gardens and gardening in Cambodia

The royal garden at the king's palace must be a good example of the preferred style of a Cambodian grand garden. It's formal, and it's fun. Though not fun necessarily for the army of workers who keep it in check.

Water features are everywhere. With or without fish, reflecting the sky, so tranquil and beautiful.

Clean, neat and tidy is all important. Leaves and twigs are swept up and thrown away. There is no mulch, you see the bare earth.

Cambodia is a poor country, no expensive high tech garden gadgets. Gardening methods are traditional and hard work.

Tonle Sap is a large lake in northwest Cambodia. So large that there are 107 floating villages around the lake. One of these villages is called Prek Toal and is the base for a community ecotourism project, run by an NGO called Osmose.

Even in a floating village there are people who are enthusiastic gardeners. Like any English gardener, they nurture their roses.

Until 1999 the villagers had a protein rich diet of fish, but no fruit or vegetables. The program provided education and funding to enable them to instal floating fruit and vegetable gardens like this one.


  1. Dear Catmint, What an absolutely fascinating country Cambodia must be and how wonderful to have had the opportunity to visit it.

    This posting is full of interest from the topiarised elephants, to roses growing round the door, to a floating vegetable garden. This last I thought particularly appealing.

    Although one does not wish to see people in poverty, or close to it, there is something refreshing about seeing somewhere where the consumer society of the developed world is much less in evidence.

  2. Love them. What a lovely country. We have lost this now and no doubt they will too in another generation.

  3. Catmint,

    Your pictures are oh-so-much better than mine! And by the looks of it, you're garden is too! Oh well, there I go moping again :-) You're inspiring me. Thanks for stopping by my post.

  4. I remember tonle but didn't visit the royal garden before. Thanks for posting! The garden is a work of art. I love to see topiaries in shapes like this ;-D Oh btw, when I was there few years ago... it was really hot!

  5. You are so lucky to have had such a rich experience in Cambodia. I had no idea they grew roses-but she looks most dedicated. Those topiaries are awesome!

  6. Floating gardens! And I thought that roof top gardens were strange. These are wonderful and just proves that you can garden even when living on top of the water...

  7. Dear Edith, thanks for your comment. Yes, I was lucky to visit the country. Asia is closer geographically to us than it is to you.

    Dear Hermes, I'm afraid they're losing the traditional life as we speak. It will be gone before another generation I fear.

    Shannon, just keep at it and I find everything gets better over time.

    Dear Stephanie, when we were there it was really hot. It was the start of the rainy season, it was a relief to get wet.

    Tina, I also had no idea they could grow roses - such a different climate to England, but they looked great.

    Skeeter, yes it is exciting that there are so many different ways and forms of gardening.

    Cheers, catmint

  8. What an amazing vacation...I'm living vicariously through you!

    My first thought about a floating garden that saltwater or fresh? And then I thought, what a cool idea to put topiary animals in multiple pots...move 'em around! What a great post! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Hi Catmint, an interesting and beautiful post. The topiary look great, but are very work intensive. I would rather work in the garden then have a factory job. I love all the water features and the floating vegetable gardens. The people are always smiling and friendly; even when they have quite a hard life. My nephew in switzerland is married to an Cambodian girl, she is beautiful in every way,
    always helpful.

  10. Thanks for posting the floating garden. Like your pictures.

  11. What an informative and interesting post. Beautiful photography.

  12. Hi Cheryl, thanks for your comment. It's a freshwater lake.

    Hi Titania, On the whole Cambodian people did seem very friendly, and since many speak English it is easy to communicate. But it was very sad talking to many people who through poverty did not have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and desires.

    Hi MKG, thanks for your visit and comment.

    Dear Darla,I'm so pleased your enjoyed the post.

    Now I'm off to check out your blogs.
    Cheers, catmint

  13. I love the floating gardens Catmint. Cambodia is enchanting but the government can be frightening... as many can. Wonderful post. I am enjoying visiting your blog. ;>)

  14. A very interesting read . Amazing and beautiful Cambodian people :)


Post a Comment