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A Tropical Garden Update May 2019

What's happening in the garden after the hot season with long awaited rains happening

I have been keeping my obsession for the garden off Facebook and the blog, but with the high temperatures of March/April over and the rains started everything is in top gear for recovery and growth so I have weakened.

You can almost see the difference day to day the plants are so happy. Our main activity is not to add more plants but to control the ones we already have. This is a purely visual post as I think that the images speak for themselves.

The Original Garden – commenced 2015

The new tropical garden – commenced 2018

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  1. Gavin

    You’ve both created a true oasis at you’re house, keep the updates coming, I get in trouble for buying any plants that you can not eat lol

    • Tony in Thailand

      Thank you Gavin. After our two brief visits to Chiang Mai, which is mostly a concrete, traffic clogged wasteland, it was such a pleasure to return to the gardens and peace and quiet (apart from the chickens and dogs!) I do understand the emphasis on buying plants that pay their way. Gaun is very unusual in her deep joy of flowering plants that do nothing other than look good. We do however have plenty of things to eat mixed in including mangos, coconuts, limes, kaffir limes, pappaya, chilli, lemongrass, custard apples, jackfruit, guava, tamarind plus a few unknowns (to me). We are lucky to have the family farm on tap, which supplies us with whatever they are growing and means we don’t have to have a veggie patch at home.

  2. Nobby

    Stunning photography Tony, thanks for sharing.

    Chris and Nong

  3. Greg Carroll

    A glass of SangSom and soda sounds like the perfect accompaniment Tony. We will remember that.
    The rain has certainly done the world of good. Guan and Tony’s Tropical Wilderness if Guan doesn’t keep it in check.
    Cheers…Yuri & Greg

    • Tony in Thailand

      A touch of lemon/lime mix to go with it Greg, just to add a little sweetness. I will have a SangSom to toast you and Yuri tonight.

      We have taken two big ute-loads of cuttings to the farm in the last week with another one ready to go. The garden has reached the stage that it’s all about the stuff coming out not going in! More light rain last night just to keep it ticking over.

      We are just about to head out to the second day of a Bun Bang Fai festival in the village across the road from us. Rockets and live music today. I read your email and will respond separately. I wonder if you pick up on a reference to Yuri in a recent blog post 🙂

      Cheers mate.

  4. Jim Busby

    Your killing me Tony. You and Gaun have created this beautiful lush paradise, and all I have to show for my time is a bleak landscape that is just coming to life after the subfreezing winter, and we’re almost in summer here. Will put in two Agave, and two Gaura today to add a little something, and hope the summer heat doesn’t get as bad as last year. Great job you guys with the layout and presentation. Gaun is a one person gardening machine. I also notice in some of your photos all that gardening has made her forearms more muscular than my legs! Wouldn’t try a go at arm wrestling, that’s for sure. On another note, the Copperleaf, may be in the Euonymus family, but can’t tell from your previous photos.

    Take care,


    • Tony in Thailand

      The soil and climate here contribute so much to making us look something special. That’s not to downplay Gaun’s incredible hard work but she has a lot of support in creating this oasis of lushness in the circumstances of our location. If I had to return to my ‘normal’ garden environment of Canberra I would be equally frustrated by memories of how it can be. We are just about to head out for another party but once I sober up the next post will be an update on the beach hut at the farm. I took some photos yesterday and that has been an amazing transformation as well in only six months. I hope your new plantings go well. I Googled them both to see what you were putting in.

      Yes, Gaun is non-stop in one way or another. By the time I wake up for coffee at around 8:00 am she has done an hour of work already. When she takes mama out to the farm early morning she will do weeding using one of those miner’s helmets for light. And yes, she is as strong as I am even though she only weighs in the mid-40 kilos (100 pounds). Gaun sometimes tells me that she gets worried her arms ‘look like ladyboy’, but what can she do? She would sooner be on the end of a hoe than painting her nails 🙂

      I will update that garden post with several of your suggestions and a few new ones. For someone who wakes without much of a schedule for the day I remain remarkably busy away from the computer.

      Good to hear from you Jim.


  5. Richard

    Hi Tony, Just out of interest, do you have an view from above plan?

    Best wishes,

    • Tony in Thailand

      No I don’t Richard, other than a VERY rough original plan of what I wanted to achieve. It is a good idea though and I will put one together and let you know when it is done. I did play around with the idea of buying a cheap drone more recently but, although there are a few shots like the garden which would be terrific from a drone view, I don’t think that otherwise I would use it much.

  6. Brian Marshall

    Hey Tony, you two have indeed created Utopia!
    All the hard yakka has paid off.
    Indeed a wonderful atmosphere to enjoy a couple of coldies of an evening.
    Please keep the posts coming.
    Brian M

    • Tony in Thailand

      It is my saviour from the ugliness of much of the rest of Thailand. I have just come in from a late afternoon wander through the garden with a glass of SangSom, ice and soda, and it is times like that when life seems pretty OK.

      Thanks for the comment Brian.

  7. Mel Yates

    Hi Tony. I am interested in all of your “herringbone pattern” paths. You seem to have endless pathways. Did you lay these yourself or did you get local help? Having laid many paths and patios myself I am very interested. Your gardens look amazing. Keep up the great blog. Cheers, Mel

    • Tony in Thailand

      The first batch was done for me. The last two Gaun and I have done. It’s not hard work but a bit tiring on the knees. The bricks look great but are hard work to keep the mold off them especially during the current wet season. I am experimenting with a new sealer (started testing today) to see if that helps. The gardens are a constant pleasure. Thanks.


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