A Visit to PaNoy’s Garden

Click here to watch this video on YouTube

It was at the end of August when PaNoy shared photos of his garden, this time I had a chance to visit his garden myself, and surprisingly his garden still looks lush and green in the month of October.

The big papaya tree bears many fruits.

Not likely that you would see something like this in our area.

Freshly picked papaya to make Tum Mak Houng, or Spicy papaya salad. I do love this picture, it would appear that the weather in our area was still hot, but actually it was a cool and wet Sunday.

PaNoy has a big garden, I swear my whole garden is the size of this planting bed.

He has several persimmon trees.

His Orange tree survived the last several Winters, and now it’s bearing fruits.

The last Kao Mao post was from his garden, and the rice below is Kao Guam or Purple Sticky Rice.

Fall vegetables.

The pomegranate fruit is not rip yet. He picked one for us to taste and it’s still very tart.

A row of blueberry bushes.

In front of the banana trees is a Guava tree. PaNoy is thinking about planting it outside next year, I wonder if it will survive the cold winter months.

This is a neat way of planting Strawberries, also a space saving by planting it in different layers.

His guests were busy picking the crab apples, and they went straight to the persimmons after this. The trees were almost bared when they were done. PaNoy was still smiling after this, he is a good sport.

Max came to visit this time also, and he loves freshly picked persimmon.

Princess flowers, it is as lovely as its name.

Photos and video were shot with a Canon T2i and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens.


  1. PaNoy’s garden must be a heavenly place – as a gardener I admire this lovely garden. The climate where you live must be very different from here in Denmark since everything still looks so summerly !

    • Truels, PaNoy lives closer to the coast, it’s looks more like Fall in my area and up the mountain than his. The winter here is not as cold and hash as the Winter in Denmark. He has expanded his garden since I last visited and it’s beautiful.

  2. I agree with Truels this garden is a heavenly place. That effect of “after the rain” photos look great too.

    It was nice of you and PaNoy to give us a tour. Besides being behind the camera I hope you got to sample some of the fall harvest, especially the persimmons. 🙂

    • Hi cn, I did get to sample the persimmons and it’s sweet and crunchy. The pomegranate was tart, I think he picked it too soon. It’s nice to visit his garden again, this motivates me to work harder in my garden next year. 🙂

  3. Thank you for showing all the great pictures! PaNoy’s garden makes me want to have a visit. Being Laotian, I make great tum mak houng!:))))

    • Hi Tou, it would be neat if he opened his garden to the public to tour. I recently learned the trick of making great tum mak houng from my sister, and I have to say that mine tastes great too. 🙂

  4. Thanks Nye for the comment about opening my garden up to tour. I’m not sure if some of my neighbors like that I have a garden of that size. The neighbors love their privacy and probably thought my garden is more like a small farm then a garden, but I hope they are not thinking that though. Some were concerned that we had the trees cleared off before we built the house, but I quickly put up the fence and planted fruit trees. I do plan on adding a water feature and making it more ‘English Garden’ type, but with school and all I hope to get to that project one day.

    I was very surprise by how quickly the blueberries grew and fruited in just one year of plant. When I planted them it was just ‘bare roots’ and these did better than ones I bought in containers from Lowe’s, etc. I also want to redo my front yard and make it more of a meadow. That’s it. Take care and thank you.

    • You are welcome PaNoy. Your garden is an inspiration for many of us, seeing your garden made me feel that I’ve neglected my garden this year and I guess it’s becasue I had spent more time camping then tending to my garden. I’ll have to work harder next year. 🙂

  5. PaNoy’s garden is amazing! How in the world can you get the papaya tree to grow? Is it potted or in the ground?

    And rice!? I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina, any ideas or advice on how I can get access to rice to grow….or papaya….or the snake gourd (luffa gourd, sponge gourd???) to grow. I’m trying to expand my garden at home to include things I ate while living in SE Asia.

    I’m hungry just thinking about all this stuff.
    Great work!

  6. Hi Christina,

    The way to get papaya to fruit is to grow it one year in a pot, take that indoor the Fall of that year, and plant it in the ground the following year, June preferably since the ground is nice and warm by then, or late May. Make sure to plant in a nice soil, with lots of sun. You can get the papaya seed from the ripe papaya from BJ’s Wholesale or Harris Teeter’s. Just toss those seeds in the ground and move the plant to a pot for next year; this way you don’t have to worry about the papaya that you planted in the ground; besides it will be too big for you to dig it out to save it, and just as long as you have new ones prepare each year you have have fresh green papaya every year, well just for a short while that is.

