Allow me to welcome in the new year with some flowers!
The day after the Buddhism and Science conference at Mahidol University ended, I found myself back in Nakhon Pathom province as some relatives picked me up from Thonburi and drove me to a floral market at the The Rose Garden, which was host to an orchid festival.
It's a popular venue, where they they host competitions among flower growers as well as offering for sale a huge choice of exotic varieties. There's a slightly contrived effect to the location with occasional bird sounds playing underneath a net canopy, but even for someone like myself whose knowledge of flowers is minimal, it's a nice and colourful scene.
Shopping tip: If you're in Thailand looking for special orchids, worthy of gracing royal palaces, and happen to find yourself at a market like this then see if there is a stall belonging to Khun Oi who has a farm in Samut Sakhon. Here she is tending some that she had on display at the Rose Garden:
Khun Oi is recommended by my cousin, P' Yui, who has bought hundreds of flowers from her!
Whilst we were wandering around, a little convey of golf buggies drove past. At the front, alongside his driver, was Dr. Rapee Sakarit [sorry, not sure about the spelling], who is regarded as Thailand's leading authority on orchids - I see a biography is available, but it's only in Thai. I was told that Dr. Sakarit is now at least 90 years old, so the transportation was provided to help his mobility. He seemed to enjoy observing the various activities there.
It's not just local growers who exhibit at the Rose Garden. There are also international displays, also exuberant in colour and form.
This display is from Japan:
And this one is from Papua New Guinea:
I took some more orchid photos, but apologise in advance as there are few descriptions due to my floral ignorance!