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12/02/2021 - 13:33

Streets of yellow apricot blossom

Every family in Hue wishes to have a pot or a branch of five-petal yellow apricot blossom for Tet (New Year’s Day.) Outside the authority has established some yellow apricot gardens for the former imperial capital city.

People are taking a walk in the apricot garden on Le Duan St., Hue City

In addition to the yellow apricot garden in the park on Le Duan St. (Hue City), there is another inside the Citadel in front of the Imperial City with the hope that it will serve as a pedestrian space for people and tourists to watch the species of flower considered one of the “four precious flowers.”

The apricot garden inside the Citadel

To those who were born and grow up in Hue, yellow apricot blossom is a symbol that is connected with their everyday lives. Yellow apricot blossom can be found at communal houses, pagoda gates, and in front yards of houses.

Yellow apricot blossom is so beautiful and growing apricot trees has so far become a hobby for Hue people. Many people hope that with the project of building Hue into the city with 4 seasons of flowers, there will be routes lined with apricot trees which will be their venues in spring. 

After a long time of surveying, Hue Tree and Park Center grew yellow apricot trees in the park in the Citadel in front of the Imperial City near the Nine Sacred Cannons. They are well-selected old apricot trees from suburbs around Hue.

Being the man who takes care of the old apricot trees, Mr. Dang Ngoc Quy, Vice-Director of Hue Tree and Park Center says it was not a simple task at all. It took them lots of time and energy to search for apricot trees in the suburbs of Phong Dien, Quang Dien, Phu Vang, etc.

Growing apricot trees is a hobby for people and apricot trees are their property. It is thus not easy to persuade them to sell their trees. But when they knew that their apricot trees would be grown in front of the Imperial City to become a highlight for Hue, they agreed right away.

Some apricot tree owners said they never thought of selling them to merchants. But they were willing to support when they knew their apricot trees would be grown in front of the Imperial City.

According to Quy the apricot trees grown in front of the Imperial City are various in value depending on their ages, sizes and shapes. “Some are 60 years old, but some are only 30. The most expensive one costs about 50 million dongs and the cheapest is 20 million dongs,” said Quy. They were all bought with money mobilized from organizations in the society.

The apricot trees were moved with care to the site in early 2020. It has been nearly a year now. Everything including uprooting, transporting, planting, pruning, and tending were done with care. 

According to Quy, the apricot trees were various in terms of age, shape and status. Luckily they all adapted very quickly and grew up well in the new land. “If weather permits, the apricot trees would be in bloom on Tet this year,” informed Quy.

Provincial Chairman Phan Ngoc Tho was growing yellow apricot trees in the Citadel. Photo: N. Minh

A poetic space for people on Tet holidays

Those who regularly pass this street were surprised at first. They did not think there was a street lined with apricot trees. To their way of thinking, it is not easy at all to find yellow apricot trees at this time, let alone hundreds of them. 

Mr. Nguyen Truong Phu, a 70-year-old man living in the Citadel, often drops by the apricot garden. He says it was a new yet suitable idea. That is why it was backed up by the people. 

According to him, anyone in Hue wants to own a yellow apricot tree, either in pot or in his garden for Tet. But the idea of making an apricot garden for everyone to watch is unique.

These more than 150 apricot trees in bloom attracted a lot of people and tourists from everywhere. They dropped by to take a walk and take pictures with lots of excitement. 

“From the apricot garden on Le Duan Street, I believe that this apricot garden in the Citadel will become a poetic place for people in spring. When the apricot trees are in full bloom, visitors to the Imperial City will for sure drop by. It is another way to promote Hue, the precious flower species, and the ancient hobby of our ancestors,” said Mr. Phu with pride. 

As a senior expert in growing yellow apricot in Hue, the artisan Nguyen Huu Van, Chairman of the Provincial Ornamental Creatures Association and the owner of Tinh Gia Vien Apricot Garden, says that the idea comes from the project of the city with 4 seasons of flowers. According to Van, it is a good idea. The next step is how to take care of those apricot gardens so that the trees can grow well, forming impressive routes of yellow apricot blossom. 

We still have other ambitions. Mr. Dang Ngoc Quy says that there will be other streets lined with yellow apricot trees in Hue. 

“We are thinking about, if possible, to set up another apricot garden in the park from Nha Do Gate, along the moat on Le Duan Street. After that, we will grow yellow apricot trees around the Citadel and many other walking routes and public places,” said Quy.

A highlight for Hue

Coming to supervise the planting and tending the apricot trees inside the Citadel, Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee, hopes the street will be well known as the route of yellow apricot blossom of Hue.

According to Mr. Tho, it is not a big surprise since yellow apricot blossom is a typical flower of Hue. He thus requests that the Tree and Park Center and Hue Monuments Conservation Center take good care of the gardens so that the apricot trees will be in bloom as soon as possible. 

“Yellow apricot trees in bloom will be a highlight for Hue in spring,” hopes Mr. Tho.

Story and photos: Nhat Minh

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