Our garden is now finished!
As with so many things her in Dubai, actually getting it landscaped was a bit of a palava. Not in terms of trying to find someone to do it - in fact, they were practically knocking the door down, but because we are tenants!
Emaar are the builders of our house, so we had to approach them for permission to turn out giant sandpit into a habitable garden. Tim had to go their offices, join the queue with a number and wait for his turn. He had to bring - wait for it - our passports and resident visas, our tenancy agreement, a letter from our landlord stating it was OK to do the garden, a plan of the proposed garden, oh and 5000 Dhs (nearly £700) deposit, in case the gardeners made a mess in the common areas of the development which required sorting out. Once Tim submitted all the paperwork, approval would take about 2 weeks.
We got all of this approval - honestly, it's a little overboard as surely ANYTHING would be better than pure desert sand?
Here is how they did it:
Picture 1 - the sand remains underneath the garden. So it is made completely wet and flattened - all manually.
Pictures 2 & 3 - the sand is then compacted
Picture 4 & 5 - interlock is then laid - they are the cheapest materials to use, and let's face it, it's not our house so we had to spend the minimum amount possible!
The will be the lounging area (4) - the pipes sticking up are for the irrigation system which is imperative here. Grass will die within about 2 days if not irrigated properly. Fortunately, the system can be installed quickly and cheaply in the sane!
Picture 6 - starting to come together a little bit more. These squares are for our plants as we're not appreciating the value of darling landlord's house too much by spending too much money on plants.
Pictures 7, 8, 9, 10
The completed project -
Picture 11 - the house and garden - our home!