On Saigon outskirts, Tet ushers in a bloom boom

By Quynh Tran   January 12, 2020 | 08:16 pm GMT+7
With the Lunar New Year festival, Tet, less than a fortnight away, part-time workers are working overtime at a flower village on Saigon's outskirts.
[Caption]For nearly a decade, an area of about 40,000 square meters on Le Thi Rieng Street in Thoi An Ward in the outlying district 12 to the northwest of downtown HCMC has been used to grow flowers to serve the Tet market. Flowers grown mainly for short-term crops included chrysanthemum, marigold, auspicious, crested chicken and marigold.Just a few weeks before Tet, which peaks on January 25, this flower village is entering the busiest time of the year.

For nearly a decade, an area of about 40,000 square meters on Le Thi Rieng Street in Thoi An Ward in the outlying District 12 has been used to grow flowers to serve Tet demand. Chrysanthemum, marigold, crested chicken and sunflowers are the main flowers grown here.

The flower village, northwest of downtown Ho Chi Minh City, is entering the busiest time of the year now.

Truong Lam in District 9, a part-time worker, waters a field of crested chicken flowers. Vietnamese people have a long tradition of decorating pots of crested chicken flowers in red color,a symbol of luck and prosperity, in front of their homes.  Three months before Tet, garden owners started hiring part-time workers to take care of their flower plants. Everyday, Im in charge of watering, fertilizing and pruning leaves, she said. 

Truong Lam, a part-time worker living in District 9, waters a field of crested chicken flowers.

Vietnamese people have a long tradition of keeping pots of red crested chicken flowers, one of the symbols of luck and prosperity, in front of their homes.  

"Three months before Tet, garden owners start hiring part-time workers to take care of their plants. Everyday, I'm in charge of watering, fertilizing and pruning leaves," she said. 

[Caption]AA

Nguyen Van Chinh, 50, a garden owner, moves flower pots in a wheelbarrow.

"This area was originally a project land, the owner rented it at a low cost. This place has more than a dozen families growing flowers, most of them farmers from the Go Vap flower village who are still attached to the profession," said Chinh, who has 30 years of experience. 

[Caption]AA

Hang rushes to this flower garden to work overtime in the late afternoon after finishing her job at a company. 

[Caption]AA

"On normal days I work at a factory but when Tet comes near, I take up part-time jobs to earn more money. I earn VND5 million ($216) a month for taking care of flower gardens. This job is more comfortable than in the factory, and they provide accommodation," said Mai as she stuck bamboo sticks into chrysanthemum flower pots to shape the plants into a dense bunch.

[Caption]aA

Nguyen Thanh Van, 45, the owner of a 5,000 square meter flower garden, works alongside her employees. She is weeding the garden so that the plants can bloom better.

"After nearly 20 years of growing flowers, every garden owner wants to take care of plants with his or her hands to produce beautiful flowers. This year the weather is more favorable because the rains have not been heavy. Hopefully, the weather will not be too sunny, so that the flowers can bloom at the right time," said Van.

Workers fertilize sunflower pots so that the plants can flower before Tet.

Workers fertilize sunflower pots to ensure fast growth and flowering in time for Tet.

[Caption]AA

At this time, many traders, mostly from HCMC, drop by the flower village to place orders. Garden owners say the Tet atmosphere really bustles around 10 days before New Year's Eve. 

The country will enjoy a seven-day holiday for the Tet festival this year, staring January 23, two days before the Lunar New Year.

As urbanization swallows increasing tracts of agricultural land in the city, very few flower villages remain intact. Those that remain add charm to the Tet atmosphere in Vietnam's southern metropolis. 

[Caption]AA

A woman has just bought two pots of daisies for VND80,000 ($3.5).

Flowering plant prices this year will be higher than last year by about 10 percent due to higher farming costs, according to gardeners.

 
 
go to top