January 20, 2022

‘Rose garden misses dad’ of Hanoi women


Her father’s death in the right season when roses were in bloom made the memory of him with this flower imprinted in Thu Phuong’s mind and is the reason why she turned the terrace into a commemorative rose garden.

On winter days, the rooftop rose garden of Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, 48 years old, in Ba Dinh district blooms. Every morning after meditation, she often goes to the garden to see flowers, enjoy tea and remember her childhood with her father and roses.

When she was a child, when she followed her father to visit her grandmother on New Year’s Eve, little Phuong was often attracted by the smooth, dew-drenched red velvet roses under the eaves of the five-room old house with dark brown tiles. She often asks for cuttings, brings them back to plant, and memorizes the instructions in the Biology book to take care of the plants.

“I was very happy every time the tree sprouted and often showed it to my father. He wanted to help me take care of the tree to grow faster, so I watered it with nitrogen fertilizer. As a result, the tree died. I was angry with him not only once because every time it receded. experience, he continued to make dead trees,” recalled Phuong.

A corner of the terrace rose garden on the first day of winter of Ms. Thu Phuong’s family. Photo: Characters provided

But that is Phuong’s only father-son conflict. A father is a teacher, a friend, and an important person in every step of a daughter’s growth. He always makes her believe in herself, motivates her children to try. From her father, she has many secrets to teach her children when they have a family of their own.

Ten years ago, he died suddenly from a traffic accident. “Every time I miss my dad, I buy a rose,” said Thu Phuong. Her family’s former terrace garden gradually appeared more than 100 rose pots.

When I was a child, my father and son’s garden planted three types of roses: velvet roses, cinnamon roses and white roses, so now these are the flowers she prioritizes to take care of.

Moving to a new house, the garden area narrowed to more than 50 m2, with more than 40 flower roots, divided into three floors by her. The top floor is a climbing arch, planted with original persimmon trees, climbing form, with a lifespan of 10-15 years, such as Son La yellow neck, Son La red neck, Friendship, Mon coeur, Sapa ancient, Red Fairy, Blue sky, Summer snow. The tree is about 8m long and has many branches. On the bottom floor, she arranges pots with small persimmon trees, which can be used to bring into the house when the flowers are in full bloom.

Busy with work, Ms. Thu Phuong often takes advantage of mornings, evenings and weekends to take care of plants. “I wake up at 6 am, spend 15 minutes to meditate and 30 minutes to take care of the plants. If unfortunately the tree is sick, I spend the whole day in the garden cutting branches, pruning leaves, washing stems and leaves for the tree,” she said. When the flowers in the garden bloom, she picks them to make tea and makes rose water.

Phuong often takes advantage of early morning or late evening to prune and take care of branches.  On this occasion near Tet, she spends a lot of time to plant buds so that the tree can shine when Tet comes.  Photo: Character provided

Phuong often takes advantage of early morning or late evening to prune and take care of branches. On this occasion near Tet, she spends a lot of time to plant buds so that the tree can shine when Tet comes. Photo: Characters provided

In order to have a flower garden that blooms evenly and beautifully, she keeps the terrace clean, airy, sunny, and has a good price. “Initially, I bought roses of unknown origin, so I died a lot. Later, I chose to buy them from reputable gardeners. If I’m not familiar with planting techniques, I went online to learn from the brothers and sisters in the rose association without using drugs.” she says. To keep the medium cool in the summer and warm in the winter, she grows flowers in pots with a diameter of 90 cm, made of ceramic material.

In the blooming season of roses, Thu Phuong’s husband and children all know that she misses her father, so she should set aside a quiet space for her to take care of the flowers, sow the flowers to bloom on the occasion of the New Year and maintain the blooming flowers.

Her daughter likes to take pictures or draw her mother while gardening as a way to empathize and express her love for her mother and grandfather. Every year, on the occasion of her father’s death anniversary, she also brings more roses to her hometown, planted in Vinh Phuc, forming two brilliant rose gardens.

In Hanoi, during the quarantine period, neighbors often go to the terrace to exercise, enjoying the beauty of Thu Phuong’s garden. This is also the place where she often welcomes friends, gathers with her small family and celebrates the New Year with loved ones.

“Flowers not only keep a beautiful memory of my father, but also help me realize, keep living, keep devoting for simple and beautiful things, you will find yourself always attached to life with everyone and will create so positive energies, like the roses that my father and I cultivated together,” she said.

See more of Ms. Nguyen Thu Phuong’s rose garden:

Pham Nga

Photo provided by the character

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