Thursday, 12 August 2010

Smoky green fingers

Gardening is generally acknowledged as a fine pursuit - good for the soul, creative and a way of creating a pleasant environment around you.

Having grown up with parents and two sets of grandparents with green fingers I've always been in agreement, however moving to Thailand has changed my view somewhat.

Why, you ask?

I'll let the photo below do most of the talking but, essential, the neighbour backing onto our house decided that - in a change from the usual approach of cutting his lawn - he could burn it instead.

Not only is that (stupid - of course - and...) high ineffective but it creates a load of smoke which covers our garden and surrounding area forcing us inside, where it then proceeds to invade us through the aircon.


Being a ฝรั่งใจร้อน ("farang jai rorn") aka hot headed foreigner, I raced over there to get photographic evidence and ask why he was too lazy to do the job properly.

Neighbour's 'work' seen from his garden, our house is in the background to the left

Thankfully, on the other side, our neighbours have restored my faith in Thai gardening by keeping their land in immaculate conditions, thanks mainly due to employing a gardener but they both regularly muck in when their busy (lawyer) schedules permit.

An amazing garden which was, in fact, the setting for our the evening dinner and entertainment on the day of our wedding.


Boonsong said...

In my experience people burn grass (especially if it's overgrown) because they worry that there are snakes in it. Even so it's antisocial if they don't have a word with their neighbours first - and usually they don't.
You have a lovely house and in a nice area too by the look of it.
Enjoyable post and great photos.

All the best, Boonsong

DanPloy said...

Burning is quieter.

Our neighbour cuts his grass using a nice macho strimmer thing the size of large outboard motor at 6.30a.m.. I am usually well awake by then but it woke Ploy who promptly stormed out and gave him such an earful it gave me a headache even though I was indoors.

Mike said...

Jon from time to time I have a similar issue, made worse when certain folk burn plastic. I actually love my garden and do enjoy it here, even though its too hot most of the time, sadly the current lack of water id making my little oasis turn brown.

Tom Yam said...

Maybe your friend next door should invest in a few goats. Where we live it is possible to have someone else's goats or cows on your land for a period just to keep the greenery at bay. Then they move on. People do a similar thing with ducks for a share in the egg profits.

Martyn said...

Jon there certainly is a stark contrast to the two gardens either side of you.

My own experience of most gardens in Thailand is that Thais really don't put too much effort into them, at least not in the area where Wilai lives. Even most of the modern houses have very little grass and flowers. The locals seem to spend all their money on building a house as big as they possibly can and have nothing leftover for anything else. Even the inside decor and furniture is sadly lacking in style. The houses are like a beautifully wrapped Christmas box which is empty inside.

I don't know what to suggest concerning your problem bar buying him a brand new lawnmower or spraying some kind of grass killer all over his land.

Your other neighbour's garden looks absolutely beautiful.

Jon said...

Hi Boonsong,

Thanks for stopping by, I never did consider the snakes situation but if he could be bothered to tend to the garden more regularly the grass wouldn't grow so high.

I guess I found it ridiculous as it is anti-social, as you point, and highly ineffectual, the grass is overgrown again now so we can expect more smoke soon - oh joy.

Yes, the house is great though it actually my in-laws and we live in one section of it - took me a while to adjust but is a good set-up, childcare on tap ;)

Jon said...

Ha, great story, Dan, that is awfully early.

I really wouldn't object to the noise as it is far less of a paint that a smoky garden.

Jon said...

Hi Mike,

Yeah I find Thais, in general, do love to burn things and neighbours seem to let things go a little more here, I was the only one getting upset and they all laughed at me doing so, mai pen rai was all I got.

Am always impressed with your garden photos, is a great country for keeping a garden despite water issues and the blazing heat.

Jon said...

I neglected to mention that they have ducks and chickens roaming the area. Is a great source of fun for my little fella, who likes to chase them, but certainly took me some time to get used to - particular when the chickens start making noise around 3-4 am. Welcome to Thailand, as they say.

Jon said...

Yeah, very true, the outside of the house is the source of pride and reputation (face).

Would love to buy them a mover but I fancy it will be a little expensive somehow.

The other garden is truly immaculate, was quite amazing to have our wedding celebration there...I haven't put up the photos...not sure if I will but it looked magic. That's what you get for employing a full-time gardener who knows his onions...boom boom.