Blog : GARDENS

The Artificial Grass Garden with Tropical Touch

The Artificial Grass Garden with Tropical Touch

How do you blend artificial grass within a tropical design gardening? This garden will help you the imagine new ideas on how to use this low maintenance material to your garden.

/// Thailand /// 

Story : Warapsorn Akkhaneeyut /// English Version : Peter Montalbano /// Photos : Chaiyapruk Podang, Sitthisak Namkham /// Landscape : Pergolar

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Open space between the two houses for garden parties and socializing
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Ground cover plants with softening textures and lines: screwpine, spider plant, oyster lily, Spanish shawl, and Malabar chestnut
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The unique form of ajambolan plum near the wooden deck leans out to the path
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A trellised pavilion behind the house matches the front. Railroad ties converted into a stair, typical for a tropical garden, but fitting the modern style, too
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The beautiful calabash tree in a prominent spot with a play of river stones and the artificial grass

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The Khlong Bang Ramat area in Thonburi is still full of plantations, and people get around by water: farmers paddle boats with crops to sell, tourist boats regularly ply the canals. This is one reason Chaiyote Yanyongwayrote moved back here to create a beautiful home and garden.

The owner bought this property many years ago. He tells us, “The old house was on Ratchada-Tha Phra Road. At one time that was all gardens, too, but eventually, we were surrounded by buildings and had no privacy, and so we built here, where it still has that garden feeling. Travel is convenient, too. Not far behind this relaxing canal is an expressway interchange.”

It took 6 years to build the garden and two contemporary-style houses (one for his daughter, the other for Chaiyote and his wife), but the long wait allowed trees and plants to grow to maturity. Each room in the houses – designed by Sathan Wijitsanguan–opens on three sides for panoramic garden views.

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Matching trelliswork encloses deck and waterfall pond.
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Wooden deck in front boards set in an interesting pattern

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Beautifully shaped evergreens and perennials fill the garden, with a gravel pathway and brightly colored plant beds neatly interspersed. The more formal area between the houses is used for receptions and social events. Behind, near the canal, the garden is lush with shade trees and plants with varied colors and shapes. The landscaper here is Panat Sumalroj, of Pergolar. Chaiyote says,

“I like an open look. The garden gives a beautiful vitality: without it the house looks too austere. The designer had already created some of the outdoor spaces, like the pavilion, wooden deck, and pond. The landscaper followed up with connecting and surrounding areas and positioned the big trees. There are many unusual plants, but the grasses in some areas are artificial. The landscaper explains, “The owner didn’t want to cut grass often, so I steered him this way. It reduces maintenance a lot . . . .”

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The garden behind the house has a natural stone walkway through it and has a lot of shady trees
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A courtyard between houses with contemporary-style granite benches
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Path from the rear of the house opens into a small courtyard

The house is modern contemporary with some Asian flavor, sothe garden keeps a proportionally orderly look.

“The owner likes trimmed plants like Siamese rough bush and bonsai,” says Panat.“I start with the traditional Thai garden,trying to keep a tropical flavor. The water banyan and white merantitrees are sculptures unto themselves. If there’s no animation then it’s just an ordinary garden. I put a gravel path connecting the 2 houses, going by the grass in a playful curve, makes the square house look softer.”

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This orderly garden is wide and open. The hardscape and the artificial grass fits in well and has practical benefits, trimmed plants tucked away in appropriate spots. All in all, this is a highly pleasing mixture of the tropical and modern garden.

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link: http://www.pergolar.com

Under the Canopy of a Tropical Garden

Under the Canopy of a Tropical Garden

Relax under the crisp canopy of tall trees; inhale the smell of the earth after the rain, or just let cool breezes blow your hair all day. That’s exactly the atmosphere inside this beautiful tropical garden.

/// Thailand ///

Landscape Architect: Warawut Kaewsuk, Supong Haewpet /// Photo: Tanakitt Khum-on

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Water cascading down the faces of rock formations fills the garden atmosphere with sweet, soothing sounds. The cliff faces are bedecked with a rich array of green vegetation such as fern and moss and reclining trees.

