This was our fourth or fifth visit to Thailand which ranks high on our list of the most wonderful countries to visit. The country is beautiful and the people are all so very warm and hospitable. Of course we love Thai food and also the wide range of fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, including the legendary aromatic durian.
Our time in Thailand was spent with Montri and Jane Suksermongchai of Bangkok. They are good friends and have introduced us to many of the delights of the Thai country and culture.
On this trip we had time to explore Montri’s bonsai collections in Bangkok as well as his nearly completed Bonsai Garden, Suanphung Bonsai Village. Suanphung is named after a local tree and is an extensive bonsai garden almost too big to walk around. It would take many hours to visit the numerous bonsai in the Chinese and Japanese gardens as well as bonsai lining both sides of the major roadways. There are also displays of garden stones, and newly constructed buildings. Needless to say there are also exquisite masterpiece bonsai including figs, Podocarpus, Adenium, Trident maple, Hibiscus, Wrightia religiosa, Tamarind and other species.
With my special interest in figs I was able to view many species used as bonsai including Ficus virens, microcarpa, benjamina, racemosa, religiosa and rumphii. Montri’s bonsai are in classical shapes and designs with the styles of bonsai varying from upright to cascade to root over rock. Many of the bonsai are of large or imperial size and not easily moveable by one or even two people. Pots are commensurately large and can be constructed of pottery, cement or carved from solid blocks of granite.
The individual gardens and buildings are done in elegant and tasteful designs consistent with the landscape and themes of the individual gardens while the quality of the bonsai is second to none in the world.
Once the gardens are completed a visit to them will be a must for any bonsai lover visiting Thailand.