Vietnamese home gardens keep their owners cool


Summer is here at last, but the current heatwave is unbearable for many, especially those living in the big cities devoid of greenery.

Blasting the air conditioner around the clock is the most popular, yet costly solution to stay cool. But there is a more environmentally friendly and cheaper way to combat the heatwave in your own house: plants.

To keep their homes cool in a more cost-effective and aesthetic manner, many owners of Vietnamese home gardens have put their green thumbs to use by filling their living environments with plants.


A home farm in Saigon


Despite living in Saigon, Vietnam’s most crowded and land-scarce city, Facebook user Pham Huyen is not fazed from turning her home into a tranquil, green farm.

In NGHIỆN NHÀ, a Facebook group for people who share a passion for interior design and renovation, Pham Huyen shared stunning photos of her DIY 280-square-meter home farm in Saigon.

mini farm
Pham Huyen and her daughter
Image credit: Pham Huyen

Huyen’s farm is home to a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as kale, cucumis melo or muskmelon, loofa, and carissa carandas berry shrubs. We imagine she won’t need to go to the market to get veggies at all.

mini farm
A 2 month-old vegetable farm
Image credit: Pham Huyen

To add more flair to her home farm, Huyen and her husband built a small stilt house (nhà sàn), which is made of bamboo, wood, and straw and built above the ground. This stilt house is frequently used as their family’s cooking and dining place, and it’s also the favorite hangout spot among her family and friends.

stilt houseHuyen and her friends dining in the stilt house
Image credit: Pham Huyen

 To complete her garden with a water feature that blends into the landscape, Huyen also built a lotus pond and a fish pond.

lotus pond
Image credit: Pham Huyen

Huyen revealed that the mini farm has strengthened the connection between her family members. They spend more bonding time together through gardening activities such as watering plants and watching them grow.

And with so much greenery to enjoy, she can easily stave off any cabin fever.


Growing many plants in a smaller space is possible too


For people living in small apartments or townhouses, designing a lush indoor garden to purify and cool the air is not mission impossible if you know which plants to grow.

chilling corner
Image credit: Tuân Nguyễn‎

Tuân Nguyễn‎, another member of the Facebook group, shared his plant-filled chilling corner in his Hanoi home and tips on how he built it. To maximise the vertical space in his limited gardening environment, Tuân Nguyễn used hanging plants, and chose brightly-lit areas that are the most suitable areas to grow plants.

For indoor plants that can thrive with little care and sunlight, Tuân Nguyễn recommends mother-in-law’s tongue and araceae plants that give out oxygen at night and purify the air.

atrium plants
Image credit: Hoàng Thanh Thủy

Hoàng Thanh Thủy‎, another member of the group, gave her house’s atrium area a tropical aura by planting three live Eastern redbud trees, which are often mistaken by her guests as artificial trees.

A die-hard gardener herself, Thủy also manages to fit plants in as many corners of her home as possible. She grows ficus lyrata, aroid palms, and Eastern redbud trees because these plants thrive without too much sun and wind.


Netizens are inspired to follow suit


Photos flaunting these DIY gardens in the group have won praise from its members.

Vietnamese indoor garden comment
Image credit: NGHIỆN NHÀ

“It’s too bad that my home doesn’t have many plants. Watching photos of your living space give me cravings for greenery. I’ve learned a lot (from your photos),” Ngọc Huyền expressed her inspiration from Tuân Nguyễn’s lush balcony in the comment section.

Vietnamese indoor garden comment

Image credit: NGHIỆN NHÀ

Thảo Nguyễn commented on Pham Huyen’s mini farm, “The vegetable farm looks so desirable that I can’t stop going over the photos.”

Apart from flooding the comments with praise, netizens also asked for gardening tips.

Vietnamese indoor garden comment
Image credit: Pham Huyen

“May I know how you grew your cucumis melo so that they could produce fruits?” Facebook user Oralie Li commented on a photo from Pham Huyen, expressing a common curiosity among urban gardeners hoping to farm their own produce.


Vietnamese home gardens help keep city-dwellers cool during the hot summer


Not many of us can sustain even an hour without air-conditioning these days when the heat is peaking in most parts of the country. However, constantly being in a closed, air-conditioned room can harm our health, because bacteria and viruses can linger in closed spaces.

We can try to keep our homes cool and improve the quality of our air in the long run by growing indoor plants. They can cool the air during transpiration, add elegance to your living space, make your home less stuffy, and even become a source of organic vegetables and fruits.

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Cover image adapted from: Tuân Nguyễn‎ and Pham Huyen

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