At first, Mr. Kampon Tansacha, then young executive of Nongnooch Pattaya Garden ; Resort, was firmly against adding a garden to the business and refused to have anything to do with it. In the end, however, he created a beautiful garden that has won many awards.
“I was against the idea of Nongnooch Garden and didn’t get involved in it at all,” said Mr Tansacha, when his mother, Nongnooch, said she wanted to makea garden to attract tourists.
Five years later his mother needed a helping hand, so as a son he had to oblige. Today, Nongnooch Pattaya Garden is a world famous garden. With a degree and background in engineering, Kampon knew nothing about garden design but once he had decided to take full responsibility, he started to learn about it. A palm garden was the first step, since he wanted palms to be the main drawing point. He travelled all over the world to collect seeds and learned garden design from Sithiporn Donavanik, Thailand’s top garden designer at that time, by asking to be his student. In this way he gained access to many beautiful gardens and slowly gained the knowledge he needed for his Nongnooch Pattaya Garden.
Nongnooch Pattaya Garden adheres to the sustainable economy concept due to low investment in the early stages. Progress was gradual; he would wait until each stage was complete before moving on to the next improvement.
Kampon (Khun Tong) explained how Nongnooch Pattaya Garden has been continuously developing: “Once a project is done, I sit down to look at it and ask myself what can be done to make it better. I still have energy so I should be able to do more. Then I dream of things that are both possible and impossible at the same time and follow that dream. If it turns out successful, I will think further, how I can make it even better. I ask my staff for information; listen to visitors’ complaints and what they want us to add.”
The world’s gold medal garden designer believes that for a tourist-destination city to be able to sustain itself permanently, it must have enough activities for visitors to stay for 2-3 days and these attractions must fall into one of three categories; nature, sacred sites and designed gardens or other manmade structures. To make it outstanding and attractive to every member of a family, the garden must offer a variety of features.
“A father might like plants; we have the world’s top palm and cycad collections and tens of thousands of other plant species. We also have a landmark French garden. If a mother and her children do not like plants, we have animal figures scattered everywhere; they are figures that children can hug so they are trained to love animals. If mum likes cars, I have a showroom for cars that nobody buys; they are big boy’s toy cars with a unique look. I have created their identity using special registration numbers. I bought 20 special registration numbers at auction for my car collection; visitors are excited about them and like taking their photos.”
Nongnooch Pattaya Garden is already well known but its executive is constantly looking for ways to improve it. He is still working on many projects, such as a theatre for cultural performances and the French garden. “There are still many things I want to do because I know that I have an opportunity to make the country well-known. I have a dream of creating a garden that the world will call “the Thai garden”; it must be a garden that is accepted by everybody. I’m now starting on a ‘masculine garden’; it focuses on plants that are imposing and strong. Another is a ‘feminine garden’ with plants that are sweet and delicate, such as flowering plants and groundcover. I believe that in the future we will be the definition of the Thai garden.”
Mr. Kampon Tansacha
Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/pg/Garden.Nongnooch