House of Thai garden continues to evolve
The August 2021 Garden of the Month from the Ashland Garden Club is the front of the House of Thai restaurant, 1667 Siskiyou Blvd.
The restaurant opened in May of 1989 after remodeling the building and starting the garden.
In the mid 1980s, Jit Kanchanakaset, a single mother of five, came to Ashland in search of a safe, peaceful life her for family. A strong-willed, energetic and hardworking woman, she recruited her kids to help establish the eatery, and then later its garden. Ten years later, she met and married Phil Crompton. They spent much of their time doing what they enjoyed most, gardening and giving back to the village in Buriram, Thailand, where she grew up, by donating to schools, hospitals and underprivileged families. Jit passed on in April 2020.
The garden has evolved over time with gradual improvements. There are large, well-established Ponderosa pines along the eastern edge. Gorgeous rhododendrons bloom beneath the pines in May. Much smaller crepe myrtle trees line the western edge and bloom in August. In between are a small fishpond and waterfall that were constructed by the contractor who was remodeling the building.
Blue herons have been known to visit the pond, hoping to catch the elusive fish. Also there is a small lawn, plus a stunning Buddhist shrine. The colorful concrete and steel shrine, said to weigh 1,000 pounds, was installed a little more than 20 years ago.
Jit’s legacy lives on through her family as they continue her traditions while carrying on the restaurant. The family and staff offer respect to the shrine every Friday morning, honoring the house spirits and summoning goodwill.