Time for another Six on Saturday! Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday.  Could be anything; a good flower, fantastic foliage, a job to do, a job completed, plans afoot, something sown. Anything at all -join in!

We are visiting friends and family in Dubai, where it is still hot hot hot, mid 30s (90s in old money). Both families have gardens and at first glance it doesn’t look like much is going on garden-wise. The plants are all lurking round the edges in a foot wide strip of sandy soil, trained against the stucco walls that mark the boundary in both plots. 

On closer inspection, however, there are some interesting plants and some very pretty flowers.

The varieties were a bit of a mystery in many cases. Some sleuth work has been done with the assistance of a plant id app and the people of twitter. If I state a variety I’m reasonably confident, but happy to be set straight.

It has been a job to filter them down to just six, but here they are. 

1) A cactus, variety not-a-scooby-doo. I can personally vouch for this chap’s spikiness. As I was tidying him up for this photo, removing a few dead, skewered leaves, he stabbed me. Several times!

2) Bougainvillea spectabilis. Ubiquitous round these parts, and a good thing all round. Commonly found as a street tree, or in front gardens. Judging by our brief visit it flowers profusely and in shocking pink. Strictly speaking the flowers are actually the small white affair in the middle, the pinkness is modified leaves or bracts.

3. Nerium oleander. Common as muck round here, often used in municipal planting in parks and by the roadside for its durability. I shan’t comment on what this says about our hosts garden! Pretty flowers.

4. Plumaria rubra, frangipani. Originally from central and south america it is now a common garden plant across tropical and sub tropical zones worldwide. It grows quite large if allowed, 7-8m tall and across.

5. Cordia sebestena. This one took a bit of identifying and once again the people of Twitter came to the rescue. Several IDd this plant as a cordia. I took a bit of persuading as many of the pictures and descriptions didn’t seem to match but we did eventually find a close match variety so cordia sebestena it is . The flowers are small, perhaps 2cm across, but the shrub is large, this one is about 2m high but if left can get much bigger, 8-10m. It is widely planted in the tropics, I quote from its Wikipedia page “It is planted in traffic  medians and parking lots, and is a useful seaside subject”. Just sayin’….

6. Portulaca oleracea, or common purslane. Found across north africa, the middle east and in southern europe, it is lowish growing, with thick succulent style leaves.  The flowers are quite small, maybe 2cm across, bright orange in this case.

Well, that’s my unseasonably sunny Six for this week, what are yours? If you’d like to join in, just add a comment below with a link to your post and maybe a link back to this blog in yours. Our growing (pun!) community of contributors would love a nose round your garden!  Please see the brief participants’ guide for more details. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and don’t forget to check back over the next 48 hours as more links get added.

I’ll be back in Blighty next Saturday with a more autumnal Six.

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