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A Thailand Tropical Garden Update – 18 months on


We bought a bare block of land in November 2017 and in January 2018 started work to turn it into one of Isan’s most beautiful private tropical gardens. This is a photo record of how we are going to achieve that target after 18 months.

This is very much a specialised post for those readers who enjoy gardens, especially ones stacked with tropical colours and plants. I will add links to where you can find previous posts as I have published a few to demonstrate how quickly one can establish a garden such as this in the wonderful Thailand climate. Developing a garden like this one is not for those expats who just want to sit back and watch their lawn growing. It requires constant attention but for Gaun, my wife, and I it is a real pleasure and forms part of our everyday life here in the northeast of Thailand.

This is mostly a photo story with not a lot of words. The photos are in no particular order and are intedned to give you a feel for what the gardens would look like if you visited us and wandered through them, praferably with a glass of something cold in your hand! 

The Iasn timber rice hut we relocated to the garden is now almost hidden behind a wall of tropical colour. Each section of the barden is designed to be a unique visual experience and there is nowhere you can see all of the space in the one view.

From the rice hut looking the other way.

The entrance to the rice hut area on the left and what you find behind on the right.

Our reclaimed Isan fishing boat is looking more settled all the time.

The entrance to the original garden we started in March 2015.

Here are some links to previous stories about our gardens:

A Garden Update 12 July 2015 – HERE

A Tropical Garden Update May 2019- HERE

Tropical  Garden in Thailand – HERE

Tropical Garden Update 7 Feb 2018 – HERE

My Garden Sprinkler System 3 Apr 2019 – HERE

Tropical Garden Update 16 Jul 2018 – HERE

Tropical Garden Update 10 Arr 2018 – HERE

I hope you enjoyed this garden update. Please leave a comment. because it gives me something to read in exchange.


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  1. Adrian W Martin

    Luverly photos Tony. I’m glad I asked you for recent mailings!! Things certainly grow well with your green thumb. I had a similar experience in Tasmania. We bought a run-down farm property south of Hobart, on the side of a steep hill and just into the snow line. The house was newly-built, so we were comfortable. I bought and installed one of those nice big UK AGA stoves with a large boiler in the firebox. This supplied endless hot water and I also piped some around the bedrooms to warm them up, using standard heating panels. Tonnes of timber available on the property.

    The land needed working up, and I had the soil analysed, and some trace elements added to a super phosphate spreader, and things grew well.

    I added a milking cow and some steer calves, a couple of weaner piglets, hens, bees – the lot!

    I had a lot to learn, books in hand, but we were well supplied for a few years.

    European type flowers grew well, and I was selling 7000 tulips a season to a strong Dutch community in the area.

    I shared the milk with a few other farming friends and we were well supplied with apples, pears, cherries, berry fruit and a few lambs.

    When the kids started high school and University, we had to move closer to the city, but that’s life.

    • Tony in Thailand

      Thank you Adrian. Have you followed ‘The Gourmet Farmer’ TV programme in Tassie?

      Matthew Evans once trained as a chef before he crossed to the dark side of the industry and became a restaurant reviewer. After five years and 2,000 restaurant meals as the chief reviewer for the Sydney Morning Herald, he came to the slow realisation that chefs don’t have the best produce in the land, normal people who live close to the land do. So he moved to Tasmania, to a small patch of earth, where he’s raising pigs and sheep, milking a cow and waiting for his chickens to start laying.

      He sounds a lot like you!

      From Tassie to Qld? The weather?



  2. Jim Busby

    Gorgeous, peaceful, and inviting, the way a tropical paradise should be. Hats off to you two, that is an amazing place. A lot of hard work paying off ten fold in the end. Gaun is doing an amazing job of keeping everything looking great. I can’t imagine myself investing that much time of my day to my landscape, not to mention the physical toll on my body. I do what I can, and most people say it looks nice, but no “looks great”! Now we are in the hot part of the year, and many of my succulents have closed up until things cool down. Others enjoy the heat, too bad I’m not one of those succulents, because I don’t care for hot weather. You wonderful photos go great with my Marlborough New Zealand white.

    Happy times.


    • Tony in Thailand

      Thanks Jim. It is turning into something very special. We have had a number of recent visitors who have commented on how much better it is in real life than on the blog, no matter how wonderful my photography 🙂 I am like you in that without Gaun’s energy and capacity for hard work this garden would not be as it is. I can do some physical work but Gaun will work from 5:00 am in her garden at the farm and then transfer her energy here until it gets dark. I would be in the ‘time to have a lie down’ stage after a couple of hours. You don’t care for hot weather and you’re thinking of Thailand! Maybe New Zealand would suit you as a retirement option. Weather and wine! Maybe you should look to the north of Thailand, which does have seasons of a sort including the lovely ‘cool’ season, which even though warmer than it used to be, is still a three month period of temperatures in the 20’s.

      A NZ Sauvignon Blanc was one of the pleasures of summer back ‘home’. 300 baht in Australia while here I suspect heading towards 1,000 baht. I am actually having a decent Aussie white wine, which is very drinkable, as I type to you. Spellcheck is sorting out any errors made as a result. Tesco Lotus for 350 baht. I can afford that as a treat from time to time. Only discovered recently.

      Cheers Jim.

  3. Mark

    Gday Tony, Only just now have had time to catch up on my emails. Mum has been up visiting, for the first time. No not in Thailand. lol, Not yet at least.
    I really do like your garden, I love the tropical look, like you’re on holiday every day but I guess you are. Nan likes the view of the garden 0168 with the hedges and pot work, are they a water feature? I can only imagine how hard Gaun works keeping it looking so good, along with your help It’s hard being a No offence intended.
    But to be honest we look at the garden and think there’s nothing to eat. lol Different strokes for different blokes.
    The wagon wheel has come up good. That is one of the things I like about your garden, the placement of artefacts without them being artsy. I love the owl, I can imagine it lit up at night or using it with mosquito coils inside.
    I enjoy looking at your garden and thinking of the possibilities of what we could do even if it differs from what you have done. Enjoy yours. All the best.

    • Tony in Thailand

      Thanks for the comment Mark. No those pots aren’t water features. Finding pumps that last more than a few months is a challenge and we only keep the main water feature going in front of the outside living area. Gaun works tirelessly to maintain the garden. It is a constant demand on her time, not that she minds. She is a true gardener. I do help out but I have to admit it is in a very minor way compared to Gaun’s contribution.

      You would be wrong to think there’s nothing to eat in the garden. We have several different varieties of mango, limes, kaffir lime, custard apples, tamarind, chilli, lemon grass, ginger, coconut, galangal, mint and a few things I where I don’t know the name. With access to the farm, which adds whatever is growing, we have a decent selection to choose from.

      The owl does have a light at night and in fact the whole garden is lit up, which gives it a whole different feel to what it has in the daytime. I have just come in from sitting out at the front with the lights on drinking a glass or two of Aussie red that a reader brought over for me.

      Good to hear from you Mark.



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