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Lunar New Year southbound travels of ancient peach trees

Over the past 20 years, Mr. Son has selected old peach trees of fancifully defined shapes with the nicest blossoms for his southward-bound journey to serve customers in HCM City.

 

Two decades of great love and care

Born into a family with a tradition of planting and selling peach trees every Lunar New Year (Tet), Pham Hong Son (50, Hanoi) has carried the love for them since a very young age.

Although transportation businesses say that the trees will be under utmost protection, this barely succeeds in supplying Mr. Son with peace of mind.

“It’s been 20 years since I started this career of selling peach blossoms in the South. Annually, I only pick the ones of the finest quality for sale in Saigon,” Mr. Son said.

The climate this year has been so supportive of peach trees that they are producing splendid branches and flowers, which has encouraged Mr. Son to start his southerly travel even earlier than usual. A corner of 23/9 Park (District 1, Ho Chi Minh city) is the location he selected for the trees to be on display.

Mr. Son shared that most of the trees on sale are over ten years old, which means stumps might have grown mossy, covered with fungus or turned rough. All that, however, only contributes to their appeal, alongside the wondrous tree-shaping work that the qualified artisans have done on them.

This tree breed grows best in cool climate of the North. Hence, for thriving to be maintained and to cope with the constant harsh sunlight in Saigon, the peach trees are put under special care in pots starting from September lunar month.

“These trees prior to Tet are planted in the ground, then around the 9th lunar month will be potted up to grow accustomed to that. This explains how they stay fresh and do not wilt in such warm climate of HCMC, without any need to be wrapped in plastic,” Mr. Son said.

The trees here are quite dear. They usually range from VND40 to 50 million, depending on their age, shape and flower density. Mr Son added the sales this year has to some extent been constrained by the impact of the epidemic. He therefore has had to lower the prices, the resplendent the trees look notwithstanding.

“I by choice do cut-rate offers. If a few ten-year-old peach trees with nice looks last year costs 80-100 million, I would only sell the two for about VND60-80 million this year.”

Homeland nostalgia

As yellow apricot blossoms are preferred by Southerners during Tet holiday, Mr. Son has his own patrons over the past 20 years. They are individuals and collectives who headed here from the North and along with them there’s still the joy, the affection for peach blossoms like the tradition back home.

“Most of my clients are people who were born and raised in the North. They therefore have fond memories of peach trees throughout Tet days. Every year, I transfer peach blossoms to Saigon so they will have a chance to bring home the festive air," Mr. Son shared.

Also, after many years of southbound journeys, peach blossoms gradually became special in the hearts of people living in the most dynamic city in the country. Currently, many gardeners have shared the same idea, to bring peach trees from northern provinces to Ho Chi Minh City for sale.

“Both my parents are Hanoians, so having a peach tree at home for Tet is forever a must. My mother especially loves Nhat Tan peach blossoms, she frequents here to pick one every Lunar New Year," shared a peach buyer at Mr. Son's garden house.

Alongside Mr. Son's ancient Tet peach tree booth at 23/9 Park, there are also many other garden owners displaying their own gorgeous ones. Customers can also be economical by purchasing tiny Nhat Tan peach blossoms for only VND2-10 million.

The well-timed full bloom of the peach blossoms with long-lasting and glowing effect is assured by the gardeners. Care instructions will also be included upon each purchase if required.

Mr. Son said: “The peach trees do not need too much care but if not done properly, they might not grow well or even give out flowers at undesired time. Therefore, we always give shopping advice to clients on how to spot healthy and weak peach trees…”

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

Mr. Pham Hong Son

 

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

Perennial peach trees from Hanoi are available in HCM City.

 

 

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

Peach trees of around ten years old are always on the hunt and at high prices

 

 

 

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

This old one tree attracts many visitors.

 

 

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

Gorgeous blossoms in this year's favorable weather

 

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

Coming with age is the rough mossy stumps…

 

 

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

…It’s irrelevant to how brilliantly the buds sprout, these trees will experience on time full bloom this Tet.

 

 

 

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

Tet is around the corner and loads of pre-orders have been placed

 

 

20 năm mang đào cổ 'độc nhất vô nhị' vào Sài Gòn chiều lòng khách chơi Tết

The poetic beauty of these lovely pinky peach blossoms in the eyes and in the hearts is absolutely manifest for a Tet season in the offing.

 

Nguyen Son

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