Connect with us

Thai Life

Gardening: Shades of white in Phuket gardens

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET: White has many associations, including innocence and purity. On the down side, it represents coldness and sterility.

In Thailand, judging by the dominance of white in floral garlands, it brings good fortune. Most lucky leis contain white flowers – buds of jasmine and milkweed, plus a pair of creamy magnolias for good measure.

The white spectrum is equally well represented in the average Phuket garden – from the pure white of the flowering jessamines, boxwoods and bauhinias, to the creamy-tinted flowers of brunfelsia or buddleia paniculata. Most of these are fragrant, as though Mother Nature decided that their pallor needed something extra to attract the attention of pollinating insects or perfume-loving humans.

To illustrate my point: the two most perfumed plants in my garden are the racemes of buddleia and the fiddlewood (citharexylum spinosum). Both are relatively insignificant visually, but the scent is rich and intense, especially in the morning. A word of warning: the fiddlewood is sometimes sold as a buddleia, but a buddleia it ain’t. It has distinctive, bright green leaves (the buddleia’s are grey-green and rough), and it grows rapidly. Unless you want a specimen or shade, it is not for the cottage garden.

Other white bloomers are more tractable and available. Take the gardenia (cape jasmine). A member of the madder family (rubiaciae), florists love it on account of its large, scented blooms and glossy, evergreen leaves.

Its flowers are usually creamy white and exist in any number of cultivars which range from semi-double varieties such as ‘Magnifica’ to the double ‘Mystery’. Preferring acidic soil, it is a good choice for a container, but needs plenty of fertilizer.

The dwarf tabernaemontana has smaller flowers that remind me of propellers and look as though they should be revolving in the breeze. An evergreen shrub with a compact habit, it will, given plenty of water, flower regularly. Fragrant, especially at night, it is easy to propagate from seeds or cuttings.

Jasminum sambac (Arabian jessamine), another sweetie, is well known in Thailand as mali son. Its white flowers are star-shaped, appear in clusters all year round and are tolerant of dry soil. Both jasminum multiflorum (star jasmine or mali phueng) and rex (royal jasmine or pan yii) have evergreen foliage. Both climbers need moisture and support for their branches. Given these conditions, they will bloom for most of the year.

A favorite of mine is the orange jasmine (murraya paniculata). It is self-supporting, and in three years will grow into a neat, four-meter-tall bush. It has a spicy fragrance, is easy going and will tolerate being clipped and pruned.

So too wrightia religiosa (mok baan), a white flowering shrub from the apocynaceae family. A favorite with Thais, it is usually grown as a hedge, or arranged as a front line of earthenware pots. Its flowers are pendulous and bell-shaped, but insignificant. However, it is evergreen, tolerates shade and blooms persistently. Yet another of those white shrubs that smells divine.

If you have gardening or environmental concerns, contact Patrick at drpaccampbell@ gmail.com. Many of his creative and academic publications can be found on his website: Green galoshes.

— Patrick Campbell

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Legalized gambling in Thailand? PM reveals his Omicron policy stance | Dec 3

South12 hours ago

All 23 districts declared as disaster zones in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Bangkok12 hours ago

Police face criticism over plans to buy millions of baht worth of tear gas and riot gear

advertiseadvertise
Thailand13 hours ago

Tourism minister tells the public “not to worry” about Omicron

Malaysia13 hours ago

Malaysia reports first case of Omicron variant

Thailand13 hours ago

Thai Immigration launches online 90 day report system

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Visa13 hours ago

10-year long term visa scheme takes a step forward, measures approved by PM

Thailand14 hours ago

Pilot seriously injured in F-5 fighter jet crash in Lop Buri

Southeast Asia15 hours ago

Taiwan sets up nighttime vaccination spots with gifting plans

Tourism15 hours ago

Maya Bay reopening likely to be postponed | VIDEO

Contract Package15 hours ago

Thai AirAsia X seeks for new investors as flights to resume next year

Thailand15 hours ago

Government to set up committee to consider opening casinos in Thailand

Southeast Asia16 hours ago

Detained Cambodian monk with refugee status says he could jailed if deported from Thailand

Thailand16 hours ago

Wildlife officials search for Bengal tiger roaming across three provinces

Thailand16 hours ago

CCSA criticises newspaper’s ‘hunt for Africans’ story, clarifies efforts to track travellers

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending