Mary and David Cook
London, UK, and Kenya

Text & photos by Mary and David Cook
Click images to enlarge

Whilst we live in London most of the year we own a small house in an acre plot in Kenya. The property is situated a few hundred miles south of the equator on the east coast of Africa, a few hundred yards from, but not on, the beach. When we purchased the land it was completely undeveloped scrubland and we have spent the last three years trying to create a tropical garden.




Whilst building the house and the pool we planted palm, flame and frangipani trees around the plot. It's so exciting to grow something from nothing. The only plants you can buy locally in Kenya are the ones the local people can propagate from cuttings. There are no formal garden nurseries - most plants are sold by enterprising would-be gardeners from shacks on the side of the road.




We now have bananas, passion fruit and monkeys! We have also constructed a large pond which has encouraged dragonflies and many amazing butterflies. We acquired some local water lilies and now hope to grow Victoria.







We want to build two more pools linked together with some sort of water feature. One pool that we are going to build (for Victoria) will be approx. 20 feet in diameter. Since it is impossible to buy a large container in Kenya we'll build a large trough in the centre and fill this with soil. We are hoping Victoria will be very happy with the air temperature a constant 90 degrees during the day and it only drops a few degrees at night.

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