Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Gardening: Top operators hedge bets



PHUKET: Driving around Phuket today, I was interested to see what plants were being utilized in new developments: as ornamental additions to reception areas, flanking boundary walls, or as borders and hedges.

It makes doleful reading, but it is sadly the case that almost all budget-priced condominiums and shop-houses – and there is a rash of new ones – simply ignore the need for shrubs or trees.

Having removed every vestige of greenery from the site, these developers clearly see no point in planting new trees or, in most cases, even adding a few container plants.

Instead, the front area of each new construction is concreted over, so space can be made for parking. Priority number one.

High-end developers seem to take more account of the natural environment. In some cases, it is admittedly no more than a few token pieces of topiary, a row of wrightia, or a clipped hedge or two of ixora.

In those resorts and commercial projects that genuinely care about their ecological and artistic image, however, the results are gratifying.

Indeed, I was delighted to write recently about the Mövenpick Resort, which not only has graceful columns of palms and star apple trees to greet new arrivals, but acres of lawns, lakes and woodland sporting hundreds of arboreal varieties.

Such first impressions are, of course, very important.The Evason Resort, recently much in the news, has long been a Phuket landmark. As you approach the resort, you travel down a mature avenue of over-arching oil-palms, many festooned from ground to crown with ferns of various kinds. A soothing and relaxing introduction.

In contrast, Siam Niramit, is a new complex, aimed at providing a Thai style “spectacular”. Built in an area of the Bypass Road on which the developers’ gaze has begun to focus, the Niramit is entered past high white walls, already flanked by rows of bamboo, tall, graceful and vividly green.

Bamboo looks great when it is young and healthy: it is, however, a heavy feeder, produces dense root structures and lots of falling leaves. I wonder how it will look in a few years’ time.

Festooned over the walls of the parking area was an unusual climber. The wooly morning glory (argyreia nervosa) is not a common sight in Phuket, but here it was being given a chance to show off its large, pink, trumpet-shaped blooms.

Back in Rawai, a peek at the familiar Friendship Resort revealed the aesthetic benefits of low-rise chalets – a style less favored in nearby developments – and the soothing charms of a green environment where coconut palms and alstonias were much in evidence.

This old/new pattern is repeated elsewhere: the established Rawala complex in Rawai has lots of trees, including a row of white-flowering plumerias along the entire frontage. Just down the road, the newly completed Rawai Palm Beach Resort – a massive affair – continues the theme of palms and plumerias in its impressive entrance area, but lets itself down at the business end, where only a few token potted evergreens, and a solitary mature tree soften the overwhelming impact of concrete.

But wait. Another newish resort is bucking the trend. Admittedly, the Chalong Chalet Resort occupies an enviable position on rising ground with panoramic views. But everything has been done to heighten this natural advantage. The rotunda car park has a mature neem tree (azadirachta) smack in the middle, encircled by a low evergreen hedge.

Such attention to aesthetic and natural detail is everywhere in evidence: pleasant single-storey chalets are set amid acres of terraced and manicured lawns and an imaginative range of trees and shrubs.

Yuccas, screw pines, fern-clad palms, low hedges and borders of duranta, ixora, clerodendrum, even a few indigenous rubber trees.

And beyond every green vista, the sea, the sea…

If you have a question or a garden that you would like featured, you can email the author here.

Keep checking our online Phuket Lifestyle pages or join our Facebook fan page for regular gardening features and tips.

— Patrick Campbell


Get more from The Thaiger

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand36 mins ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok40 mins ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

World43 mins ago

China not cod-ing about its zero Covid policy as it tests fish

Sponsored1 day ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Travel44 mins ago

Affordable but stylish hotels in Koh Samui for your next holiday

Thailand1 hour ago

Female soldier seeks help after being abused by senator’s wife

Crime2 hours ago

2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime3 hours ago

Man stabs wife’s secret lover to death in rice paddy in central Thailand

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime4 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video4 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

World5 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand5 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand6 hours ago

2 men on a motorcycle rob a gas station in Chon Buri

Thailand6 hours ago

PM Prayut suggests studying Buddhism to cope with rising electricity bills in Thailand

Thailand7 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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