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  • LIFESTYLE

    For beauty and variety, it's fern, baby fern

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 28/04/2013

    » Some plants are grown because they have beautiful flowers, yet there are plants which are treasured even when they never bloom. Ferns belong to the latter category; plant fanciers love them because they are decorative, add freshness to their surroundings, and give a feeling of coolness even during the height of summer. Thailand has more than 700 species of fern, which come in many different forms, so you never run out of new ones to add to your collection. What's more, some ferns form mutations that can at times bear little or no resemblance to the mother plant, which adds to the excitement of growing them.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Rising rental fees could cause premier plant expo to wither

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 20/01/2013

    » The annual agricultural fair at Kasetsart University's Bang Khen campus is coming up this Feb 1-9, and if you are looking for improved varieties of fruit trees to plant, you are likely to find them there. Last year's offerings included edible fig and Indian gooseberry, or emblic, with fruit as big as your big toe instead of your thumb. There were also mangoes that weighed one kilogramme or more each, jackfruit with red flesh instead of the traditional golden yellow or yellow orange, sapodilla with fruit the size of Vietnamese guava, marian plum or maprang with fruit the size of a hen's egg, dwarf coconuts that bear 30 to 50 fruit per bunch, bananas with metre-long bunches of fruit with hands bearing up to 21 fingers instead of the usual 12 to 14, limes with fruit as big as golf balls, and many others. Either the actual fruit or photos of them were shown, so that buyers would have an idea of what to expect from the trees.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Get ready to feel the burn

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 17/06/2012

    » In response to the May 27 ''Green Fingers'' article on chillies, Bhagat N wrote to ask what could be the reason why his bhut jolokia plant is not bearing fruit even though it is full of flowers. ''I live in Bangkok and I brought the plant from Manipur,'' he wrote.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The virtues of vegging out

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 10/06/2012

    » South Korea is one of the most affluent countries in Asia, however old habits die hard and many of the country's citizens still tend to backyard vegetable gardens just as their forebears did decades ago. My daughter, Nalinee, who is now in Yeosu, South Korea, observed that locals there ''like to grow vegetables in containers in their backyards or in vacant lots near their houses. The soil does not look fertile yet the plants grow very well.''

  • LIFESTYLE

    Get your fair share

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 03/06/2012

    » Better late than never. This seems to be the slogan of the Kaset Fair, which used to be held for nine days every year from the last Friday of January to the first Saturday of February. Delayed by last year's floods, which put Kasetsart University under one metre of water for nearly a month, the annual agricultural fair is now being held in the university grounds and you have until Wednesday to check out what it has to offer.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Plant yourself at chatuchak

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 06/05/2012

    » Areader wrote to ask where she could purchase seeds of the vegetable and herbs mentioned in ''Grow your own'' (''Green Fingers'', April 1). The article was about a couple, Rawat and Orawan Chomsri, who now grow herbs like holy basil, sweet basil and hairy basil as well as a green leafy vegetable called kwang toong in their backyard after finding these in short supply during the floods. To ensure I gave the right answer, I went to the Chatuchak plant market _ and found more than just vegetable and herb seeds.

  • 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.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Family's roots grow strong on farm

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 29/04/2012

    » Our farm is small, but it is the only place where my whole family can indulge in our favourite activity, gardening, to our hearts' desire. It is a seven-hour drive from Bangkok or six if we don't stop for petrol and lunch or dinner, but we take every chance we can to go there and the long Songkran weekend was no exception. Once there, I immerse myself in my own world, forgetting everything but the people I hold near and dear to my heart, as I spend most of the day and put all my energy into repotting and propagating bromeliads, and planting shrubs and trees.

  • 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

    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.

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