One beautiful aspect of La Siesta Resort is undoubtedly the tropical gardens nestling between the Classic and Club wings, surrounding Red Bean Restaurant and La Spa villas. A patchwork of multi-colors this 140m2 naturalistic garden is tended by a full time team of gardeners. The Hoi An Post catches up with Head Gardener 39-year-old Tran Loc.
Where did you first learn about gardening?
Gardening has always been in my blood and part of my life. My parents were farmers with a small business. Back in the mid-1990s life in Hoi An was still hard. When I was about 14 years old (grade 9) I had to leave school to work at home supporting my parents with their business. We planted and sold Kumquat trees. Tending these trees is very time-consuming and labor-intensive. They are ornamental plants important at the Lunar New Year. Vietnamese believe that a kumquat tree bearing lots fruit during Tet will bring good luck for the coming year.
How did you develop the career which led you to La Siesta?
I have worked my way up in the industry. Supporting my parents with their farming work was invaluable hands-on training when I was young. Then, working as a gardener in a number of major five star properties in Quang Nam province greatly expanded my knowledge, developed my skills and taught me the importance of teamwork. My career to date has spanned 15 years; previous work places include Golden Sand Resort & Spa (Cua Dai beach), the Melia Hotel Da Nang and the Vinpearl Resort & Spa Hoi An. The experience I gained has been invaluable for my current job as Head Gardner, La Siesta Resort.
What do you love about the gardening profession and your job in particular?
There are many things so it’s hard to be really specific, but for me it is simply being close to nature and the chance to plant and tend trees. I am so lucky because gardening has been a lifelong hobby which is now my career.
What 3 things do you love about La Siesta Resort and EHG? I have been here for a year now, managing a team of four, and what I really love is the friendly, open and supportive environment throughout the whole resort.
Describe a typical working day at La Siesta Resort Many tasks make up a day including watering the plants, clearing the gardens, pruning the plants, fertilizing the ground, catching worms and maintaining pest control to ensure the plants are not eaten by insects.
What are some of the plants grown in the gardens?
We have around 22 carefully selected species of trees, shrubs and flowers. Species of trees include the pomelo, coconut, areca nut and banana trees. Colors come from the phoenix flower, birds of paradise plant, the torpedoshaped red button ginger plant, orchids, narcissus and Jasmin, to name but a few. Most of the flowers have also been chosen for their subtle scent keeping the air fresh and avoiding overbearing perfumes.
What is the best advice you have been given?
To keep trying your best.
What are your future ambitions?
To design and create as many beautiful gardens as possible.