Step in, follow the trail, and we soon come before a handsome abode nestled in the midst of what resembles a park filled water vapors and lush green scenery. The homeowner, Asst. Prof. Alisara Charuenvanich said:

“I really love this style of garden. One day after reading the works of Warawut Kaewsuk, it soon became apparent that this was it. This was the direction of the design.”

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Walkways are built close to the exterior walls for ease of maintenance.
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Small streams meander past various attractions on the “forest” floor.

“So I gave freedom to create for the landscape architects to the fullest of their capabilities. All I said was that I wanted a waterfall, a pond, and a gazebo. I let them know about my hobbies; reading, painting and that I wanted an easy-to-keep garden. And Warawut Kaewsuk, the architect did exactly that. And another architect, Supong Haewpet says:

“I want this to be an arboretum where many different trees and shrubs thrive in a salubrious environment, and where organisms big and small live together in symbiosis. And easy to maintenance.”

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Tributaries at the very top of the fall are designed to mimic those found in natural forests. From here small streams meander through rock formations, rapids, and tree trunks to form a big waterfall. /// A sitting area on the reception hall terrace is the favorite spot where the owner stays in touch with natural environs.

“Firstly, we started out with the hardscape. We sought the owner’s consent to turn a gazebo into a reception hall with more functions. Then we laid out passageways connecting all areas including the poolside, and all details as natural feeling.

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A reception hall is nestled in the mid of lush green scenery. It is a relaxing, wholesome destination on the property.
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The reception hall, as seen from another perspective, is bedecked with artificial free-form rock formations that line the water’s edge.

“The waterfall is the highlight of this garden. It starts with small tributaries cascading from the top. They soon come together to form a confluence before tumbling down into a receiving pond below. By design, the main fall is seen from the reception hall. All the while, the salubrious atmosphere is filled with mellifluous sounds of water hitting the misty pond. And we plant the big trees first followed by mid-sized ones. Different heights evoke images of natural forests that coexist in perfect harmony with water features.

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A lush green, refreshing atmosphere typical of a Tropical forest.

“Three kinds of plants are grown here – small, mid-sized, and tall. They mix and thrive the way nature intended. Some of them do not even straight but leaning sideway as if in real forests. Mid-sized trees are good along the fence line, where they serve as privacy screens. Fern is more suitable on the waterfall, where it thrives in symbiosis with other plants in the wild. For safety, we avoid using chemicals, be it insecticide or herbicide.

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A mix of different trees, shrubs, and moss replicates the ecological system that is typical of a Tropical forest.
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Fern adds a touch of nature and a vibrant atmosphere to the entire garden landscape. /// Siam tulip (cercuma alismatifolia) thrives alongside spike moss as if in the wild.

“I want people to be happy with their work, regardless of what they do for a living. Specifically, I am pleased that our works of art make the property owner very happy.”

 

link: http://www.baanlaesuan.com/category/garden/

Rooftop Oasis in the Heart of Bangkok

Rooftop Oasis in the Heart of Bangkok

Welcome to another side of Phetchaburi Road. Leave traffic jam behind and step into the rooftop oasis garden of Vikrom Kromadit, the famous Thai author as well as creator and CEO of Amata Corporation.

/// Thailand /// 

Story : Panchat Changchan /// Photos : Sitthisak Namkham

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Surrounded by groups of office and residential buildings, an oasis in the cramped confusion of the metropolis

The concrete and river-pebble pathway winds around under native Thai trees such as gold apple, white sandalwood, and bauhinia standing among taller ones, with sweet fragrances of lignum vitae and gardenia wafting from dazzling blossoms on elegantly formed branches. Nearer to the ground were ferns, arrowroot, konjac, elephant ear, ground orchid, bromeliads, and moss displayed verdant greens. It’s unbelievable that this garden exists high on the rooftop of a big building in the heart of Bangkok. The soil is only about 15cm thick, so what secret techniques did they use to get this perfection?

