This time of the year, the green
season, the plants which stayed invisible and underground during the entire
tourist season emerge. Tacca, Amorphophallus, Curcuma and Zephyranthes bring
joy and colour to the Thai forests and gardens. It is a pity the traveling
guides lure people to come here in November and December, a time when the
native flora is largely dormant. It is not strange the resorts frantically
plant South American exotics to have some blossom to show. Some even display
artificial plants or replace the native flora with exotic weeds.
Zephyranthes lilies in bloom.
So what are the activities at Dokmai
Garden when hardly any tourists are around? We enjoy the garden ourselves,
and we plant many seedlings. I am also happy to report that the guinea fowl
mother still has eight babies. Evidently some did not survive that first
rainfall, and I figure eight chicken is what she could keep warm with her
body. I saw our barn owl for the third time recently. It was in the same
longan tree as once before, and it dropped a big dead rat on me. The rat had
no head and no guts, just fur, legs and tail. I threw it to the silver
pheasant, but like the snob he is he did not even bother to look at it.
Mowing is necessary now when there is
an explosion in growth, but we have to be careful because the red wattled
lapwing nests on the ground, and many valuable seedlings germinate now. The
baby talipot palms (Corypha umbraculifera) which I planted last August show
their first leaves. We have also prepared ourselves better for the upcoming
heavy rains in August and September. The parking has speed bumps, which we
made to keep the stream of uphill drainage water out of our garden. I am
also planning for the ground orchid display, an attraction for the minority
of tourists who come during the rainy season. That display is more important
for the orchids’ establishment and reproduction within the garden, than to
enchant the eyes of a visitor. Releasing orchids from pots is like releasing
fish back into the ocean. Dive and be
prosperous – do not get caught again!