Take a look at Shireen Humphreys’ Jumeirah Park garden as she talks through how to transformed her outdoor space into a tropical haven to relax in with friends and family
“When we bought our home in 2014, the back garden was little more than a sandpit,” laughs Shireen (who runs the Instragram account a_mummys_home) as she curls up on the outdoor sofa with a cup of herbal tea.
“My husband and I are famous in our friend circle for hosting alfresco parties so it was important to make the space well-geared for social gatherings.”
The renovation started in 2016 and took around a year to complete. “The biggest task was relocating the swimming pool to a more central position, leaving space for an outdoor kitchen in line with the lounge area. We couldn’t get a digger into the garden so it had to be hand dug, which was no mean feat.” It took around two to three weeks to complete. In that time, Shireen was busy falling in love with the tiles.
“I took a shine to the blue, white and lemon Italian tiles that were shown to us by our contractor,” she says. The hitch? It would take five months to ship them to Dubai. “It seemed like a long time to wait but, for me, they were integral to the design,” justifies Shireen. “Plus, it allowed me to go ahead and work on weaving in my accent colours throughout the rest of the design.”
Using small blue-hued tiles for the pool gives it a luxurious and inviting edge while a practical transparent screen means the space is secure for kids, without compromising on its style.
Another practical choice, Shireen opted for artificial grass. “There are so many great options available nowadays in terms of texture and colour and it doesn’t get hot under foot. It has been fantastic in terms of maintenance,” she adds.
Most of the outdoor furniture was bought from La Veranda, “The wicker look doesn’t work for me as it can get burnt to a crisp under the Dubai sun,” says Shireen. “However, it’s so heavy that we had to specify the exact spot that it was placed upon delivery as it wouldn’t be possible to move it again by hand.”
How to grow a tropical style garden in Dubai
You can’t go wrong with a classic colour palette of green, pink and white. Shireen chose a mixture of frangipani, bougainvillea, banana plant, ficus and champa plant for a tropical ambience that is easy to maintain in the desert.
Get a great gardener. It takes more than keeping the plants well watered to achieve a stand-out yard. Shireen’s garden is kept in check by a talented gardener Barbar Ali of View Flower Landscaping.
Fake it ’til you make it. Consider artificial grass as an eco-friendly way to greenover your garden.