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First view out outside theKromadit Building elevator: an arboreal tunnel arched with cape jasmine and climbing ylang-ylang
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Vikrom Kromadit, the businessman and famous author, enjoying the garden atmosphere he created

Vikrom tells us, “A garden isn’t something you create and are suddenly finished with. A garden is a living thing. This all happened in stages over 8 – 9 years. At first, we experimented. After we got moss and ferns growing well, we added a lot of improvements. By the time we had it looking good, we’d perfected our knowledge of cultivation and maintenance. The last stage has been the most enjoyable, but it’s all about constant change and adaptation.

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Garden entrance gate, engraved with ancient symbols and set in an arbor of crepe gardenia and other gorgeous plants
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Cape jasmine gardenias amid perennials and other tall shrubs, growing on rocky mounds with moss for slow growth similar to bonsai
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Besides shade-givers such as gardenias, tall bushes such as the climbing ylang-ylang refresh the garden with beautiful forms and fragrant flowers

“There’s nothing temporary here, so maintenance is the most important factor, ensuring plants grow strong and adapt to the environment. The trees are hardy, slow-growing domestic species. They’re planted at intervals on mounds of earth in line with primary building columns and beams, as the roof was not designed to hold a garden’s weight. We worked on a look as natural as possible, even using cement tree supports formed into natural root and vine shapes. Nature is nature. Some things we think of as natural are actually not. In the real forest there’s nothing artificial, but here we have to use certain techniques to make it look like the real thing.”

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Behind the beautiful garden and green lawn is Vikrom’s residence, its Thai architecture a perfect fit for the selected Thai vegetation
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Trees planted on rocky mounds with wooden supports overgrown with climbing vines – clinging to roots are small plants such as button orchid and moss

I walked around in admiration. This space of less than half an acre contains a waterfall, grass lawn, and a wooden deck that can hold 400 people and is used for various events.

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Trees planted all along the curving garden path, each with differently shaped supports, offering contrasting garden views
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Below two guayacan trees are large, well-cared-for golden chicken ferns, plus tree ferns, davallia, Royal Project fern, birds-nest fern, and arrowroot
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Sun and shade are important factors for a forest garden, requiring both long-lived shade trees and shade-tolerant plants. In front, savanna grass, bromeliads, and arrowroot; further in, golden chicken fern, Royal Project fern, and Teysmannia palm
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In front of the main door grow Cape jessamine and guayacan, showing flowers and spreading sweet fragrances to passers by

Birds and other creatures roam freely, a unique sight in the heart of the city. Saying this is heavenly is really not an exaggeration: it has the look of one of nature perfect jungle gardens. Clearly, the owner and creator here loves and understands nature and has created his own heaven, where all things live together in happiness.

link: http://www.baanlaesuan.com/category/garden

Big Gardening Ideas for Small Urban Areas

Big Gardening Ideas for Small Urban Areas

The gardening ideas of colorful flowers welcome guests to the garden of Thanawat Suwinai Phreusabenja of Inmindhamlet community on Soi Ari 3. Located inside is the gardening shop Mc&Ami, where people love to look into the glass-partitioned display area at where butterflies are attracted to the scents of flowers. The Living ASEAN team itself became interested and came to investigate.

/// Thailand /// 

Story :Panchat Changchan /// Photos : Chaiyapruk Podang /// Landscape :Thanawat Suwinai Phreusabenja

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The table décor creates a bright, lively party atmosphere.
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The dining table creates an intimate and uniquely festive atmosphere as surrounding garden ornaments and “showroom” shelves serve as a backdrop.

          We arrived at twilight, as Thanawat was setting up the dining table in the garden to welcome us, amid vibrant colors of flowers in the garden and on the table. Asked about the decor, he said,

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Combination flower planters beautify the entrance. Thanawat got the inspiration from seeing flower vases set at different levels, tall leafy plants at the top descending down to small flowers.

“I got the idea from a respected teacher;she gave me a book about Claude Monet’s garden. She expressed her wish that I could find that sort of happiness in the rest of my own life. Thinking about that made me try to set my garden in Monet’s natural and beautiful style, and what you see here comes from that.”

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Thanawat Suwinai Phreusabenja, gardener and distributor of Mc & Ami gardening equipment, also the owner of Inmindhamlet Community Mall.

