My Dad is my most faithful blog reader. While I was visiting my parents in Vietnam, my Dad wanted me to share with you, my blog friends, his and my Mom’s tropical paradise in Mui Ne (a fishing village about 150 miles from Ho Chi Minh City). It's very different from my farm and agricultural community in central Virginia.
These dinghies are used to carry fish from fishing boats to shore.
Gentle and friendly people ...
Fabulous fruits ...
Picturesque landscape ...
The soil here is fertile and the climate is temperate year-round. The landscape is covered with lush greenery dotted with brilliantly colored flora.
Diverse vegetation ...
It rained almost every day in July and August. This tropical rain could be a 20 minute refreshing shower at mid-day or it could be a torrential downpour that lasted an hour or more and during which you could barely see 15 ft in front of you.
The plants themselves range from those that are drought tolerant, such as the dragon fruits ...
... to plants that grow in an aquatic environment, such as rice ...
My Dad loves the simplicity of the green landscape that thrives in Mui Ne. Although the greenery appears simple from afar, a closer look reveals diverse vegetation, often with intricate leave structures and a wide spectrum of green colors.
My Mom, on the other hand, loves the colorful flowers that shine happily under the tropical sun. Although only a few varieties grow here, they grow lavishly and freely, flaunting their brilliant colors and unusual shapes.
My Parents' Garden
My parents’ garden reflects their harmonious, though clearly individual preferences. My parents’ house is on a hill, about 30 feet above street level.
They (actually, probably my Mom) came up with a brilliant solution for their entrance: a terraced garden. After you enter the front gate, you climb a set of stairs made of old bricks, on the right of which is a terraced garden and on the left dwarf clumping bamboo (bamboo has cultural and economic significance in Vietnam and in other Asian countries).
The terraced garden begins with a fish pond with two streams gently flowing from two urns, one on each end. The pond itself has two tiers, creating a gentle waterfall.
The soothing water theme extends to a second tier, which showcases three simple circular pools of water lilies on a broad plain lawn.
Water lily flowers symbolize enlightenment, purity of the soul. These flowers have a similar significance in many Asian cultures.
At each corner of the second terrace are two gardens consisting of predominantly non-flowering plants of multiple shades of green and of varying heights.
The circular pattern of the water lilies pools on the second tier is repeated on a third tier where hibiscus flowers take center stage. (Unfortunately, before my arrival a storm destroyed almost all of the delicate blooms.)
As you reach the top of the stairs, to your right is a tropical garden with swaying palm trees of several varieties, extravagant bougainvillea, joyful allamanda, commanding heliconias, and graceful orchids, among many other plants the name of which I don’t know.
By contrast, as you look left towards the front yard, you see a lush lawn with three islands of trees, shrubs, plants and boulders, again, of multiple shades of green. The intent here is to maintain a simple garden with mainly non-flowering trees and other vegetation, except for a few insignificant flowering shrubs which add a touch of color to the landscape.
Just as the fish pond by the entrance beckons you to linger, this front yard beckons you to settle into one of the recliners on the veranda and lounge away a lazy afternoon.
...and that was exactly ...
where you could find me during much of my visit