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  • LIFE

    Xerophytes win water fights

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 22/05/2016

    » May is almost at an end. Usually around this time, our friends Bantherng and his wife Phen are busy harvesting lychee in their orchard in Phetchabun. This year, however, not one of their more than 100 trees bore fruit. In fact, not one lychee tree in their district of Nam Nao, some 40km from Nam Nao National Park, had fruit this year.

  • LIFE

    On the hunt for the plant thieves

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 07/12/2014

    » Why would someone steal the world's rarest water lily? That was the question asked by Sam Knight in an article published in the British newspaper The Guardian recently. He wrote the lengthy article after the smallest water lily in the world, the Nymphaea thermarum, whose white flowers measure less than 1cm across, was stolen from — of all places — the Princess of Wales Conservatory in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London.

  • LIFE

    If you can stand the heat

    B Magazine, 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.

  • 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

    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

    Oasis in the concrete jungle

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 30/10/2016

    » It rained hard in the wee hours of the morning that day I went to King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital two weeks ago. As I walked past the Department of Laboratory Medicine building, a sudden burst of sound filled the air. I stopped to look and listen, and was mesmerised by what I saw.

  • LIFE

    Branch out and keep your cool

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 17/01/2016

    » We were in the grounds of the seaside Marriott hotel in Rayong during a family holiday recently. I was walking towards the beach, with my husband, ML Charuphant, following several steps behind, when he called out.

  • LIFE

    The best way to turn over that new leaf

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 03/01/2016

    » I have a young friend who lives in Fresno, California. She teaches science in high school but does volunteer work in her spare time, taking a group of elderly people to a public park to do gardening. “There are plots in the park where the elderly can plant flowers or vegetables,” she said when we talked on the phone recently. “They love it. They find it invigorating. Growing plants has given them a new purpose in life.”

  • LIFE

    Nature’s air conditioners

    B Magazine, 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.

  • LIFE

    Standing in the shadows of giants

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 30/08/2015

    » Small is beautiful, but giants are far more awe-inspiring. That I found out during a trip to northern Thailand recently.

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