Tag Archives: plants

Garden Centres – Tanzania Style

Here in Tanzania there is no such thing as a Garden Centre but instead you find, strung out along the road, in certain parts of town, small nurseries and pot makers etc. This is true in Mwanza where we live and where we are this weekend and many other towns and cities across the land. 

This morning on a wander into the village of Mjimwema,  we came across a such places …..

……. and a garden set out with plants and pots. 

Potted Avocado

The Avocado is potted and the sapling is growing fast. Another stone has sprouted – after months of nothing we’re getting somewhere.IMG_1491

Growing Pineapple

Leading on from our experiment into Avocado growing we are now experimenting with growing a pineapple.

For this you need a ripe pineapple with leaves. You slice off the top, twist off the leaves and then remove the lower leaves revealing the already forming rootlets.

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Then it is the same as before. Three cocktail sticks piercing the pineapple top at equidistant intervals and suspend above water in a jar or a sliced open bottle.

Then leave the assembly in a sunny location and wait – the pineapple should root and can then be placed into a soil in a pot or else the directly into ground to grow. With luck we will have a pineapple plant growing before long. To make it germinate apparently you have to expose it to ethylene gas (the easiest way will be to slice an apple in half and put the halves and the plant in a black plastic bag overnight).

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Growing Avocado

You can get a lot of fresh fruit and veg in town, even though it’s cheap it would be even better if we could grow some of it our own. So following advice from Liz wife of Julian ( a colleague) on how to grow an avocado.
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Firstly slice an avocado in half and remove the stone.2015/01/img_0922-0.jpg
Pierce with three cocktail sticks at equidistant points and suspend over water (a decapitated plastic bottle will do) flattish side down. We shall leave it to see what happens.

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I’ll post how this goes over the next few weeks and months.
It will eventually grow into a tree although I will probably be long gone by then.

Here is a photo of next door’s tree.

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Poinsettia

It will soon be Christmas and we will, as usual start decorating the house on Advent Sunday. This year we are restricted to our Christmas Lights from home – packed in our cases when we came over. We will need to source some Christmas Decorations locally – perhaps using foliage as a fellow resident has done to manufacture an advent wreath.

Today, however I discovered some Poinsettia growing on the compound. Not the tiny shrubs we see in the UK but a great big bush on the compound. We will need to take a sprig or too, or maybe even find a bush to plant from the local garden centre.

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A Spot of Gardening

Our garden is looking a bit bare in places. So we thought it about time we spruced it up a bit. Just like on a Sunday in Britain we paid a visit to the Garden Centre.
Unlike the UK these are plots of land along the Airport Road and adjacent to the lake. Here people grow and sell plants of various sorts. Thankfully unlike Frosts, Dobbies or Wyevale there is none of the other paraphernalia – not even a coffee shop 🙂

We wandered through the neat rows of potted plants selecting from a variety of flowering and foliage plants. Eventually we selected 4 plants we liked including two Hibiscus. It turned out one plant belonged to a different gardener. No problems it seems because they simply paid one another out of the reasonable fee we were charged (20000TzS). They then both threw in a free plant each as a gift. Not something I have experienced at Frosts et al.

They were going to be a trouble to carry back to the compound and so our gardening friends hired a taxi and off we shot home.
Borrowing a shovel and assisted by Steve one of the Askaris we planted the various Flora and borrowed a hose to water in.

Here’s hoping for a brighter future garden.

Mwanza Garden Chronicles: Plants

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Our house has a large garden. There are a number of exotic plants which I don’t recognise (and a bougainvillea which I do). Compound (14).JPG

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There is also a great variety of bird life which I will chronicle another time.