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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
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    Greenscaping our Retirement Home in Nan Province

    Greetings, for several months I've been blogging the build of our eventual retirement home in Nan province. It is nearing completion and we expect to move in towards the end of the month or first week of February. We are now turning our attention to retaining walls, fences and gardens and so I've decided to open this thread in the more appropriate forum. I've chosen to use the term 'greenscaping' because we want to establish a colourful and varied set of gardens and orchard and try as hard as we can to adhere to organic and natural processes. Our emphasis will be on fruit trees, two 30sqm vegetable gardens, a kitchen garden, a garden to attract butterflies and bees and running some chickens. Dogs eventually.

    I'll post some more detail of our plans and challenges in the coming days. Hoping that I can share our unfolding experiences and seek the guidance and wisdom of others in Thailand with green thumbs.

  2. #2
    Freelance Astronaut
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    We will also be interested in this one as our gardening efforts will be following yours so hopefully we can learn something!!

    Apart from PJ's fishing pond and my rose bushes, its a blank canvas so far (oh... and the mango trees of course!)

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Thanks TD. If I survey wallet damage we're already underway on the garden. Got 600 garden edge blocks and twelve advanced trees being delivered to site on Friday. Bang, 9,600 baht and 7,200 baht gone like that.

    Fully expecting to pay a big price for 18 months of no exercise once we move in and get started. Although I'm going to use local labour for the retaining wall and front fence replacement.

    Particularly looking forward to blogging how the wife chooses which 50% of the fruit trees she acquired we get to plant, just don't have room for them all. Regards, -BiP
    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    We will also be interested in this one as our gardening efforts will be following yours so hopefully we can learn something!!

    Apart from PJ's fishing pond and my rose bushes, its a blank canvas so far (oh... and the mango trees of course!)

    Good luck!
    Last edited by BoganInParasite; 22-01-2019 at 02:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Sounds great, BiP. I'm looking forward to seeing it progress.

  5. #5
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Looking forward to your posts as you progress.

    You are not far from CM so highly recommend a visit to Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden.

    Fantastic place and you will get ideas for your garden.
    Last edited by Norton; 22-01-2019 at 04:20 PM.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...threads based in reality are always welcome...

  7. #7
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    I think we will do that Norton, and soon. I recall we went to a garden on Doi Tung north of Chiang Rai maybe 6-8 years ago. Nicest garden I've visited, magic place. Regards, -BiP
    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Looking forward to your posts as you progress.

    You are not far from CM so highly recommend a visit to Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden.

    Fantastic place and you will get ideas for your garden.

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    Me too Neverna, the wife is going stir crazy to make a real start. She's collected so many seedlings and pot plants I expect I'll need two trips in the Hilux just to move them. Regards, -BiP
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    Sounds great, BiP. I'm looking forward to seeing it progress.

  9. #9
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    Regards, -BiP.
    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...threads based in reality are always welcome...

  10. #10
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    Sounds great, BiP. I'm looking forward to seeing it progress.
    Yep...
    We can never have enough garden type of threads, with their variety and certainty.
    Ever expanding landscapes!!

    Best to ya BIP.


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    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Looking forward to your posts as you progress.

    You are not far from CM so highly recommend a visit to Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden.

    Fantastic place and you will get ideas for your garden.


    ....and have numerous species/varieties available for sale - shipped to one's residence.
    One could easily spend many hours there just taking it in - especially during the season.

  12. #12
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    One of the activities I enjoyed after our home was done was landscaping or as was stated, "greenscaping"

    There of course is a lot to consider. One has to keep in mind on trees that they will grow and they can become a lot of work. I opted for a lot of grass to keep mud and dust down. We have many very nice trees that produce very aromatic flowers and shade. We also have 3 varieties of banana trees, 5 coconut trees, 4 different mango trees which all bear fruit. Lumyai trees are very thick leaved which offer a lot of shade.

    One thing to consider when planting the various trees is many draw various insects and improperly postioned around the house can lead to unwanted house guests.

    Keep in mind as well that watering becomes a part of upkeep and healthy plants. Installing automatic watering systems makes life much easier.

