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  • LIFESTYLE

    Prickly customers

    Brunch, 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.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A shrub with the golden touch

    Brunch, 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).

  • LIFESTYLE

    The plants are bugged

    Brunch, 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.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A date with destiny

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 06/03/2016

    » If I remember it right, Thais started to plant Phoenix dactylifera, or date palm, in the 1980s. I have never heard of the trees successfully bearing fruit, so I put it down to the climate.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Sweet wave

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 14/02/2016

    » As a regular visitor, I already knew what to expect at this year’s annual agricultural fair at Kasetsart University. There would be fruit tree saplings, ornamental plants and agricultural machinery for sale. There would be seasonal fruit and agricultural crops. Nearly half of the produce on sale, however, would be fried food, and things only remotely related to agriculture, such as furniture, footwear, accessories, clothing and cosmetics.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Raising a peep

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 29/11/2015

    » Grant Howlett is an Australian expatriate with a reasonable knowledge of things botanical in his home country. But when it comes to Asian plant life, “alas, I have lots to learn”, he wrote. “I did reside for many years in the tropics of northern Australia, and many plants there are also here, like the foxtail palm which is originally from Australia but now prolific here in Thailand, but when it comes to trees I am lost.”

  • LIFESTYLE

    A landscape on the rocks

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 15/11/2015

    » Frederik Majoor and his wife, Patraporn, live in a tropical paradise just a seven-minute walk from Surin beach in Phuket. They own three villas that boast a lush, beautifully landscaped garden, complete with a waterfall and a large pond designed like a stream and populated by 99 colourful Japanese carp, or koi.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A question of design

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 25/10/2015

    » The photos you see on this page came from Alastair North, whose garden design is intended to apply to a small to middle size urban or suburban garden of about 150-200 square wah, or 600-800 square metres.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Where mountains meet sea

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 27/09/2015

    » Reader Petchsuporn Rapley lives in Chiang Mai, which is hundreds of kilometres from the nearest coastline. However, this has not stopped her from enjoying trees that are commonly seen only in mangrove forests, associated with estuary and coastal areas. In her garden in Doi Saket, she grows mangrove trees in containers.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Soil food

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 06/09/2015

    » Plants are like people. Give them their basic needs and they will grow up happily. Keep them healthy and fit and they will be better able to resist disease.

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