            After dinner, we walked around the garden, which is overflowing with decorative ideas. Thanawat himself designed the creative little cement doll family of pigs,lion statues using Spanish moss for a mane and ducks carrying egg sacks in their mouths. With unique choices and placement both flowers and decorative plants are mixed in with tropical rainforest varieties. Inclusions exotics and unusual kitchen vegetables which are all in vigorous growth.

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A pair of decorative lion sculptures: one displays an imaginative use of Spanish moss as the lion’s mane.

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“My concept is to just sow seeds and let the plants grow by themselves as best they can. The beauty is in non-native plants trying to make their way and naturally adapt in a strange place, with a different kind of beauty than before, in leaves, branches, and colors. But when planting we do have to consider whether a plant can coexist with the others. Is it shade-tolerant? Can it survive with a vine growing over it?”

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Entryway post with a faucet for watering flowers. Functional and attractive, too.

        Another minor miracle is that all this grows in what used to be a parking lot, which Thanawat covered in topsoil and gradually planted over.

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Small shrubs with flowering plants below. Rising above is a mix of leafy plants, broad and point-formed, creating a filled-out appearance.

            “The fun is in the challenge. We have a hard concrete yard. You would think that we cannot plant. Think again. Just have a concept and a passion, and a garden is created from Shallow root systems, a single level of soil, good for bamboo, ferns, flowering plants, bushes, and kitchen vegetables. We found added benefits from things we can plant and grow slowly, and that will flower for a long time, so we aren’t constantly cutting things back.”

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A gate through the iron fence into the garden, where a white gravel path contrasts nicely with greenery and ornamentation.

            We also have odd blossoming schedules and odd shapes that grow and nourish beauty. Adapt and don’t accept failure because the hard cement doesn’t fight back, but this is still a formula for success.

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Besides flowers, there are kitchen spices like basil and pandanus palm that add color and beauty.
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Small steel planter boxes trap rainwater. Semanggi and star grass add a chic look.

link: https://www.facebook.com/Inmindhamlet-soi-aree-1458360097813741/?fref=ts

Little Joys in the Small Garden

Little Joys in the Small Garden

Little joy with a cool lush green small garden in front of a pretty white house protected in front by a hedge of English banyan. Sukanda and Chaiyanon Mimarayat were inspired to create this beautiful place by the book cover of Small Garden from Baanlaesuan Publishing. 

/// Thailand /// 

Story : Warapsorn Akkhaneeyut /// Photos : Sitthisak Namkham /// Landscape : Little Tree

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Seeking out the garden designer, Siriwit  Riubamrung of Little Tree, they had to wait two and a half years to enlist his help. “When we first went to Little Tree the Designer needed to see the actual site, but the big floods came and we couldn’t continue for another year. Then prices were higher, so we had to wait even longer.”

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In the meantime Sukanda redecorated, the space adding on a small cottage in a mixed French country and vintage style and a relaxation room with a porch, walkway, and lawn, all while waiting for the garden to arrive.

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English banyan line two sides of the walkway entering the house
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Inside the little gate is a comfortable space to sit, but the tall hedge keeps it private.

“Our old place was a townhouse with retro façade, not like this at all. Then we started getting out more, and thought about copying the look of restaurants and coffee shops we liked, such as Agalico, which Little Tree designed. We gave Siriwit a free hand because we liked his concepts, but of course he discussed everything with us in advance. He made adaptations from the original work plan such as increasing the height of the hedge barrier in front for more privacy.”

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A checkerboard tile pattern fronts the house, and cobblestones set diagonally on the washed sand walkway

Inside the garden is a very private enclosed space, with a chic black lawn table on top of cobblestones set in diagonal lines, fragrant yellow gardenias, and bright flowers scattered here and there for a relaxing, casual mood.

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These gorgeous rectangular English banyan hedges took 2 years to reach their 2-meter height
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Near the pond, detail-textured cape plumbago encroaches on the walkway, with knot root foxtail adding a striking look.

