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  • LIFESTYLE

    All I need is the air that I breathe

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 20/11/2016

    » 'Please introduce air plant farms in the Bangkok area," an email I received recently requested. I am sure there are hobbyists growing air plants in their gardens or balconies, but because of high land prices, I doubt it if there are plant nurseries in Bangkok. Be that as it may, I went to my favourite haunt, the Chatuchak midweek market, last Wednesday to ask around.

  • LIFESTYLE

    No slacking off in hunt for salak

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 14/08/2016

    » Roy Cruise sent me an email asking where to find chempedak (Artocarpus integer), salak (Salacca zalacca) and gandaria (Bouea macrophylla) in Thailand. A friend of his in Cavite, Philippines, had asked him to look for the said fruit trees but he has not been able to find them in Mae Hong Son, where he lives. "I was wondering if you had any idea where I may find them?" he asked.

  • LIFESTYLE

    If you can stand the heat

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 01/05/2016

    » It's especially hot, of course, in Thailand during the summer months. But judging from the way Cassia fistula is blooming heavily this year, this summer has been even hotter than previous years.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Don’t leave it in distress

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 06/11/2016

    » Deeporne Beardsley wrote from Tucson, Arizona, to say that she and her husband are volunteers in a local university hydroponics greenhouse. “Today, the abbot of Wat Buddhametta, Ajarn Saraut, showed me two potted bodhi trees and asked why the leaves of one were turning yellow,” she wrote.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Nature’s air conditioners

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 10/01/2016

    » While I was writing this, extreme weather was wreaking havoc in many parts of the world. In South America, vast areas in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay were hit in what was said to be the “worst flooding in 50 years”. Deadly tornadoes, snowstorms and floods brought winter woes to Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Arkansas and several other states in the US Midwest and South, and record-breaking rains brought floods that devastated parts of northern England and Scotland.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Don’t waste a drop

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 12/04/2015

    » It is a Thai custom to make merit on religious and other important holidays. This Songkran, three days of celebration which starts tomorrow, you can be sure that large crowds will be converging on Sanam Luang and major temples in Bangkok and the provinces to make merit by giving alms to monks.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Plant the seeds of peace

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 04/01/2015

    » A friend commented that time goes by very fast when one is having fun. Despite months of political turbulence and street demonstrations, which are hardly anyone’s definition of fun, 2014 has gone very fast and we have now embarked on another year. We can only hope that this year will bring peace throughout the world and less suffering caused by natural disasters.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A flora in the system

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 08/12/2013

    » A reader writing under the pseudonym ''Mrs Clover'' bought a passiflora with flowers a few months ago. ''At the moment the plant is very healthy with lots and lots of leaves, but no flowers,'' she wrote. ''As suggested by the seller, I apply fertiliser once a week, but it doesn't work. Your advice would be most appreciated.''

  • LIFESTYLE

    When they can't stand the heat

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 13/10/2013

    » A mother sent me an email from the UK to say that she was coming to Thailand in November and would like to bring vegetable and flower seeds for her daughter, who lives in Rayong. "She mentioned growing plants in pots and I suggested that she plant vegetables in her garden. What would be the best flower and vegetable seeds to take there? I would appreciate any advice you could give me," she wrote.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Plant and prosper _ right from the ground up

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 14/10/2012

    » When is the best time to plant trees and shrubs in the ground? Anytime, even in the summer, if you can give them sufficient irrigation. If you want to save on water, plant now during the rainy season, but make sure the soil is not soggy at all times or your trees will suffocate and die. The rainy days are now almost at an end, so once the rain has stopped you may have to continue watering until they are fully established in their new location.

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