    I look forward to the pics.

  13. #13
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    ....and have numerous species/varieties available for sale - shipped to one's residence.
    One could easily spend many hours there just taking it in - especially during the season.
    My wife has a very nice rose garden going at our house. She probably has 45 or so rose bushes of numerous types. We visited the rose display in CM. My wife enjoyed it and then took off with a bunch of the local gardeners to discuss tricks on growing them. Bugs are the biggest challenge. Also rose bushes take a lot of maintenance. My wife probably spends an hour a day trimming and taking flowers. She puts Rose's in her vase in the bedroom almost every other day. They smell great.

  14. #14
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    When I started gardening here I was surprised how fast things grow, once the garden gets established most of the work, apart from watering is chopping back.
    Don't over plant as I have done in some areas also, leave room for them to grow, as you can see from picture, I planted travellers palms too close together.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Greenscaping our Retirement Home in Nan Province-3.jpg  

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    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airportwo View Post
    Don't over plant as I have done in some areas also, leave room for them to grow,
    Great advice. I have a few Bismarkia Nobilis palms that were small when bought but 2 years later are huge.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    You are not far from CM so highly recommend a visit to Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden.
    Apart of this place, if you drive thru the area where the garden shops/markets are spread up over few sois you'll get plentiful choice as well with a good prices:

    Kham Tiang Garden Center - from the north eastern corner of the square channel.

  17. #17
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    Thanks Klondyke, we are looking forward to catching up with you again soon. Regards, -BiP
    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Apart of this place, if you drive thru the area where the garden shops/markets are spread up over few sois you'll get plentiful choice as well with a good prices:

    Kham Tiang Garden Center - from the north eastern corner of the square channel.

  18. #18
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    Thank you sir. Regards, -BiP
    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Yep...
    We can never have enough garden type of threads, with their variety and certainty.
    Ever expanding landscapes!!

    Best to ya BIP.


  19. #19
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    Thanks JPPR2, the insect and ants considerations is something I want to research. At 60 years of age the only thing I think I know about this is that mulberry trees attract mosquitoes (in Australia at least) so am starting from a long way back. The wife has collected perhaps thirty varieties of fruit trees and I need to research both bug attraction issues and how to plant. With many, and durian is a classic example, I know it is just not a matter of digging a hole and sticking it in it. We love roses as well but have zero experience. In the first year I believe we'll focus on getting the fruit trees established and trying to get something edible out of the vegetable gardens. Regards, - BiP

    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    One of the activities I enjoyed after our home was done was landscaping or as was stated, "greenscaping"

    There of course is a lot to consider. One has to keep in mind on trees that they will grow and they can become a lot of work. I opted for a lot of grass to keep mud and dust down. We have many very nice trees that produce very aromatic flowers and shade. We also have 3 varieties of banana trees, 5 coconut trees, 4 different mango trees which all bear fruit. Lumyai trees are very thick leaved which offer a lot of shade.

    One thing to consider when planting the various trees is many draw various insects and improperly postioned around the house can lead to unwanted house guests.

    Keep in mind as well that watering becomes a part of upkeep and healthy plants. Installing automatic watering systems makes life much easier.

    I look forward to the pics.

  20. #20
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    Thanks Airportwo, nice looking plants though. Regards, BiP
    Quote Originally Posted by Airportwo View Post
    When I started gardening here I was surprised how fast things grow, once the garden gets established most of the work, apart from watering is chopping back.
    Don't over plant as I have done in some areas also, leave room for them to grow, as you can see from picture, I planted travellers palms too close together.

  21. #21
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Also BIP, if you plan on planting grass make sure you use the right species. There is a thin blade grass that grows well only in the sun. The Malaysian grass will only do well in shaded areas with some early or late sun. Learned that from re-sodding areas. There is also a grass species that is used at the golf courses for the greens.

    Also, if you do grass, make sure you roll it. Most of the locals toss dirt and toss sod on it and water it. I bought an empty 55 gal drum and filled it about half way with water and rolled the dirt prior to the sod and then again after a drench watering. I did all of our landscaping here. It feels so much better versus having a bunch of people come in and do it while you watch. The reward is when it all grows and starts to fill out you appreciate it.

