Gardener stories: Meet Hajar

Hajar Eido Khadida standing in her home garden, Khanki camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Hajar Eido Khadida is a 23-year-old student living in Khanki IDP camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. We chatted to her about her garden and life in general during the Covid-19 pandemic.

🌿 How much time do you spend in your garden and why is it important to you?
I spend 30 minutes every day in my garden. The garden is important because it softens the environment and gives my tent a more beautiful view. I enjoy spending time in it as I love to plant and grow.

🌿 What are your favourite plants?
Many different types of flowers. In terms of fruit, I love grapes, peaches, pomegranate and sumac. Vegetables include onions, garlic and other types.

🌿 When and why did you start building your garden?
I initially created my garden in 2017 to grow food but then it developed into a place of beauty as well.

Hajar Eido Khadida's home garden, Khanki camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq


🌿 Did you participate in our gardening competitions?
Yes, last year I was awarded third position in the competition. I took part both for the enjoyment of it, but also for the financial incentive because our financial situation is very difficult.

🌿 In what way has the coronavirus crisis made life in the camp more difficult?
Economically, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the lives of people in the camp in general, and on those who were dependent on daily work. There has also been a psychological impact on people having to stay at home and feeling trapped in their tents.

🌿 How does your garden help you and your family to live in the camp, especially during the Coronavirus crisis?
Being in the garden with family has been beneficial from a psychological point of view. We feel better mentally when we spend time in our garden.

Close up of plants in Hajar Eido Khadida's home garden, Khanki camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Close up of a tree and plants in Hajar Eido Khadida's home garden, Khanki camp, Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Want to support gardeners like Hajar?

The Lemon Tree Trust welcomes one-off and regular donations. 

To make a donation, please go to: lemontreetrust.org/donate

Our core infrastructure costs are fully funded so 100% of your donation directly supports gardening projects and initiatives in refugee communities.

  • $1 / £1 can give a family a packet of vegetable seeds 
  • $5 / £5 can provide a family a basket of nutritious produce 
  • $25 / £25 can fund a Home Garden Starter Kit for a new family arriving in the camp, containing a Home Garden Manual, seeds, tools, a grow-bag and a children’s gardening activity

More gardener stories

  • Watch our short films about why displaced people garden
  • Meet Domiz 2 camp resident Salih

 

We’re thrilled to welcome Hamid Abdullah to the Lemon Tree Trust as our Horticulture & Landscape Consultant. Based in Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Hamid will support Aveen and our team with horticulture training and landscape design for existing and new projects.  We asked him a few questions to get to know him better:  Which landscape designers are you influenced by and why?  … Continued

One thing that Covid-19 has highlighted is that gardening has no borders. We are all finding solace in our personal green space, wherever we are in the world. Your support throughout 2020 and beyond – whether that’s sending seed to our emergency appeal, making a one-off or regular donation via our JustGiving page, or liking, … Continued

Many thanks to Annie Guilfoyle and Noel Kingsbury at Garden Masterclass who are inviting members to make a donation to Lemon Tree Trust when attending special member events. So far member events have included a debate on ‘What makes a great garden plant’ between horticulturalists and gardeners Edward Flint, Bob Brown and Andi Strachan on … Continued