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Experiences from tropical gardening

February 9, 2011


I found Dokmai Garden’s Tropical Gardening School through internet and decided to include two weeks hands on experience at Dokmai Garden to my trip in Thailand. Now I have been here six days and enjoyed my time here. Here are the things I have done this far: pruning bamboos (Dendrocalamus and Bambusa) and bananas (Musa acuminata x balbisiana AAB and ABB), took cuttings from bamboos and orchids and planted them, transplanted cuttings of bamboo and orchids, planted seeds of the cannibal’s tomato (Solanum uporo), cut down a neem tree (Azadirachta indica) and after that made some neem water for pesticide treatment, cut down a big branch of a snapdragon tree (Gmelina arborea, Lamiaceae), cut down a little papaya because it had PRSV virus, also known as papaya mosaic virus, planted rice and hand-pollinated an orchid flower (Dendrobium farmeri).

I arrived every morning about 8.30-9.00 am and after that Eric  took me to my working area in the garden and gave me specific instructions about what he wanted me to do. He also tought me biology and origins of different kinds of plants. After that he left me to do the work on my own, which I like very much because in that way I know he trusts me.  During the day (which usually lasts 4-5 hours) he usually came 1-2 times to discuss new topics or check if there were any questions. In the end of the days Eric’s family prepared these delicious lunches which have been the best food I have ever eaten in Thailand.

You can learn so much from here and in my case this has been a wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge of gardening. I study gardening also in my home country, Finland, and the work at Dokmai Garden gives me study points and also an extraordinary experience.

Jussi Suominen, Turku, Finland

The stem of a variegated sacred Hawaiian banana as seen underground.

A normal papaya leaf….

..and a leaf infected by the PRSV (Papaya ringspot virus)

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