Marsala, Oh yum!!

Pantone_Introducing_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_bannerI don’t usually follow trends and such but for some off reason( actually meaning I have no reason at all, which is also ok) I decided to get into this year’s Pantone colour of the year, I give you Marsala!

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That vibrant, full bodied richness of Marsala, Oh yum! What better place to look for inspiration than in Nature itself. enjoy :)

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this pretty flower

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Something from my patch from way back. Beetroot

Coleus

Coleus

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Vegetable

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Two different species of Coleus

See how rich Marsala is, especially if it is paired with this. Isn’t nature something?

Lush and everything yum!

‘Loba.

Harmattan

Myth 1: Gardening in tropical climate like ours is NOT a tough task, just admit you actually need to do a little bit of research before you start (like everything else in this life)

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Typical harmattan weather in Lagos, Nigeria: Source

So getting right down to it. Every plant needs the basic Water, Sunlight and Fertilizer every other thing is serenren (extra). You just need to know the right ratio of Water: Sunlight:Fertilizer to use for your plants to make one rich and healthy soil.

- Make sure you water your plants regularly. Morning and night unfailingly, because of the extremely dry weather, water evaporates faster than it normally would even during dry season so it is important to water your plants to keep the moisture.

- Fertilizing: Pay special attention when buying fertilizer, make sure not to buy fertilizers too rich in nitrogen because it stunts the plants growth.Using manure tea to fertilize is better because it is more nutritious. Using human urine as manure because it is rich in minerals can be beneficial to your plants*.

- While all these is great, but to make the best of Harmattan: Grow more succulents, Succulents are plants that store moisture in their leaves so usually they do not need constant watering, they are characterized by their fleshy roots, leaves and stem. Some examples of succulents include Aloe vera Aloe vera, Prickly-pear cactus Opuntia humifusa, Sedum, Hens and Chicks Sempervivum tectorum, Living stone plant Lithops species.Personally I have some Aleo vera in my garden so I can guarantee that it is the best and I haven’t even watered them for months going now and its still as fresh as it was when I planted it.

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A type of Cactus

* I haven’t tried it but I plan to very soon so I will come back with my observations soon.

Don’t forget to drop your comments, or email me at greensandgarden@gmail.com for questions and/or corrections.

Thanks :)

Everything Lush and succulent

‘Loba

Concrete Lagos and Gardening.

Happy New Year People!!!! Lagos. There is this “problem” in Lagos that is synonymous with most mega cities, High rise buildings, apartments and the whole concrete jungle syndrome, now imagine a young couple, working in corporate Lagos, living the dream in those chic apartments, no gardening space, this is where container gardening comes in.

While I was doing my research in apartment gardening I came across an abysmal amount (read none) of information/ articles on this topic which while I wasn’t surprised considering its Nigeria and we have little to none of Landscape information specific to Nigeria on the interwebs, made me all the more determined to get this guide out.

Depending on the scope you as a young savvy couple want, I want to give a break down of what you’ll need to achieve the greening of your apartment in Lagos.

A nice custom made container gardening. source: unknown

Inspiration: A nice custom-made container gardening. source: unknown

First I’ll start with pots:

You can get pots from your local road side horticulturists, depending on the space you want to use for gardening, if you have space in your kitchen, the small sized pots will do say about 5cm diameter or even smaller, or if you have a balcony, open space leading to your front door/ leading out from your back door larger 17-30cm diameter pots would do.

A typical 17cm diameter pot, this will be good for balconies.

A typical 17cm diameter pot, this will be good for balconies.

If you are on a budget, using old containers/ discarded buckets/ empty water or coke bottles is perfect for the job. For the bottles, here’s what to do: Get a scissors and blade and of course your empty bottles.

An empty bottle

An empty bottle

– Using the blade, slice a small section at the centre of the bottle.

– Use the scissors to completely cut open the bottle.

