Her longing for motherland enticed her to create a two-meter map and a star, all made of succulent, or “rock” lotus in Vietnamese.
Vu Thanh Huyen has a decent, happy life with her family in the city of Plzen, Czech Republic. Her family owns a garden 500 meters away from her home. They make a living by selling different food products and renting out some space.
There is a small cabin in the garden, where Huyen also grows plenty of Vietnamese vegetable and fruit seeds. Not far from there, she transformed bulks of succulent plants into the Vietnamese S-shaped map and the iconic star on Vietnam’s national flag.
The garden is a gift from her husband, which she uses specifically as a sanctuary place for anything that reminds them of Vietnam.
When she came to buy the garden a few years ago, she found some succulents on the soil. “I found out that following every winter, the lotuses flourish and spring up with new little ones. So I thought of creating something with it. The map and star idea was coined to remind myself of my motherland,” she said.
The two-meter creation needs constant pruning so it will not be out of shape, literally. She embellished it by using white soils all around.
The project started more than two years ago. In the first year, the succulents did not quite articulate the desired form. But the following two seasons came with a big improvement when the plants bloomed, fused with one another in harmony, and curved into the S shape of Vietnam’s territory. Huyen did not forget Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands which are part of Vietnam’s territory, despite China’s controversial claim of ownership over them.
The Vietnamese golden star was also recreated with succulents. The garden is where her family spends their holidays, especially during the summer. Huyen often shows off her botanist skills to guests coming over.
Some of the roses she planted grew up to the size of a bowl.
Fascinated with plants of all kinds, Huyen even has a garden filled with edible flora.
Photos courtesy of Vu Thanh Huyen