This is first interview in Meet Master Gardeners series. Today, I am interviewing Muhammad Khabbab – a passionate gardener and founder of Gardening in Pakistan forum. Khabbab also writes his gardening blog and loves to photograph plants in his lovely garden. Here is my favorite article from his blog: Tips for buying plants from nursery.
Here goes my conversation with Khabbab.
Tell me something about your garden?
It is a terrace garden where I grow water lilies, jasmines, annuals, perennials, tomatoes and climbers. I also have some soil beds that host bulbs including Paperwhite, Freesia, Anemone, Ranunculus, Nerine Lily, Agapanthus and climbers like Wisteria, Bauhinia, Snail Vine, Stephanotis Floribunda, Japanese honeysuckle etc.
What is gardening to you (how important is it you to have a garden in your home)?
Gardening is a passion to me.
When and how did you start gardening?
In 2008, inspired by Jasmine Vine blooms.
What is blooming in your garden today?
What type(s) of plants do you grow (flowering, fruits, cacti)?
I grow flowering plants specially climbers.
What grows in your dream garden (if climate allows, what would you love to grow in your garden)?
Lots of flowering plants especially Aquilegia, Alliums, Lilly of the valley, Hyacinths, fragrant Orchids, Snow Drop, Tree Lilies and Tulips.
Name your favorites?
Tropical Water lily, Jasmine Nitidium, Murraya Pacinulata, Wisteria, Passiflora and Nerine Lily.
Why is it your favorite?
Fragrance and exotic look of blooms.
How much personal time do you spare for your garden every week?
About an hour in summers and 3 to 5 hours in fall.
Who/what inspired you the most towards gardening?
Tropical Water Lilies.
Do you have a specific monthly budget for your hobby?
No, it varies.
What is you take on organic and inorganic gardening?
I am strongly in favor of organic gardening. Pesticides keep butterflies away from your garden so a big no no.
What is your major challenge as a gardener?
Keeping plants live in extreme summers on my terrace.
What was your last purchase (gardening item)?
It was a spade.
Do you remember your first plant?
Yes, it was Jasmine Sambac (motia).
Are you an experimental gardener?
Only to the extent so that I know this particular plant should adapt to my climate. No out of climate experimenting.
What is your most memorable achievement as a gardener?
Overwintering water lilies and saving spring bulbs in summer.
What is the mission behind gardening forum that you run?
So that we could learn from other’s experiences.
Here are a few pictures from Khabbab’s terrace garden.