– Then still using the scissors, punch holes at the bottom of the bottle for drainage purposes

DIY container for plants

DIY container for plants

If you are getting the pots from a local horticulturist, you can just ask them to fill the pot with soil for planting, you may also have to do that if you are using old containers, especially if you are living in a concrete jungle and there is no earth to dig from. P.S. If your pots will be in the kitchen make sure to have a flat plate to catch the water when it drains to avoid a messy kitchen.

Seeds

I’ll split this into edible plants and ornamental plants: For edible plants, seeds that are great to plant. I’m not sure how easily accessible these seeds are but I have it on good authority there are some seeds at the Shoprite in Lekki. You can also save seeds from any fruits you buy at the market. Some plants that you can have in your kitchen space: Basil(Efinrin), Pepper, Cilantro, water-leaf, peppermint, some vegetables, lettuce.

For ornamental plants which will be great on your balcony, are available as usual from your roadside horticulturist, some good ones are hydrangeas  ( they could grow wild in the earth but put inside a pot and they should be well contained and still blossom well), lilies, Duranta sapphires. You can also always ask your horticulturist for recommendations.

Duranta Sapphires.

Duranta Sapphires.

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This pretty plant that I do not know its name.

– Make sure your plants receive sunlight, so situate your container near a window or in the direction of the sun.

– Water your plants at least once a day.

– Make sure to trim plants when they start growing too big for the container. This is really the only downside to container gardening, some plants will not grow to their full potential because of the constraints of the pot.

Inspiration: Source unknown.

Inspiration: Source unknown.

So I will come back later with another post on “Greening” your apartment, meanwhile let me know if this post helped at all and you decided to utilize your green thumb or if you’ll need me to tweak the post a bit.

You can drop a comment here or email me at greensandgardens@gmail.com.

Thanks :)

Love and everything lush.

‘Loba.

For when you are in Calabar

So in today’s edition of who wants to be a millionaire………………

sorry wrong blog.

For the past 5 months or so I have been in Calabar, in a very remote village in Calabar, and I don’t usually have anything to do except work and the occasional cooking I get up to.

Sometime last week I was feeling a lot down and out, jaded and tired of my work and I needed something to cheer me up, luckily for me I came across this recipe on Afrolems.com and I decided to try it seeing as I was in Calabar and I was hungry.

Here is the recipe on Afrolems, but when I went to the market I didn’t find shrimps and snails and Shaki(tripe) so I substituted for readily available.

Ingredients

– Okro (chopped and pounded)

– Six pieces of beef

– 1 cup of …..

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This, I do not know what it’s called.

– 1 cup of ponmo

– Ugwu (pumpkin leaves) chopped

– Chopped Uziza leaves

– Stockfish

– Dried crayfish

– Knorr maggi

– Salt

– 5 Atarodo (scotch bonnet pepper) (chopped)

– Palm oil

Method

So I basically seasoned and boiled the beef, ponmo, snail-likr things and stockfish till it was soft, then I added the pepper and crayfish, tasted to make sure it was on point.

then I added the okro and uziza and ugwu, let it simmer for a bit(like 30 seconds) then I put the palm-oil and stirred it and left to simmer on low heat.

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Then I served with yellow garri. Tenzzz

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Love

‘Loba

Hiatus

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I am officially announcing it that I will be taking a short/long break from my garden for now.

I’m in a place right now in my life that I’m doing a lot of cleaning, revamping, relearning, unlearning(most especially) a lot of things in my life and it also translates into my style of gardening.

I do not know how long this break will be but I’m gunning for a year so expect me back by this time next year.

Meanwhile I will keep updating my Nigerian plants database page, which in turn will really help me know what to cultivate when I’m back.

I will also be updating on any cooking I do, which I should come up with one soonest.

Thanks guys.

Share love and eat cucumbers… while you wait

Love

‘Loba

One Direction

Been speaking to a colleague of mine recently and its really more important for me as a Landscape Architect to know the names of plants here in Nigeria and most importantly plants that particularly thrive in the tropical climate so I will be paying more attention to naming plants and especially the plants I already have and know that I do not know their names.

So expect more stuff on my Nigerian Plants database page soon.

Share love and eat cucumbers

‘Loba