    You can also plant guava and other fruits from seed. Guava may be able to grow here in NC, but try growing them in a pot for 2-3 years before planting them in the ground. Again, do a raised bed so that water will drain away from the roots in Winter. It’s the water freezing around the roots that can kill most plant in the Winter season.

    As far as rice, you can just grow them in a raised bed, good soil again, and weed out unwanted weeds; it will not produce as much as those grown on rice patty with water. The rice patty with water is to prevent weeds from growing and competing, and also rice is native to water, wetland area.

    Just play around and experiment. That’s the fun thing about planting, it can be very addicted and fun at the same time.

    Another thing easy to grow is Blueberry. I get mine from Dan Finch.

    You can get a dozen plants for $65-70. Be sure to get the bare-roots and if planted by April of this coming year, you can have fruits by June of Next year. Blueberry is so easy and healthy. Enjoy!


    • Hi PaNoy,

      I took your advice and now have a great batch of papayas growing in pots.

      What kind of care do they require over winter? I want to take them inside, so the roots do not freeze, but am concerned about the lack of light. I do not get good light inside my house. What do you do to overwinter your papayas?

      Thanks for your help!

  7. Hi Christina,

    Great start! I bet you have lots of papayas and realized how easy it was to start them now. Wait until the plant is about 5-6 inches tall before re-potting them. I usually move each plant into a 3 or 5 gallons container with good soil, a 5 gallons would be nice. Also, I usually wait to do this when I know it’s going to rain for a day or twos, this way you have mother nature watering it for you and it’s not sunny to wilt the plant (I usually like to do a lot of moving plants in my garden prior to a big rain, etc.) After that, just let it sit the rest of the summer into fall in full sun with regular watering. The papaya will grow to about your waist line, and then move it into your garage for the winter, water regularly. Here in NC, the winter is not long, and the papaya will do well in the garage, no need to move it out to sunlight, back and forth (sometimes it’s the moving back and forth that can cause shock to the plant). If you want to experiment, have one that you can play with and see what works best. Most of the leaves may fall off in Jan or Feb (our two coldest months) but as long as the trunk is green and the top has not brown, it will sprout new stem come summer time.

    As next year replanting, you may want to wait until June or even late June because you need that ground to be really warm, since it is after all a tropical plant. In NC, people don’t plant things until after Easter; planting it earlier would not benefit, and the plant will just sit there shivering because it takes awhile to warm up the ground (Can you imagine putting your feet in a bucket of cold water and sit there for weeks, etc? Don’t do that to your plants…haha). But planting it in late June, it will really take off for you. Another trick to use would be to cover the ground that you will plant with black plastic sheet, this will help raised the ground temperature in that area a little bit quicker. Also, I do a large raised mound of just good compost soil which I get from a nearby soil & compost place for quite cheap. I added mulch around the perimeter to slow erosion in heavy rain. A raised mound is really good because in winter it would not collect water and some plants will survive better this way; it’s usually the water that collects around the root that freezes and kill the plant in winter–like cracks in highway that gathers water and freezes and expands over time that damage it.

    Now that you got playing with papayas, try guava, logan, lychee, jack fruit or anything fruit that you eat that has seed–toss that seed in the ground and watch it grow. I planted some seeds for Meyer’s lemon today. I bought the lemon from Whole Foods and it smells so good that I wanted to try and plant some. I also have about 15 Jack Fruit that I started from seed several months back which I will save about 5 to play with and give the rest away to those who wants to try. I also plant a guava in the raised mound this year that I started from seeds 2 years ago–curious to see if my raised mound would work. One of the oldest fruit tree I have in my garden is a navel orange tree, which I had since 1993 and planted in the ground when we had our house built in 2006.

    So play with it! Experiment! It will be fun and addictive, but a good addiction. Good luck and good planting!


    • Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it!

      I’m definitely going to try the lemon and lynchee before it gets cold outside.

      If the top turns brown, could it survive by cutting it back?

      Does the orange tree actually fruit in your garden?


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