  22. #22
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    Thanks JPPR2, likely to want to have some grass on the north side (back yard), half of that area only gets direct sun maybe six months a year. The front yard (house/carport to the road) will be given over to the wife's fruit trees which will be as tightly planted at the minimum space levels. May not be too much room for grass and in some cases the trees may not appreciate grass under them (e.g citrus) but can't help thinking I'd like some type of cover there rather than dirt. Likely this will be quite a discussion in the thread in a few weeks. Got some other stuff I need to do first. Regards, -BiP
    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    Also BIP, if you plan on planting grass make sure you use the right species. There is a thin blade grass that grows well only in the sun. The Malaysian grass will only do well in shaded areas with some early or late sun. Learned that from re-sodding areas. There is also a grass species that is used at the golf courses for the greens.

    Also, if you do grass, make sure you roll it. Most of the locals toss dirt and toss sod on it and water it. I bought an empty 55 gal drum and filled it about half way with water and rolled the dirt prior to the sod and then again after a drench watering. I did all of our landscaping here. It feels so much better versus having a bunch of people come in and do it while you watch. The reward is when it all grows and starts to fill out you appreciate it.

  23. #23
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    Probably going to be Sunday before I'm able to post something that shares the block layout and our plans and challenges for the gardens. We are on the home run with the house build and moving into it before the end of the month is our primary focus. But there are some things happening garden wise in the background.

    Got 600 of these being delivered to site today. We've taken on some help and they will be moved around to the back yard and on the weekend a start made on using them to outline and border two 30sqm vegetable patches. We'll use approximately 420 blocks for that, eight blocks per linear meter. Short wooden stakes will be used for added stability before the top soil is added early next week. Longer stakes will be put in the corners and strategically along the edges to support netting if we need it.


    We also have twelve reasonable advanced trees being delivered today. Six foxtail palms will go along the driveway, three each side. And six of these Yellow Indian trees along the front boundary. These are in flower in Nan province now. They are peaking in Nan city but a little early to peak as you go up the Nan River valley where it is a bit cooler. There is an amazing stand of these 110 kilometers to the north of Nan that we visited in mid-February last year. Going again next week and hoping they are at the peak.


    And yesterday we discussed with the lead guy building our carport to build two trellises for our Australian and Thai passionfruit vines. Want them to be 4.0 meters high (of which 70cm will be buried in concrete) and 2.0 meters wide. The squiggly lines represent strong wire mesh that I want wired to the metal supports. I asked for a quote first but I'm suspecting they will just make them. Either way I expect I'll have them and get the hired help to concrete them in place by the end of next week. Will likely plant four Aussie passionfruit seedlings under one of them and cull three when I can see which one is looking the strongest.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Greenscaping our Retirement Home in Nan Province-img_1794.jpg   Greenscaping our Retirement Home in Nan Province-img_2515.jpg   Greenscaping our Retirement Home in Nan Province-img_2623.jpg  

  24. #24
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    The 600 garden edge blocks have been delivered. Will be setting out the first 30sqm vegetable garden today and getting the gent we hired to lay them over the coming days.


    The six Foxtail Palms and six Yellow Indian trees have also been delivered. Plus some other smaller plants I wasn't expecting. Thought they might have been gifts but it seems they were actually a sneaky purchase by the wife. Seems the wife is adopting the beg forgiveness over permission approach.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Greenscaping our Retirement Home in Nan Province-img_2666.jpg   Greenscaping our Retirement Home in Nan Province-img_2667.jpg  

  25. #25
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    BiP Really looking forward to this, gardens are my thing and in Thailand the climate allows you to spend lots of time outside year round. Agree with Airport, i made the mistake with some trees and not spacing them sufficiently and disappointingly had to remove them.

    Regards your drainage issues, clearly you are prepping to ensure there are no areas where water collects but its worth considering that where the waters migrates to will be more damp than other areas in the wet season - roots generally don't like it too wet so i'd think about what you are planting in those ares - obviously some plants thrive in soil that has a higher water content.

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