Siriwit helps with color coordination as well as prices and brands. In the mix of plants he inserted Fukien tea and English banyan hedges trimmed into geometric shapes to relieve harshness so the garden looks orderly, but not too formal. He adds, “I played with shapes and forms, the diamond-shaped walkway and yard with checkerboard lines of tile in the front. The central court is trapezoidal, so I took away the unevenness with two lines of banyan plants.

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Hedge plants mixed in with free-form: semi-formal, easy maintenance; trim hedges every 2-3 weeks, or once a month if strapped for time.

“We used medium-sized plants with beautiful forms placed symmetrically. Golden gardenias. Leafy plants with different shades: neons, silvers, spotted coralberry, evergreen spindle, lime. Put in a pond with a cute rabbit-head fountain.”

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View from the lawn table into the house takes in a precise organization of plants and decorative components

A beautiful verdant garden with a vintage feel. A place to walk in and relax with a cup of your favorite coffee. Peaceful, relaxing.Once you’re here, where else would you want to go?

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By the owners’ design, attractive flowerpots adorn a shoe-placement shelf.
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Between the house and relaxation room the indirect light calls for shade-tolerant plants like the dwarf neon hydrangea along the path.
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Pink-flowered hydrangea contrasts with vines of spotted jasmine climbing the house.

link: http://www.littletreegarden.com/

Tropical Rainforest with Zen Accent

Tropical Rainforest with Zen Accent

Relaxing shades of green dotted with colorful flowers amid the misty coolness of the tropical rainforest in a Zen-inspired garden. Such is the dreamy garden of Chokchai Ratanaparadorn.

/// Thailand /// 

Story : Apasri Meemana /// Photos : Rithirong Chanthongsuk /// Landscape : Warawut Kaewsuk

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Artificial tree roots and boulders mix with plants to give a realistic impression of a jungle environment.

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          “We lived in a condo for decades and missed being close to nature. Meeting Warawut Kaewsuk I got to see the kind of tropical garden design I loved, with a forest, waterfall and stream. After buying the house, he even helped to organize it according to feng shui principles. The property we bought already had nearly an acre of the garden already, but the framework needed a lot of adaptation. My wife liked it as it was, but agreed we could make the changes we wanted.”

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Warawut described his design concept for the front area as “a peaceful, open modern Zen garden, coordinating shade and cool water to create a tropical jungle, and continued, “we dropped support pilings to create a framework above. We avoided having a lot of weight to support by using artificial rocks and tree roots. The filtration system was efficiently hidden under the wood deck. The concepts came from my experience with natural ecology.

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Designer hid the pond filtration system under the deck: a space-saver.
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Placing the pond in the shade on the north side of the house keeps the water cool enough for the plants and fish.

“Choosing the right plants was very important. Types, colors, forms, and leaf shapes create the moods. We used varietals with simple forms, detailed surfaces, and peaceful colors. Lichens, monkey grass, whites of crepe gardenia. For the tropical zone, we used varieties with glossy leaves: mango pine and brush cherry. Glochidion and water croton gave a lush damp look. Free form lines added elegance. Around the carport, we used plants of different heights. Plant selection and placement take a lot of expertise. A lot of care is needed, including weeding and raking. There’s a sprinkler system for moisturization.”

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Bare cement and simple indoor furnishings add to the modern Zen feeling of the surrounding watery garden.
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Work inside the house with a pleasing waterfall view.

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The nighttime lighting design creates intriguing dimensions and moods. Before we leave, Chohkchai tells us how pleased he is with the end result:

“This is just what the whole family wanted. Here we can read, work, have parties, or just relax, feed the fish, relax and enjoy nature. This fulfills a ten-year happy dream.”

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Lamps shining both from above and below at night create dimension and a sense of motion as they highlight plants and tree limbs.

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link: http://www.baanlaesuan.com/category/garden

Secret Garden in Western Style

Secret Garden in Western Style

As we stand in front of this secret garden, the fragrance of  jasmine trees reach out. The gate opens, revealing dazzling white flower clusters, petals spread across the driveway. Surrounding the house is a tall banyan hedge. Is a secret garden hidden inside? Owners, Aphiwat Wiriyawetchakhun and Phanison Anansuchatikun assigned Suphakit Milap of Sukyen Garden to design a garden to suit their beautiful house, and this is the result.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Woraphason /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham

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Creating a string of small circles of plants of differing heights for a remarkable effect.
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Though a lot of hardscape is used, the choice of plants and their placement make the garden look quite natural.

