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  • 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

    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

    Petal compositions

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 18/12/2016

    » The recent "Dok Mai Haeng Rachan" exhibition at Siam Paragon was a most fitting tribute to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. And no floral arrangement could have lived up to the theme of the exhibition, literally meaning "the King's flowers", better than a photo of the late King in full regalia surrounded by a sea of dried flowers.

  • LIFE

    Turns for the better

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 11/12/2016

    » Unlike the Philippines, which is battered by no less than 24 typhoons a year, Thailand is hardly hit by typhoons. Thais, therefore, did not know what to expect when Typhoon Gay hit the Gulf of Thailand on Nov 3, 1989. With gale-force winds of 120kph, it killed 529 people, including fishermen and offshore oil rig workers, and rendered 160,000 homeless in the southern provinces of Chumphon, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

  • LIFE

    The strength of the land

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 23/10/2016

    » I once wrote an article about His Majesty the King's Royal Project for an information and policy studies institute in London, which commissioned me to write about development issues in this part of the world.

  • LIFE

    Prickly customers

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 28/08/2016

    » If the number of stalls selling a plant can be an indication of its popularity, then cacti and succulents are clearly back in favour. At Chatuchak midweek plant market there are certainly more vendors selling these miniature beauties than ever before. Many are species and hybrids newly introduced from other countries.

  • LIFE

    A shrub with the golden touch

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 07/08/2016

    » Some gardeners like to grow shrubs and trees that attract birds, bees and butterflies to their garden. One shrub that bees just can't leave alone is Xanthostemon chrysanthus, commonly known as golden penda in its native Australia. It was brought to Thailand by a Chiang Mai plant enthusiast who fell in love with it at first sight during a visit to Queensland in Australia, and named it rak raek pob (love at first sight).

  • LIFE

    Changing the landscape

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 26/06/2016

    » Thomas Loke wrote to say that he does landscaping and hopes to use bromeliads in his future designs. He wants to know whether there is going to be a bromeliad fair this year.

  • LIFE

    The plants are bugged

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 03/04/2016

    » There’s a sad footnote to the story about Petchsuporn Rapley’s date palms in Doi Saket, Chiang Mai (Green Fingers, March 6). For those who did not read the article, Ms Petchsuporn planted some 100 date palms as an experiment a little over three years ago. A year later two trees started to flower, followed by a few more last year. Braving sharp-as-nails giant thorns, she and her workers cross-pollinated the trees manually and these successfully bore fruit for the first time last year.

  • LIFE

    Trumpeting the invasion

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 13/03/2016

    » The herald’s trumpet or Easter lily vine (Beaumontia grandiflora aka Beaumontia murtonii, known as hiranyika in Thai) along the fence of the neighbour across the street from my house is in bloom again. The large and attractive white flowers have a lovely scent, especially in the early morning, and I often cross the street to give the flowers a sniff.

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