We peek over the fence at some of Dubai's best gardens
Five residents share their prized gardens and reveal the care that goes into maintaining an oasis in the desert.
Aspate of recent park openings means there are now more places than ever to enjoy flora and fauna in Dubai. Last month the city welcomed ten new parks in areas including Al Hubab and Al Warqaa, while in February Dubai Miracle Garden opened to the public, boasting 45 million flowers. Taking inspiration, Emaar Properties has announced the finalists and winners of the annual Emaar Garden Competition, spanning areas including Arabian Ranches and Emirates Living (The Lakes, The Springs, The Meadows, The Views and The Greens). German couple Gerald and Cornelia Twarloh took our pick of the awards for Best Sustainable Garden. Here, we view some of the entrants’ private sanctuaries and find out what makes them so special.
Maneesh and Meenakshi Garg, early 40s, Indian
Location: Meadows 6
Meenakshi: ‘Ever since we got married we’ve wanted a dream house with a zen garden. We have an informal patio area for the family, a separate area with barbecue and a wooden deck for entertaining guests, a pool with a water feature and a games area with a ping-pong table.’ Favourite element: ‘The Buddha statue on the water feature by the pool.’
Types of plants: ‘We have more than 50 varieties of plants, including fishtail palm, date palm, foxtail palm, bottle palm, ravenala madagascarensis and bamboos.’
Cornelia: ‘We had the challenge of starting from scratch at our villa because the garden was completely destroyed. We decided that there would be no irrigation system. The hard part was to source the right plants that were fit for watering by hand.’ Favourite element: ‘The agave plants in the desert area of the garden.’ Type of plants: ‘Eucalyptus tree, horsetail tree, pencil plant, Bismarckia palm, blue flowered creeper and blue pea flower.’
Rebecca Gordon-Clarke, 33, and Paul Gordon, 38, British
Location: Arabian Ranches
Rebecca: ‘I had a vision to create a garden of tranquillity, a place to truly relax and escape. I was inspired by the gardens of Bali, with rich green colours and sharp lines. This garden is a true reflection of me, and for this reason it’s something I take great pride in.’
Favourite element: ‘The water feature. The sound of the water falling into the pool accompanied by our Buddha statue is so relaxing.’
Types of plants: ‘Ixora, bamboo, plumeria obtusa, quisqualis indica and jasmine.’
Shafiq: ‘As an engineer, I wanted to integrate the contemporary designs and features with the natural environment. When I designed the swimming pool I wanted to give the feeling of being surrounded by water.’
Favourite element: ‘I love to sit in the gazebo above the swimming pool.’
Type of plants: ‘There are about 55 plus varieties, including Himalayan jasmine, plumbago, frangipani, canna lilies and hibiscus.’