At first, I thought of doing Chinese style, flowerpots and planters because we like the Chino-Portuguese look, but we’d bought a lot of Western garden ornamentation from the GEO store before we were married. Suphakit saw it and said we should use this.” Plants were found to match, and the garden took on a vintage atmosphere resulting in a pleasant English garden flavor: a two-tier bird bath, concrete benches, and so on. The garden follows the L-shaped form of the house and is organized into two parts.

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Placing the pond by the tall windows creates a great garden view for people looking out.

“From this room both sections are visible. The owners wanted a kind of “secret garden” with a lot of privacy, hence the banyan hedge. They also wanted an orderly looking garden, not busy, so I used a formal design. In front and back, you’ll see a lot of connecting rectangles, with focus points in the center, using conservative colors and materials such as cobblestone, natural rock, and washed gravel divide areas of use.

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Cute figurines from the owner’s collection welcome the visitor coming up to the house. /// Medium-sized carp pond adds a pleasant feeling.
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Little courtyard tucked away with plants grown behind a little stone wall just high enough to sit on, for an English flavor.
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Leaves of red mixed with shades of green give dimension to the garden.

“Phanison is here on weekends, and Aphiwat is here every evening. So I used fragrant evening plants like night-blooming jasmine, golden gardenia, satinwood, and a heady mix of flowering plants to give a ‘cottage garden’ feeling, softening the hardscape with plants like Malabar chestnut, wild petunia, oleander, and leafy plants with contrasting colors like Chinese witch hazel and willow-leaf acacia.”

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The garden with its many fresh shades of green is enclosed by banyans, very private.
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Stone planters create borders for an orderly beauty that remains natural.

Each section has a circular focus point. The area by the street is a more simple yard and includes growing kitchen vegetables for home use. The back garden is much more elaborate, with a little waterfall, seating, and an elaborate hardscape.

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This spot is accessible from the living room; placed the table here for easy use.

Maintenance is fairly simple, with an automatic watering system. The owner’s mother also comes to help. “This garden has made the house so much more pleasant and comfortable – who would have thought? It feels like the fulfillment of a heart’s desire,” Phanison tosses off at the end.

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Concrete bench in among the plants for a pleasant hideaway.

link: https://www.facebook.com/sukyengarden/

Kays Espresso Bar / Coffee in the Garden

Kays Espresso Bar / Coffee in the Garden

Happiness can be a cool breeze in the morning and a cup of coffee with pastries while listening to the sound of flowing water to a counterpoint of a birdsong. This is the experience offered at Kays Espresso Bar, a new cafe in Chanthaburi Province with a scent of coffee in the garden. 

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Aphasri Mimana /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Gardener: Suan Lila Raiyaa Nongphluem

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A decorative waterfall gives life and motion to the garden. On the stone wall above is the shop name.
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Ecology of nature: flamingo figures in fountain grass, fishing at pond’s edge.
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One of the garden highlights at Kays Espresso Bar, perfect choice and placement of plants and ornamentation.

Kwinwan Sangwan, a shop owner tells how it got started: “This was a dream of my Dad. We wanted the shop to be so pretty outdoors and in that customers would stop by to take pictures.”

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“For the landscaping, we contracted Sak Rueangphrom. From the start, we wanted an English-style garden with a hint of tropical and a lot of places for people to sit and maybe drink coffee or tea.”

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Freeform red flagstones trace a path from front to back. The river gravel is easier to maintain than grass. Vegetation of varying height lines the path past a birdhouse and an urn-shaped planter.

Sak took the challenge and delivered as ordered, even if there were a few problems to deal with.

“The first time I saw the worksite it looked like a desert, but somehow we managed to turn that around. The first problem was the clay topsoil, sticky and tightly compacted. We broke shovels digging, had to switch pickaxes. The good thing was that the ground didn’t absorb too much water, and wasn’t about to collapse.

