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  • LIFESTYLE

    Chasing waterfalls

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 23/08/2015

    » It was only 3.30pm but with rain threatening to fall at any time, darkness descended fast on Lam Nam Kok National Park in Doi Hang, Chiang Rai province. It had rained the night before and parts of the trail were slippery. One false move could easily send someone rolling down the steep mountainside to the point of no return.

  • LIFESTYLE

    La vie en rose

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 07/06/2015

    » ‘A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness…” English poet John Keats was not thinking about roses in particular when he wrote that poem in 1818; he only mentioned “musk-rose blooms” in passing. Yet, there is probably no other flower which has given so much joy since ancient times than the rose.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Hot in the city

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 19/04/2015

    » From his home in Soi On Nut, David Swartzentruber wrote to say that he had been trying to grow Spartan junipers in a planting box outside his building. “I must have gone through 15 now deceased junipers. Spartan, they were not,” he wrote.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Try hedging your bets

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 05/04/2015

    » Reader Poonsri Pupipat wrote to say that she lives in a very busy lane used as a shortcut by all types of vehicles from early morning to late at night. She planted rows of Polyathia longifolia var pandurata trees, known in Thai as asoke India, along both sides of her fence to alleviate noise and air pollution, but two died recently.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A taste for fine vines

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 15/03/2015

    » For more than seven years Chris Kaye had a beautiful Rangoon creeper on a trellis in front of his house some 20km south of Pattaya. “It has done remarkably well, producing copious fragrant flowers with virtually no special care,” he wrote. “Watering relied only on rainfall. Over the last two months it has completely died for no obvious reason. I cannot see any insects or grubs that may have killed it.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Seeing the light

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 22/02/2015

    » Vichai Atichartakarn, MD, wrote to say that many of his potted plants have leaves with brown edges. The leaves then die. “What is the cause?” he asked. “Is it because of lack of certain nutrient(s), too much sunlight, insects or disease? How can we correct and prevent it?”

  • LIFESTYLE

    A seasonal treat

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 06/04/2014

    » I posted a picture of Manila tamarind from the recent Kaset Fair on Facebook, and was surprised at the response it received from my Filipino friends. Many were nostalgic for the fruit, and lamented that they haven’t tasted it for decades. Many of my friends and former classmates have migrated to various parts of the world, so this is understandable; the fruit is seasonal and no one has found a way to preserve it. Unless they visit the Philippines or Thailand when it is in season, they won’t be able to eat it. What is surprising is that even those who live in the Philippines said they haven’t seen it for years.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A flora in the system

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 08/12/2013

    » A reader writing under the pseudonym ''Mrs Clover'' bought a passiflora with flowers a few months ago. ''At the moment the plant is very healthy with lots and lots of leaves, but no flowers,'' she wrote. ''As suggested by the seller, I apply fertiliser once a week, but it doesn't work. Your advice would be most appreciated.''

  • LIFESTYLE

    Blowing away the arguments against big trees in Bangkok

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 21/07/2013

    » Last week's column on Pterocarpus indicus, or pradoo, in bloom on Rama IV Road made me pay closer attention to trees along Bangkok's streets. Five days a week I have to fetch my grandson from school in the Dusit area, and from my gate near Suan Phlu to the school, I pass by many trees along the way.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Look at leaves on plants with no flower power

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 02/06/2013

    » Some plants have beautiful leaves to compensate for their lack of flowers. Codiaeum variegatum, commonly called croton, is among the first that come to mind. Known in Thai as koson, they have leaves that are multi-coloured, or blotched and speckled in many different patterns.

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