The Thanyasiri Tree Market offers various trees for those looking to add some shade to their garden. Home owners come to shop here not for small potted plants but for big trees.
"Big trees are a major part of a garden," says Somchai Somdee, a garden designer who regularly comes to Thanyasiri to shop when he needs to find some beautiful trees to decorate someone's garden.
"While there are many other trees markets that also offer big trees, Thanyasiri is always my choice because it is quite close to Bangkok where most my customers are. That means cheaper transportation fees and everything."
The market is impressively orderly. At the entrance is a small, beautiful cafe, a clean row of toilets and plenty of parking spaces. The main alley is lined with 30 to 40 trees shops. Besides trees, many of the shops sell smaller plants, and garden decor items such as rocks, colourful pebbles, small statues and concrete blocks for fish ponds.
Somchai, who prefers to brave the sun and shop for the trees during the day, says that you need to look at the form of the trees that you want to buy, not the height or size of the trees.
"Well-formed trees will be more expensive than ones with ordinary looks," he says. "They will flatter your garden more as well. Some trees which are hard to find or those that have to be specially ordered from the forest will be expensive anyway no matter what kind of form they have."
In addition to the cost of the tree, there are also fees for transportation and planting.
"Most of the shops are equipped with a crane and trucks. Some offer free planting for customers who buy a couple of trees. Usually, a transportation fee from here to somewhere in Bangkok is about Bt3,500," says Somchai.
But shopping for the trees is only a part of getting a beautiful garden. Somchai says most of his customers prefer big trees with colourful flowers to adorn their garden. Some people, he says, want trees that can improve the feng shui of their house and garden.
Thanyasiri Market also has a shop that sells life-size statues of elephants and many other animals.
"Daytime is the best time to come over and take a good look at all these trees because you see them in sunlight, which makes everything much clearer," says Somchai. "Also, be slow when shopping for trees and look around first before you make a purchase. I always go to at least two or three places before making a decision. I don't have shops I go to regularly and none of my peers do either. This is because trees are seasonal and sometimes you come across good trees by chance."
If you are looking for more information about trees and plants and feng shui for your garden, the Thai-language website www.
panmai.com is a good resource.
Sirin P Wongpanit
The writer can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanyasiri Tree Market
Rangsit-Nakorn Nayok Klong 6, near Jet petrol station
8am to 6pm daily