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English-style bird bath planted with asparagus fern, spikemoss hanging below. A ground cover of varicolored leaves and flowers makes this a striking spot.

“Then the weather. In Chanthaburi it rains a lot, so we adapted, using water-tolerant varieties such as flame nettle, ferns, crepe ginger, etc. Once it rained seven days and nights, but the trees recovered quickly and by now their roots have extended and can handle any amount of rain.”

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Railroad ties laid down decoratively with ground cover plants growing over them.

The hardscape includes the large metal fountain in a modern style to match the building, with a pond and waterfall. Further on is a metal frame gazebo, and then a big rust-colored faucet set in an upright hollow log. A flagstone path of red sandstone runs throughout the garden.

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Beautifully designed lion’s head above a faucet. If you wash hands here the water falls on a clean stone surface, no mess.

Old benches are set in the back, by a gray wall covered in climbing vines, with bright ground cover colors and a bird bath planter filled with beautiful flowers. English-style chairs are found in various shady spots.

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English-style lawn chairs for enjoying tea and coffee outside.
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Arbor and back entrance gate, with a cobblestone walkway.

Sak adds, “we had to adapt the original model to include big shade trees such as giant crape-myrtle, freshwater mangrove, canna, etc., relying on hardscape and ornaments to create the sense of an English garden: urn-shaped planters, bird baths, fences, arbors. It came out just as we wanted: shady, pleasant, not overdone. Bees, butterflies, birds, crickets, and cicadas live and sing here, a relaxing sound.”

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Urn-shaped planters at the entrance show off the English garden style.
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The owner especially loves this arbor, with its curved benches set on round cobblestones.

Here is a shop owner who loves sharing nature with his customers, and with the animals who make their home in the garden. For a taste of this happiness, stop in sometimes at Kays Espresso Bar, on Yanwirote Road right in Chanthaburi. We guarantee you’ll get hooked.

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Arbor frame over a decorative brick column, with a hanging planter and cute bird sculptures.
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Cats claw vine climbs the decorative wall, reducing the harshness of the stone and bringing the garden closer to nature.
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A cute use for old watering cans: turn them into planters.

link: https://www.facebook.com/kaysespresso/

 Jungle Garden with a Waterfall

 Jungle Garden with a Waterfall

At Sakon Tanchotakul, the designer of  Scenery Concept Landscape Design & Contractors’s house in Nonthaburi, one is able to feel fresh and cool air in the jungle garden. Mist from the automatic sprinklers glistens on the leaves, and birdsong mingles with the sound of a waterfall. It’s a little heaven owned by one who loves nature.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Isara Sonsat /// Photography: Ritthirong Janthongsuk /// Landscape Designer: Scenery Concept Landscape Design & Contractor

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“I wanted a jungle garden, lush greens relaxing to the eye, says owner Sakon Tanchotakul. “We tried grass first but Suraphong Owararin, the designer had said from the start that there was too much shade that made grass died. On the second try we told him where to place the things we liked, including the fish pond. He matched our concept perfectly, and now we have a two-stage waterfall with a stream flowing down to the gazebo.”

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“We tore down and rebuilt the original gazebo and waterfall wall, but kept 2 big trees: golden shower and bauhinia,” adds Suraphong. “The owner gave me a free hand with the design. The owners went with me to pick trees with beautiful shapes, like tasselberry and Indian Oak. We put cat’s claw vine on the left wall to add some green, and below, for its fragrant leaves, jasmine. Jaemjan Nikhomrat said she really loved that white rainbow shower tree that’s now in full bloom and shading the car parking spot.

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“The owner and I worked closely together on the design. At his request, we put in a bird cage, planted kitchen vegetables, a yard paved with freeform flagstone, and a relaxing gazebo.”

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Suraphong and I go upstairs in the house to The owner’s home office.

“The owner wanted a view of the ‘jungle’ behind the house from this room. We picked shade-tolerant plants such as spike moss, tree ferns, begonia, and sword fern to line a walkway of artificial railroad ties. Here kitchen vegetables grow in ready-made planter boxes set on artificial grass.”

