Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ornamental apricots Điền Hòa

It’s a good chance close to Tết or new-year days to visit Điền Hòa commune, Phong Điền district, Thừa Thiên - Huế province and see thousands of ornamental apricot-plants in bloom. Điền Hòa apricots are famous for the flowers (both colour and scent) and the well-experienced apricot-growers.
Ornamental apricots Điền Hòa - Huế
Photo: Như Quỳnh
Every year, when comes 10th - 25th of lunar December, apricot festival is organized for participants whose ornamental plants will be on show and for sales. It’s their age-old tradition to grow apricots. There are well-famed growers such as Mr. Nguyễn Văn Để, Đỗ Khả, Đặng Thân...

Điền Hòa apricots vary in species: hoàng trúc mai, hoàng diệp mai, diệp cúc mai..., but hoàng trúc mai is really a rarity due to its yellow petals and sweet flavours. Mr. Nguyễn Văn Bé said “apricots bloom early or late, that depends on the weather, but hoàng trúc mai (yellow apricot) always bloom in Tết season. Anyway, apricot-plants can be made in different shapes, but mostly in two: long vân and long giáng... In fact, it costs time and effects to have a good ornamental apricot as expected. It needs looking after in years, and there are 4 points to be cared for: the roots, the trunk, the branches, the shape. A good-looking plan must have 4 sides like dragons. In Mr. Được’s opinion, the grower must be very careful in everything to look after, from the time, we place the roots in a vase, then the branches. The vase or pot to grow the apricot must be carefully picked and chosen how to fit the plant both in size and colour. Anyhow “old apricots” need to be grown in old pots. In Điền Hòa park, now there is a hundred-year-old apricot and it blooms every year. The old and big apricots in Huế royal city came from Điền Hòa. In the whole village, now there are 2,000 plants from 10 -15 years old. In all 300 household that have at least 5 - 7 and at most 50-70 apricots. Each costs 3 millions VNĐ or more, same cost up to 40-59 millions VNĐ, especially to 100 millions. Many families become well-off thanks to apricot growing.

During Tết time, we can see apricots everywhere. Vietnamese living overseas, after celebrating at home, buy and transport apricots (by waterways) to France, America and Canada... 
                                                                                      THU HẰNG

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