• Monday, December 04, 2006

    Thai gardens and gardening in Thailand...

    Just thought I'd post a few pics of the garden here in Bangkok. When we moved in the garden was more jungle than garden; thick with weeds and thorn-covered plants and so deep with it that you couldn't see the ground. Lots of hacking and chopping and digging and then we had something to work on. I did a post some time ago about the early garden and how we turfed it and got it looking like a garden.

    My wife doesn't do anything in the garden and leaves it to me. Unfortunately I'm less than green-fingered and don't really what I'm doing. I buy plants that I think look good and then try to prevent them from dying. With the exception of the three bougainvillea we have and a few Lirrawaddy I don't know the name of anything in the garden.

    I probably don't water as often as I should, certainly not daily. I read somewhere that it is better to give it a good soak maybe twice a week rather than a sprinkle every day. Being of the slightly hippy persuasion I refuse any fertiliser and so, given the poor quality of the soil around our house, some of the plants look as if they could do with a good feed. I'm hoping that over time they will adjust and manage to survive. I try to cut the grass regularly and leave the cuttings on the lawn, which I'm told will act as a natural fertiliser.

    The garden isn't finished by a long way and there are plenty of things I would like to do to "perfect" the garden. When deciding how our garden would evolve the biggest considerations were snakes, mosquitoes and useable area. Any area where we discovered snakes and that seemed to offer shelter for snakes we altered. We used to have banana-like plants that grew like weeds and retained a lot of moisture. They were very nice but encouraged both mozzies and toads. Whilst we have nothing against toads, they are high on the snake's menu. The plants went. We still get toads but not enough to encourage snakes to risk being in close proximity to humans.

    Ideally some kind of water feature would be nice but if we have water in the garden we have to accept an increase in mosquitoes. The answer would be to have fish too, as they will eat the eggs the mosquitoes lay in the water. Personally I don't want to keep fish in a small space and we're not looking for a pond or water feature big enough to provide a good environment. It is also another responsibility we would have to cater for.

    Next on the list of things is to create a shaded and cool seating area that we can protect from mosquitoes so we can sit outside comfortably in the evening. All things for me to take care of when I return from the UK.

    Apart from my obvious lack of knowledge of things related to the garden it is an enjoyable past-time. Plants are generally cheap in Thailand and there's no shortage of ornaments and objects that can be bought for the garden. If there are any big jobs that need doing it is cheap enough to get help. We have spoken in the past to landscape gardeners here and they charge almost as much as they do back home. So rather than spend a fortune and have an instant garden we're going down the slow road and doing it ourselves. Much more enjoyable.

    Thai gardens and gardening in Thailand...



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