The flower village

(No.6, Vol.7,Dec 2017-Jan 2018 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Photo: Hieu Minh Vu

Photos: Le Huu Thiet

Sa Dec City, Dong Thap Province, has long been famous as a ‘flower source’ for Southwestern provinces and Ho Chi Minh City. Close to lunar New Year, more and more tourists and flower buyers add heat to the flamboyant whirl of colors.
Old local documents say that the city, formed over 250 years ago, has become famous for supplying flowers to many destinations at home and abroad. In 1867, southern governor L. A. Bonard signed the decree of establishment of Sa Dec county. Since that time, flowers followed the French to this land and it gradually became the flower garden of the South of Vietnam.
One can’t talk about Sa Dec flowers without mentioning artisan Tu Ton. Mr Tu Ton is one of the descendants of the generations of ornamental plant growers, who made the name of the Tan Quy Dong Flower Village of Sa Dec known far and wide.
At first, Sa Dec Flower Village was limited to Mr Tu Ton’s garden and those of a few neighboring households. They had only a few varieties of roses growing on a total area of several thousands square meters. From around 1958, more than 100 rose species were imported to Sa Dec from France, and Mr Tu Ton has selected and acclimatized over 50 of them. The roses Mr Tu Ton grows and looks after are no less glamorous than their cousins from the western countries.
Today, the flower business is no longer restricted to Tan Quy Dong Village. It has spread to the neighboring wards and communes, forming the Sa Dec flower community with more than 1,900 households, having 485ha of gardens and over 2,000 species of flowers and ornamental trees, supplying many regions in the country and exporting to Laos, Cambodia and China.
Not only famous for the flowers, Sa Dec is also home to many rare ornamental plants, some of which are a century old. Each posture, shape and stance represents a value of Oriental culture and philosophy. Many of the plants such as star fruit, betel, apricot, pine, conifer and bailey are very ordinary, close to our everyday life, but in the hands of the masters have become great and unique works of art.
The colors and perfume of the flowers here are present in dwellings, offices, theaters, cultural centers and parks, turning Sa Dec Flower Village into a true tourist attraction.

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