“Every day the soil smiles at me as if it wants to talk to me. Please don’t laugh at me and think that I am too romantic and imaginative” – he begins his story:
“Every day when I get up, the first thing I often do is to go to the garden to observe the soil that was mulched the night before. In the early morning the ground surface is so cool that when I touch the soil I feel that it wants to talk to me, and that makes me so happy. I whisper with the soil that this afternoon I will take eel tail-shaped peeper branches (locally called chuong chuong) to live with the soil, and that the soil will be very happy to warmly welcome the chuong chuong. And I do. After sunset, I carefully bring strong and wild chuong chuong “princes” from the nursery, passing through Muc and Huynh trees to engage with quiet little soil “princesses”. The Muc and Huynh trees wave to me, saying “Good luck”. The “soil princesses” open their doors, holding the chuong chuong tightly and quietly whisper: “Please stay with us until we transform the chuong chuong into pepper fruits”. Then I put each of the chuong chuong into the mulched soil (I call it putting a blanket on the soil to keep it warm in the cold spring nights). When the chuong chuong are put in the right place facing the East, I say good bye to the pepper branches and promise them I will come back the next day”.
Each day passing an interesting and inspiring story is written by the gardener Hoang Huu Phuoc, who loves the soil with all of his heart and mind, who, after each hard-working day, returns to his simple home, enjoys a couple of drinks and feels deeply in love with every single particle of soil. “Loving soil to be loved” is the simple but profound meaning of Mr. Phuoc’s life. (By Tran Thi Lanh April 2st, 2017)