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  • LIFESTYLE

    Pucker up for soursop

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 01/01/2012

    » Happy New Year to all readers. The year 2012 starts today, and may it bring you prosperity not only in monetary terms, but also the things that matter most in life, namely good health, love and happiness.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Give 'em shelter from the storms

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 08/01/2012

    » Glanz Ang, a friend who lives in Cagayan de Oro in the southern Philippines region of Mindanao, emailed me in November to express his concern about the floods that were devastating Bangkok. "I hope your house is not affected. Please update us on how you are doing. We are worried about the flood in your place," he wrote.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Overcoming obstacles to orchid growing

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 15/01/2012

    » Lynda Smit wrote that she would like to learn more about orchids. ''We live in Bangkok and I would like to fill our home with orchids. But where do I purchase them?'' she asked. ''And how do I look after them? I did a lot of researching and found different information.''

  • LIFESTYLE

    A comedy legend with a passion for preservation

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 05/02/2012

    » To millions of Thai soap opera fans, Anand Bunnag is a popular comedy actor, but those who know him well are aware that he is also a serious plant lover and conservationist of native Thai flora and fauna. We were discussing orchids with Anand after dinner at his home recently and he offered to show us his latest collection. ''The atmosphere is different if you look at plants at night,'' he said, and with a torch in hand he led us to his greenhouse.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Orchids are born to be wild

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 26/02/2012

    » While we were staying in a hotel during a family holiday in Prachuap Khiri Khan, the friendly hotel owner suggested that we make a side trip to Dan Singkhon near the Thai-Myanmar border. ''There's a thriving market there for wild orchids from Burma,'' she said. I had heard of Dan Singkhon before, but although Prachuap Khiri Khan is my family's favourite holiday destination and we go there every chance we get, we had never been to Dan Singkhon. It's not because we don't like orchids, but buying orchids taken from the wild is tantamount to encouraging poachers to go back to the forests to collect more plants to sell in the market.

  • LIFESTYLE

    These trees love a sea breeze

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 04/03/2012

    » Marc Jacqueline and his wife have acquired a piece of land near Khanom Bay in Nakhon Si Thammarat and want to plant trees around their property to define its borders. ''We were planning to use mango and coconut trees, but maybe we should look at alternatives such as teak or Acacia mangium or Caesalpinia pulcherrima,'' he wrote.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Hard to find trees turn up full of flavour

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 25/03/2012

    » A reader named Malcolm wrote me an email to say that he is now the proud owner of a 10m fruit-bearing black sapote (Diospyros digyna). He said he grew it from a seed that he obtained from a tropical fruit farm in Australia 10 years ago.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Grow your own

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 01/04/2012

    » The floods that put nearly a third of Thailand underwater for months last year sent the price of vegetables soaring, that is if they were available at all. This served as a lesson to one couple, who decided to ensure they maintain a steady supply of herbs and vegetables, floods or no floods.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Life's a beach for these beauties

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 08/04/2012

    » 'Green Fingers" on March 4 offered some suitable choices for oceanfront homeowners looking for plants to add shade, decoration or boundary markers to their property. Coconut trees and casuarina, known in Thai as son talay, are the most prominent trees along beaches throughout the country, but they are by no means the only ones you can plant by the sea.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Some plants not as thirsty as you d-think

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 15/04/2012

    » Regular reader Ole Tarp sent me an email from Hua Hin seeking advice about his plumeria, or frangipani tree. ''It is blooming beautifully this month,'' he wrote. ''The problem is that it will do so only one month per year.

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