I really enjoy gardens, strolling through them, resting and simply soaking up the atmosphere, its hard describe but I swear its good for the soul. Im not blessed however with a huge garden, our house sits on just 66 talang wah (multiply that by 4 for square meters).
But its ours and ever since we moved in I have been keen to make the most of it, and over the past few weeks I have quite busy pottering away in the garden and am really happy with the progress made to date. Its still a fair way off being completed, but I think that’s just the joy of gardening, they are never truly ever complete but with each year as the plants mature and little projects get done they inch ever closer.
Our little garden used to look like this
Thankfully the developer saw to at least provide us with a little foliage
and eventually handed it over like this
This was fine for a while but it wasn’t ours, and over the last few years it has matured,
But it was in essence the same as we received upon handover, and we have been dying to make it our own. The first job we wanted to do ( a few weeks ago) was to create a better seating area (mostly driven by the fact that when I sat in the chair it used to sink into the earth, which I can assure you is not a flattering sight! (sorry no pics of that 🙂
So I dusted off my thinking cap and got to work designing a patio. I looked at various materials but have always been drawn to the earthiness of laterite bricks, or as they are known in Thailand Sila Laeng, they can be purchased in hardware shops throughout the country. they are available in either 40x40cm or 20×40 cm bricks, I opted for smaller bricks, because I think large paving slabs in a small garden might make it seem even smaller. These cost about 25 Baht each.
I measured the area and then decided on the pattern for the brickwork, I didn’t want the standard running block and I also didnt want to cut any bricks, so I tried to choose measurements that would allow this eg
So design in hand the next job was to bring in some muscle and get the job started. We removed old paving stones (they’d find a use elsewhere), removed the sod, levelled the earth, laid landscaping material (to prevent weed growing through later) and covered the lot with sand.
The bricks were then laid following the pattern, this required a bit of shoving, and jostling into position, but eventually we got there. and finished the job by filling the cracks with sand, and added small white pebbles around the edges to finish it off.
the observant amongst you will also notice that we added a few new plants at the same time too. You’ll see here that these are mostly heliconias, and ginger.
It looked and felt much better, but that wall was looking very dirty, so we decided to paint it. But what colour? White had already proven itself to be unsustainable it just gets dirty too easily, so
Pro tip, we decided on the colour beforehand by testing out some colour options using photoshop (see below)
To do this I used the polygonal lasso tool selecting just the wall, and created a new layer. I filled that layer with my choice of colour, and set that layer to overlay and adjusted the opacity. It really helped us to visualise how the garden would look, and in retrospect, it seems that its very close to the actual results.
Then finally this weekend we visited Chautuchak weekend market and added some final touches with some wall art, a few more plants and a fountain (more on that DIY project in moment)
We took this funky looking flower pot amd into that I inserted three black flower pots, the lowest one is upside down, the seciond one sits on that the right way up and is half filled with pebbles, so that final one can sit on that also the right way up and just in line with the lip.
I purchased a solar powered 6v fountain online from DCHgate for 650 Baht, which rests in the top with the nozzle just protruding above the surface of the water. It works great, not very powerful, which is perfect for my needs. I’d post a video of it in action but have to wait to post video of it until we get a bit more sun, although it did briefly come out enough for me to see it in action, albeit briefly
Also as you can see we added a few solar powered garden lights, these were just 250 Baht each from Home pro
So that’s it, for now, lots more planned for the future though including moving the a/c compressor, adding a raised planter box (for our kitchen garden), and of course more tropical plants.
The solar fountain in action