Much Ado about a Tree

24 Aug

Twice a year (or so it seems) the gardening staff at Arabian Homes are instructed to cut back all the trees, shrubs and overgrown bushes around the compound. It makes good gardening sense as it helps to keep things neat and prevents the foliage from looking tatty. The problem is that someone, somewhere has decided that square is a good shape for greenery in our gardens and when cutting back the foliage it is probably best to try to remove almost all the greenery that exists even if we are in the height of summer. Maybe they are just trying to be super efficient, I’m not sure but my small and fairly unused stay-at-home-mom brain just boggles. I have to ask; is it really the right time to literally cut down trees when the temperatures are on average above 45 degrees. I know I’m weird but I’m thinking we need all the shade we can get during the summer.

Anyhoo…the chopback began a few weeks ago and I noticed the gardeners working their way towards our house. As they got close enough to deliver their fatal chop to our beloved greenery I asked them to leave some of the foliage on out patio as I do cut it myself and to go easy on the tree whose shade I absolutely love. They were kind enough to spare our greenery.

A few days later I got home to find them ferociously hacking at the tall trees on the other side of our house. I watched them, asked them to be kind but left them to get on with their job. The result was a little sad as we had lost most of the shade that we used  to get except for the top of one of the trees that was still providing minimal shade over Luka’s sandpit. I know that it is just shade and that compared to the flooding in Pakistan, it is so very insignificant but it is the only spot in our garden for Luka to play in the late afternoons.

The next day, lo and behold they returned to hack the top off the one and only tree providing the smallest amount of remaining shade. I was blown away but as it is not in my nature to get angry about things that have already been done and knowing that the gardeners were just following orders, I let it be.

Olaf, being so very different from me quickly headed off to the relevant management person, as soon as he got home from work, and informed him of the devastation visited upon our home. Mr Head of Maintenance came over, took a look at our lack of shade and very kindly offered to have a small, temporary structure erected until the trees grew back.

A man worked through most of the next day building our ‘little, temporary’ bit of shade.The Result: A Thing of Beauty. It is so fab, that I ain’t gonna let them take it down EVER. In fact, if I had known that they were going to build such a great shade cover, I would have cut the trees down myself. This is the only before photo I have, for obvious reasons.  


And here is our new large shady area. I’m thinking I’ll stain the wood to match the rest of the patio, add a few pot plants and it can stay forever.


How efficient is that?


7 Responses to “Much Ado about a Tree”

  1. trapperhoney August 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    looks like a good trade off to me!

  2. Helette August 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Impressive!!! I love the sandpit more, though!!! I WANT IT!

    • dustbusting August 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      You do?
      Personally, I am not a big fan of big plastic toys, I think that they are an eye-sore and way prefer wood or just a hole in the ground for a sandpit but it was the best we could do. It works!

  3. Helette August 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    I hear you…it’s more about how much Lindi will enjoy it, I suppose…. for the little while that it will last before Pablo gets his teeth into it …..hehe

  4. Sandpits Australia September 6, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    That is great corner, but it seems little lonely, you may want to decorate it little bit.

    • dustbusting September 6, 2010 at 9:44 am #

      I agree and have loads of ideas but expat life can be fickle. You never really know how much longer you will be around. There is always a toss up between making your house a home and not spending too much money on things that will just be left behind when you go. I have stopped nesting for a while even though it is really hard for me not to decorate and garden(especially now that the killer heat of summer is starting to abate). Once my husband’s contract is renewed for another year(inshallah), I will continue.

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