It’s no secret that in Dubai, most expat households enjoy perks in the form of housemaids and gardeners. It’s something that before you move to the UAE, you think you’d never partake in. Then, after a few months of living in our desert bubble, your long-held notions of self-sufficiency fly out the window.
We’ve had the same gardeners for four years now, which must be the equivalent of about a century in gardening years as most people change landscapers pretty frequently.
I’ve actually grown quite attached to our gardeners. They might have very little English and even less gardening knowledge, but they’re nice to my children, they’ve kept our garden not just alive but manicured in extreme temperatures for four summers, and, let’s not forget, they toil in the heat, with beads of sweat rolling down their foreheads.
They also have very few tools; I’ve watched them planting with their hands, literally scrabbling around in the dirt with their fingers, and have run out to offer them my trowel. When we asked them to prune some tall trees, we discovered their employer doesn’t equip them with a ladder either.
But it never ceases to amaze me what they can achieve with such rudimentary equipment. “We stand on the wall and cut as high as our hands can reach,” the head gardener from Pakistan, who speaks the most English, told me with a grin. And, somehow, this balancing act resulted in our trees being shorn into lollipops.
So, I should have known, when he mentioned to me yesterday that he was going to do some trimming on my favourite tree, that he’d get carried away. I turned my back for five minutes, while getting ready for Son2’s party, and, in that time, he must have grown scissorhands with a high-speed-bordering-on-massacre setting. Scalped is the only word for it.
You might also like: