Blog : Tropical Gargen

Rainy Season Forest Garden for Tropical Areas

Rainy Season Forest Garden for Tropical Areas

Rainforest ecology is the design concept here, the verdant lushness associated with tropical jungle. Use high-tolerance plants that adapt themselves to the natural environment and don’t require a lot of long-term care.

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

– Image of Garden and House –

Here emphasis is on the garden: the designer has removed the house from the diagram to focus on the surroundings, revising and reapportioning them to bring back the feeling of the rainforest that was once there; the house will be added later. The owner’s first concern is creating a waterfall, pond, and gazebo for relaxation; only then will the concept be enlarged to include a house in a supporting role for the garden, enabling the owner to fully enjoy this creation.


 

– Building a Forest-Like Atmosphere –

Garden design deals with three primary levels: low, medium, and high. A forest atmosphere is created visually through using the natural lines of the plants. Trees are the highest, rising up above, but freshwater mango can be a slightly lower exception with curves leaning together, arbor-like and welcoming, above the house entryway. Plants of middle height running along the fence can add privacy. For ground cover use plants with wavy and sinuous lines set at natural-looking intervals, closer to the water source perhaps ferns, and further downstream plants requiring less moisture.


 

– Waterfall Format –

Think of the stages of a natural waterfall: first is seepage, small drops descending along crevices in the rock; these eventually join and flow into a larger falling stream. The waterfall should not be so high that it could get the house wet, and it should give off a soft, restful sound. Because of space limitations, trees should be put in before the waterfall framework is built, otherwise there won’t be space for any large roots. Ponds should be designed about 0.8 to 1 meter deep. Waterfalls are usually built using 2 types of stone: granite and porous volcanic rock.


Baan Nai Suan / Tropical Garden in the Coffee Shop

Baan Nai Suan / Tropical Garden in the Coffee Shop

The sun is scorching hot this afternoon but inside Baan Nai Suan, a cozy tropical garden in the coffee shop. It’s cool and refreshing . Warisa Sinlapakun, the owner who designed and landscaped this garden on her own has a lot to tell us.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Apasri Mimana /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Landscape Designer: Warisa Sinlapakun

1

“I’ve always liked the shade and growing plants. When this coffee shop project came along, I knew right away it had to have a garden. Before this, I was a yoga teacher in a club, but one day I decided to branch out. Closer to nature it’s more relaxing, and our spiritual health benefits.”

3
Garden in the coffee shop: The shop is a step up from the street. In front are planted creeping woodsorrel ground cover among decorative stones bought at Bang Bua Thong. An arboreal wooden door leads inside.

Baan Nai Suan, on Hua Mak Street, has two main sections. The first is the coffee shop, restaurant, a wood structure with food and drink service on the lower floor and a high-ceilinged yoga studio with big picture windows upstairs. The second section is a beautiful tropical-style garden.

2
Long shady wooden walkway to the shop inside passes under the arbor eaves.
7
Stairway up to the second floor, with the added interest of potted plants here and there.

“The garden started as just dirt, not a single plant. I don’t have a degree in garden design, but do have ideas, and love the tropical style. I used pencil and paper to draw details, spots to put trees, dig a pond, sketched in a waterfall, brook, and places to sit.

8
Areca palm and a bamboo wall, plants and materials that fit the tropical style.
4
Fragrant pandan is not only a beautiful plant, but it is for its oil or cooked in various treats.

“Then I went looking for ornamental things to buy and found some cute plants at the Decorative Plants Center. Big trees I got from Prajinburi and Nakhon Nayok. I used leftover construction wood to build furniture and a garden path. We needed shade, so I planted some big trees, like this super-shady 10-meter banyan from Nakhon Nayok. I’ve added on little by little over the last 6 years until it’s the Baan Nai Suan you see today.”

5
Unusual furniture: wrought-iron table converted from a sewing machine, a set of unmatched lawn chairs, perfect for outdoor use.

Every morning her helpers water plants, rake fallen leaves and add fertilizer, a maintenance system She has down pat. But improvements are ongoing. New plants must be shade-tolerant, since very little light reaches the garden floor here, which is why even in the middle of the day it’s cool and comfortable.

6
A misting system adds to the refreshing cool of the garden.

“I spend most of my time in the shop. If our workplace has a good feeling, we ourselves feel good, and the more enjoyable things we do, the happier we feel. I pick plants I like, like Alexandrian laurel and perfume flower tree, that give out a lot of sweet fragrance, or tree jasmine, which I really love: its white flowers hang down in the cutest way! Indian oak is cool in a different way: in full blossom, the garden is full of red flowers, the garden looks fresh, even if there are a lot of petals to rake up.”

10
Plaything: an ancient VW van model used as a cute planter box instead of a vase.

9

 

 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

1-1

3

“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.”

2

“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.

4

“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.”

5

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.”

6

9

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.

10

 

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

X