Living in Thailand, new to gardening, keen to learn
I'm a Brit whose just moved to my first house, with partner Nats, in South Phuket, Thailand. We've taken n a smallish garden with Thai gardener who doesn't speak english, although thats not a big issue. He only comes once a week to cut grass, but, if needed he can move stuff around for us. The garden is probably around 100m square, most at the back of the house surrounding a small pool.
I'm 40 odd years old and never done a days gardening in my life. I am from a farming background though and understand how things grow etc. I've been struck down by some sort of gardening urge. Thing is I don't know where to start. I need to learn the basics. Taking cuttings - there are lots of plants by the roadside I would love in the garden including some amazing flowers, citronella for the mozzies and I want to get some of the grass my two dogs go for every time on their walks. I also need to learn about what soil I need and more about the native plants, what grows best with what etc
We're both vegetarian and I'm keen to grow a lot of our own food. I've attached some pictures. I'm thinking about a 3 floor hanging basket, but more like a trough in the pics. Each hanging trough would be around 3 metres long and 25 cms wide - I'm thinking about bamboo which is double cheap here. All in all, with it going around the perimeter of the house - some in nearly permanent shade, so I need to research which plants, ideally food would grow in these conditions (if any), I reckon I could install around 50 to 70 metres of hanging troughs. The baskets would hang from the overhang of the house and apart from the bottom floor of the three floors of hanging troughs, they would largely be protected from the occasional driving rain in summer and daily in the rainy season. I'd put my own irrigation system on a timer in also. I need to learn about watering also. If anyone has any time to give me any tips on what I should grow in these hanging troughs or any tips at all please let me know. Good websites (tried the BBC's gardening site but it's not really what I am after as its UK biased, you'd also have thought they would have put little video tutorials on there too, also any good books, I am an eager learner :)
Initially I'm going to just install set of hanging troughs that will hang on the front of the house and get sunshine for around 5 hours a day, if it's sunny, which it generally is. (Temperatures generally never ever go below 22 deg centigrade here and are usually in the high twenties, thats 90f. There will be 3 x 3m of hanging basket to fill. I'll see how it goes.
The security on the house is also an issue. It has a surrounding wall of around 2.5 metres high I think. It's climable by an intruder, so I am thinking about putting in some thorny tall type plants to discourage the potential burglar. It would also let the light in as not so leafy, this is good as the places where we will put them are also places close to hanging baskets so it wont block their light. Anyway, apologies for the ramble but does anyone have any recs for a plant that fills this criteria?
I work on the net from home so a bit of tinkering sounds like a nice diversion. I also need to consider that at some times I maybe away for a month or longer. The gardener can make sure everything is watered and weeded though.
I've a feeling that things are going to grow at a significant rate in this climate. At the moment it's the end of the raining season and glorious sunshine most of the day with the occasional shower to freshen things up, perfect. It's not always like that though and there are periods of the year where it will just rain all day for days. And when it rains here it buckets it down. Then during the high season it might not rain for months. Watering the garden isn't a problem though.
All the best and thanks for listening.
PS The attached pic isn't my garden, just a pic of the hanging baskets type design I am thinking.