Our team recently travelled to Chiang Mai to transform an overgrown blockwork terrace into this Stunning Lakeside Garden in Chiang Mai with a beautiful Thai pergola and sala.
You can view the entire project here on our You Tube video.
The owners can now take advantage of their fantastic lakeside view.
This space, a quiet residential location in the Dok Kam Hills, was perfect for this expat couple who wanted to be outside more and enjoy nature. They wanted beautiful views but couldn’t stand to be outside in their shabby and algae-covered terrace.
We made a custom garden plan for them. They wanted outdoor covered seating so they could be outside even during Thailand’s famous rainy season, and plants that would frame rather than obscure the view. They also wanted something low maintenance that wouldn’t require lots of cutting and trimming. In the end we helped them decide on two covered areas – a pergola and sala – tropical slow-growing plants, and a pleasant low-maintenance deck of brick, pebbles, and local hardwood.
We started with the garden framework, sinking columns for the sala into the terrace concrete. We covered the roof and columns with welded steel for strength, and then colored them to appear the same as timber.
The roof is local yellow balau hardwood, which is very popular in Thailand for its soft natural color. We clear-stained the hardwood to protect it while allowing the natural grain to show through. We topped the hardwood with local clay-fired tile, protecting it and giving the sala a great local Thai look.
For the pergola, we built a galvanized steel subframe with hardwood columns and roof. The decking is a highly resistant wood plastic composite, which is low maintenance and stands up well to Thailand’s climate. Our team painted the decking to match the hardwood’s grain and covered it with multiple coats of clear anti-UV varnish.
We installed a Shinkolite clear roof, which provides sun and rain protection while still allowing plenty of light through. Shinkolite is a superior quality material that looks far better and is more weatherproof than polycarbonate.
After the buildings were done, we installed plants. The owners had four Foxtail palms and a mango tree they wanted to keep in place, so we chose plants that would grow well around them while staying low-maintenance. The main focal plants were the thai ‘junpa’ or dragon tree, alocasias and heliconias. We used some low lady palms and rainbow plants for the planters.
The owners wanted a herb garden as well, so we installed a series of wood plastic composite planters near the kitchen. With herbs, including rosemary, local basil, Italian basil, parsley and of course, lots of chillis, these cooks will never be short!
We matted the floors with an anti-weed fabric and installed natural stone pavers. We covered the remaining area with different colors of pebbles, giving a great vibrant finish that complements the decking.
Finally, we positioned a small concrete bird bath at one end of the pergola, which will bring some more nature into the garden, just what the owners wanted.
If you’re interested in improving or designing a Stunning Lakeside Garden in Chiang Mai, Thailand, give the Thai Garden Design team a call.