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A Tropical Garden Update

Today was a bright sunny day, which was so unusual this time of year when smoke from farm burning turns the skies grey, that I was motivated to update you on the progress in our tropical gardens. 

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Building in Thailand eBook

When my wife and I bought some land in Isaan, which is a region in the north east of Thailand, and then started to build our house I wanted to record the daily events of construction life. For twenty six weeks I wrote a weekly blog update about all the aspects of the build and included as much detail as possible for others who might be thinking of going down the same path. I was surprised by the number of readers I attracted as a result of writing on this subject, many of whom followed the entire build from beginning to end. 

Based on this continued interest I thought I would revisit my original words and bring them all together under the one heading in the form of an eBook. Included in this process has been some extensive updating and expansion of many of the original posts and the addition of the many COMMENTS, which are designed to expand your knowledge and save you time or money or both!

Read more HERE and find out how to obtain the eBook.

I am loving your book – just on my second read at the moment, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything first time around (which actually it turns out I did!).  

Just a note of thanks at this point ……. I am a fairly methodical sort of bloke, but there are many issues which your book highlights which I just wouldn’t have thought about – or if I had, I may well have assumed they were “standard” building practice [U-bends, drain positioning, barge-board alignment] – if it hadn’t been for your excellent descriptions!!  I will probably still “miss” something – that’s the nature of building/design – but thanks to you, it shouldn’t be anything too mission-critical.

The income from my eBook pays for the upkeep of this blog, which is otherwise commercially free unlike so many others.

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A Garden Update:

For new readers, we started our original gardens on an 800 sqmtr block of land straight after we built our house in March 2015. We then bought the plot of land nextdoor, another 800 sq mtrs giving us 1 rai, and work started on that in January 2018.

These photos are of the original five year old garden. This is the view of the house as you head to the front door.

The mix of tropical colours. 

The area in front of the lounge room windows has been turned into a shady, green spot with a mix of climbing plants and lots of ground cover.

The same area but looking outwards into the garden from the house.

And again. A barren builder’s site into this in five years.

A small monk greets you at the front door. Shipped over with some of the things I brought from Australia.

The beautiful water feature in our small koi fish pond.

From the pond looking the other way. Another water feature.

Just a photo because I loved the shapes and colours. Essential cleaning equipment in Isaan. Great for tiled floors. Hoses costed by weight not length.

Heading into the new tropical garden. Lots of small colourful features like this. I won’t add words to most of the photos as what more can I say? 

A very old wagon wheel bought from a timber shop outside Chiang Mai in 2019.

Shady paths in this area with a larger mango, jackfruit and coconut palm giving protection.

A newer area waiting for shade trees to develop.

The entrance to our rice hut seating area.

The soil dumped in the corner of this empty piece of land at the family home.

The soil dumped in the corner of this empty piece of land at the family home.

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment. It’s the only payment I ask for.



  1. Adrian Martin

    A fantastic job Tony and such nice photos! It all goes to make me more nostalgic for Thailand. Siggh! Now if only they’d re-value the Baht to 1999 values!

    • Tony in Thailand

      Thank you Adrian. Much appreciated. I found myself getting slightly excited when the baht hit 21 to the dollar recently 🙂 Oh, how times have changed.

  2. Jim Busby

    Very peaceful and inviting my friend. What an amazing transformation in such a short time. Even Gaun’s latest potted flowers add another burst of color to an already sensory overload of sights, and probably smells. I know it’s been said before, but that is a lot of work to maintain, but worth it.

    • Tony in Thailand

      Thank you Jim. It requires constant work to maintain but it is Gaun’s love so becomes part of her day’s activities and not seen as a chore. Left on my own I would have to make it easier to control as I just don;t have her energy or ability to work in this heat.


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