The shops were opened by a group of experienced tree planters named Vườn Xinh Sài Gòn (Sai Gon’s beautiful garden) who want to inspire everyone to grow trees and maintain the city’s greenery.
People can also come to the shop to donate plants, flowerpots and seeds and exchange trees with others.
“Members of Sai Gon’s beautiful garden group got to know each other online. When the online group was expanded, we decided to open a free plant shop to have a space for tree exchange. It’s for everyone, not only members of the group,” Nguyen Thi Hong Nhung, a member of the group’s management board, said.
The shop has two separate areas – one showcase area for plant pots and an area of plastic cups for seeds. Any tree-loving passerby can come to bring home pots and seeds that they like and receive instructions on how to take care of the plants from the group’s members.
All of them are experts on certain plants and are enthusiastic about sharing their experiences and spreading the joy of planting trees.
The group holds a zero dong tree market every Sunday of the month, attracting more than 200 people for tree exchange.
“We are happy to see people select plant pots and grow them at home. They are growing more trees for themselves and for the city,” Nhung told Vietnamnet online newspaper.
“The shop has brought the city’s tree lovers closer. A lot of people come to donate and receive trees and seeds. At the peak time, there are not enough trees for everyone. One of the most popular plants at the shop is rosemary thanks to its pleasant smell.”
Many customers have turned concrete areas on their terraces and balconies into green space.
“We get happiness to receive photos of blooming plants and flowers from customers,” Nhung said.
She said the group founders who are experienced tree planters donated a lot of plants, seeds and inspired the passion for cultivation for everyone.
“The successors like me just hope to pass on the meaningful work and expect in the future we can have one zero dong shop in each district of the city,” Nhung said.