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 by Rhiannon Caldwell
In the tropical setting of Pattaya Thailand the landscaping options are nearly endless. Whether a condo building is in full sun or has a lot of shade, there are so many plants that thrive in this environment the landscaping can be some of the most beautiful in the world. The vibrant colors of the tropical flowers such as plumeria and hibiscus, the sweet smells of night blooming jasmine, or the shade provided by trees at the outdoor barbecue area. The landscaping of any building can take it from  an uninviting sterile condo to an inviting home where people enjoy spending time with family, friends, and loved ones. 
When prospective buyers feel at home they are more likely to make a positive buying decision. Beyond making the condo more liveable and increasing the value of the property there are many advantages to landscaping a condo property. One of the most obvious advantages is that the more greenery on the property the cooler it will be. Shade helps with cooling, as does the moisture coming off the plants. In addition to keeping the air naturally cooler the air in the immediate vicinity will be cleaner. With the world focusing more and more on clean air and healthy sustainable living more and more people are looking for ways to improve the quality of air where they live and work. 
Cooling things off will help residents save on their electricity bills. Shade trees, vines, and greenery will all help with the heating issues we face in a tropical climate. Good, well planned landscaping will increase the marketability of any condo property.
Landscaping can also help to protect a property from erosion. This is particularly important during the rainy season or as some like to say: “Flood season” when properly landscaped grounds can help prevent expensive repairs caused by water erosion damaging the land. This helps with maintenance costs and goes a long way towards customer satisfaction. 
When potential buyers are looking for a home, or a vacation home often times they are looking for a peaceful sanctuary. These people work hard and need a private space to unwind and relax.It isn’t all sipping coconuts from hammocks though, one of the hazards in our tropical paradise are mosquitos and the nasty diseases that come with them. There are a million remedies out there and certain plants can be added to the list as actually helping to deter mosquitos. So without further ado this is how you can go to war with mosquitoes through a little landscaping love:.
Pyrethrum keeps mosquitoes away, in fact during the conquests of Napoleon soldiers used daisy’s to keep insects at bay while on long marches and living in camps. These white flowers with a yellow center grow easily in full sun and can take intense heat. Other insects that are not fond of daisies include bed bugs (um PRETTY IMPORTANT IN A CONDO), spider mites, ticks (which carry Lymes disease), harlequin bugs, and other pests like aphids, and pickle worms. The active ingredient in the daisy’s future seeds actually reacts with the mosquitoes immune system and prevents them from biting. 
One of the most common kitchen ingredients in Thai kitchens also repels mosquitoes. Basil with its intense aroma literally makes the little buggers back away. All varieties of basil are effective against mosquitoes, however the creme de la creme are lemon basil, cinnamon basil, and Peruvian basil due to there strong aromas. 
Then there is the perfect mosquito repellent for every landscape project large or small in Thailand. Marigolds!. Marigolds are used by monks, they are used in offerings at temples, they are used to honor teachers, elders, royalty, parents on holidays such as this months Mother’s Day Holiday. Marigolds are a good gift for any Thai family, and the fact that they repel mosquitos is a huge benefit. Marigolds are often used by farmers in vegetable gardens to repel unwanted pests naturally. They make a wonderful edition to any landscape.
Citronella grass works well and will thrive year round in the Pattaya sunshine. They can be potted or grown in the ground, and they make excellent borders for flower beds. They are easy to maintain, don’t need much water and can grow in full sunlight. They mask the smell around them so mosquitoes can’t smell anything other than the oil coming from the grass. This ingredient is common in many organic mosquito creams and oils, as well as a common ingredient in candles designed to repel mosquitoes. What better way than to go directly to the source through growing the plant near where mosquitoes attack, like BBQ areas. 
Back to the kitchen garden there are a number of edible plants other than basil that will repel mosquitoes. Lemon grass used in Tom Yum soup, and other delicious Thai dishes, garlic plants work well as mosquitoes hate the smell of garlic. No surprise there, little vampires. Rosemary, which works wonderful in pasta dishes and other Italian and Spanish dishes. Clove which I find necessary any time I need to make a Hot Toddie, and for your kitty cat, catnip actually helps to repel mosquitoes too!
Even the war with mosquitoes goes back to peace of mind. Home is where you lay your head, whether you are staying in a condo for a night, a month, or a decade you want it to feel like home. Landscaping can add so much to the feeling of home. Through aesthetics, through smells, and through the sound of the breezes rustling through trees.