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We spent only a little time here, but it was enough to see how deeply Sakon and Jaemjan loved his jungle garden. Not many of us might create such a miraculous garden, or care for it so well, but their example shows that when we protect and respect nature, then nature will reimburse and protect us in the same way, and give us happiness.

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link: http://www.baanlaesuan.com/29065/garden/passionate/

Garden For Family Activities

Garden For Family Activities

What is the real function of a garden in the house? The owners need the garden for their family and talked to a landscape designer to build a pavilion and a small waterfall wall for outdoor living and garden for family activities.

/// Thailand /// 

Story : Apasri Meemana /// Photos : Sitthisak Namkham and Siramath Jirapotisit /// Landscape : Suansabuy Design Studio

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The designer placed large free-form plants such as patana oak, millettia brandisiana, and calabashin the rear to relieve the rigidity of the pavilion structure.
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The wide grass lawn can be adapted to different activities. A stylishly modern sand wash concrete walkway leads in from the front.

When buying a house one needs to consider the surrounding environment, size and placement of the building, style, and usable outdoor space. The form and layout of the pre-existing garden are less important. This is how it was for Chana and Nopphawan Najaroenkun, who own this beautiful family activities’ garden in Bang Phli District of Samut Prakan. Chana beams as he talks about it.

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Lounge in the gazebo on cushions or mats and bring out fruit and pastries, a perfect formula for pleasant relaxation.
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The Neighboring white house is seen behind three levels of green: pigeon berry, water jasmine, and English banyan

“I love this house, but outside we have 280 square meters. Shortly after moving in I felt the garden wasn’t really right, so we gave it a makeover. We found Siramath Jirapotisit from Suansabuy Design Studio with a contemporary style we liked. I told him we wanted an open garden for family with a pavilion and a small waterfall wall. His design was spot on, a perfect fit.”

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The Pavilion, wood deck, pathway, and other hardscape elements designed in a complementary pattern of rectangles.
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The pavilion is raised 60 centimeters to dissipate heat and let the breeze pass through.

Siramath went on: “The owners went with pretty much what I had on my website. I assessed the whole house to see how to connect various rooms to the garden.The pavilion is large and modern located on the left-hand side by the grass lawn. Connecting to it is a hardscape waterfall wall that’s visible from inside for a beautiful garden view. Next to that, a moderately sized gazebo with wicker furniture, connected to the living room by a wooden deck pathway, and then in the back is another rest area by the Thai kitchen and utility room.”

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On the right-hand side is a tall green fence of English banyan which is an interesting contrast to the rust-colored fence by the pavilion.

“We used some plants from the old garden, the palm and dragon tree in front, adding patana oak, millettia brandisiana, a beautiful calabash tree, and shrubs along the English banyan by the fence: monkey grass, iris, ruellia, and so on, all easy to maintain. This is a modern garden for family with some tropical elements mixed in.”

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The beautiful, open-limbed form of a calabash tree set right in the center suits the overall modern design.
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Another place to sit behind the house, next to the Thai kitchen. The owners like sitting here while dinner is being prepared.

Nopphawan says she loves the renovated garden:

“We make great use of it. I like the spaces all around the house to sit and relax. Our kids sit and do homework, read books, feel the fresh air. Sometimes we have fun family parties in the pavilion and on the lawn. It’s especially pretty in the evening with our nice lighting system: it adds a sense of liveliness. I told Siramath I’d like easy maintenance, cutting the grass only once in awhile. In a couple of areas, we have staff from Suansabuy Design Studio come help care for the plants and water once a day.”

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In the evening there is a different atmosphere, with special lighting for a gentle relaxing elegance.

“When we come back and are tired from work, the garden makes us feel refreshed. Looking around it feels like we’re tourists at a resort outside of the city. It puts some pizzazz into our lives, energizes both body and mind. When we have free time, we sometimes sit outside in the garden as a whole family.”

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With the light shining up through the water onto the waterfall wall adding new dimensions to the overall look.

 

link : http://www.suansabuy.com/

 

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