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  • LIFE

    There's a time and place

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 25/12/2016

    » Merry Christmas! Today is a doubly auspicious day, for Christmas falls on a Sunday only once in seven years. Even in Buddhist Thailand, Christmas is a time for celebrations and for immersing one's self in the spirit of the season.

  • LIFE

    Flowers of flame

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 10/04/2016

    » The Tabebuia rosea, or chompoo panthip, on Kasetsart University's Kamphaeng Saen campus in Nakhon Pathom province caused a traffic jam as it attracted people from far and near last February. The trees were planted on both sides of the road and when they dropped all their leaves, only to be blanketed by flowers all at the same time, they were a sight to behold.

  • LIFE

    Ginger up

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 27/11/2016

    » Regular reader Paul Schiller sent me a photo of a plant growing in a flower pot at his summer home in Khao Lak, Phangnga province. "Do you know this small beauty?" he asked. The plant was a cluster of lance-shaped bright green leaves, with a terminal pendant inflorescence hanging from each stem. What's attractive about the plant was the unusual inflorescence, which comprised of showy, widely spaced purple bracts. From the base of each bract emerged the long, tube-like pedicel of a small yellow flower. The plant's stems and leaves are those characteristically belonging to members of the ginger family.

  • LIFE

    Raising dragons from the vine

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 24/08/2014

    » Taking advantage of a four-day holiday recently, my family went upcountry to indulge in our favourite pastime: gardening. Leaving Bangkok at 1pm on Saturday, we arrived at our country home at 10pm and even before we reached the doorstep I had found the answer to a reader's question.

  • LIFE

    Let the sunshine in

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 02/10/2016

    » A Filipino friend of mine who lives in the US was enamoured with a plant he saw on Facebook. It was rather expensive but he bought it anyway. The seller was in the Philippines so he had it delivered to his sister, with whom he stays during his visits home.

  • LIFE

    Embracing bee season

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 31/07/2016

    » I was standing on the veranda of our country home when I noticed a swarm of little white butterflies milling around the canopy of a rainbow eucalyptus. The tree was in bloom, and as I watched the butterflies fluttering from flower to flower, I could not help but marvel at the wonders of nature. Where did the butterflies come from? Other plants were in bloom as well, but why were they only attracted to this particularly tree? I had no doubt in my mind that the flowers were also pollinated by bees and other insects, but why were they visited by only one kind of butterfly?

  • LIFE

    Passing the smell test

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 17/04/2016

    » Ten years ago, Kriepob Limkangwalmongkol wrote to say that Phuket, where he lived, had many Chinese Taoist temples and they burned quite a lot of mai juang, or theptaro wood, to cleanse the atmosphere during their numerous ceremonies, especially during the annual vegetarian festival.

  • LIFE

    Surviving the desert

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 25/09/2016

    » In last week's Green Fingers, I mentioned that most plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the day but sansevierias do just the opposite: They purify and freshen the air at night while we are asleep. How do they do it?

  • LIFE

    A welcome that neverwears out

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 19/06/2016

    » It is common knowledge that the Philippine national costume, the barong Tagalog, is made from the fibres of pineapple leaves. Lightweight, embroidered in front and worn untucked over an undershirt, it is worn by both men and women as a formal attire.

  • LIFE

    Grow your own grub

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 22/11/2015

    » Readers must have heard of His Majesty the King’s por piang (self-sufficiency) economy for farmers. Based on the assumption that a farmer owns 15 rai of land, it advises the land be divided four ways: 30%, or 4.5 rai, for a pond or water reservoir, 30% for a rice field, 30% for vegetable and fruit orchards, and 10%, or 1.5 rai, for a residential area.

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