and there have been plenty of failed attempts too (any flower seeds). And, I've transplanted all kinds of flowers, trees and shrubs into the yard and flowerbeds too. I'm most excited about the bougainvillea that FINALLY stayed alive, after transplanting a stick of another tree, and will probably take 14 years to be big enough to add a bamboo trellis and then turn into hammock central! Oh, and we've transplanted banana trees and coconut trees, and there always seems to be a few 'pawpaw' (papaya) trees growing up out of the compost bin. The gardening has been a fun experiment, and it's also been a fun (usually) project for me, Momo and Amma (my other security guard). We will eventually taste the fruits of our labor, but in the meantime, it's a fun process, and makes me feel like a real [Liberian] gardener!

1 comment:

Susan said...

Just moved to Liberia and want to start my own garden....would love to send you some questions....