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How flowers at Lalbagh exhibition retain bloom

Tenzin Phakdon and Channu Patagundi, Bengaluru, Jan 26, 2015, DHNS: 3:08 IST
A Red Fort model made with 3 lakh Dutch roses and orchids in Lalbagh, Bengaluru. DH Photo/S K Dinesh
Visitors who flock to Lalbagh on January 26, the last day of the Republic Day flower show, may wonder how flowers remain fresh even after 10 days into the event.

Lakhs of rupees have gone into the making of floral models of the Red Fort and India Gate, the main draws of this year’s event. Every flower on these structures looks garden-fresh even as the show draws to a close.

In contrast, the common rose and other flowers, which are available from local florists, wilt after a day or two.

The Horticulture Department and floral designers go all out to keep the flowers fresh.
Deccan Herald had a peek into the behind-the-scene operations.

The organisers choose flowers such as Dutch roses, orchids and alstroemeria, which have a long vase life. A total of four lakh Dutch roses were used to build the Red Fort model. The “India Gate” model took another 40,000.

Kalidas Raj, the designer and proprietor of Sneha Florist, the agency which created these floral monuments, says: “Dutch roses have five to six days of vase life unlike other varieties which last one or two days. Dutch roses grown around Bengaluru are good in quality.

Alstroemeria is brought from Ooty and it remains fresh for five to six days. And we have imported orchids from Thailand.”

The frame of the floral monuments is built with floral foam, which can be moulded into any required shape. The floral foam also helps in keeping flowers fresh.






“Flowers are watered twice a day from the tank built under the models. The floral foam absorbs and supplies water to keep the flowers moist,” says Kalidas Raj.

Mid-way into the 10-day show, they replace all the flowers. Last Tuesday night, when Deccan Herald visited Lalbagh after the visitors had left, 40 workers were busy stripping the structures off their flowers and replacing them with fresh ones.

The wilted flowers were sent for composting. Fresh flowers came in from Ooty and Thailand to replace the old ones.

In sum, it takes as much effort to maintain the floral structures as to erect them.

Sneha Florist started its work 10 days before the beginning of the flower show. A team of 10 fabricators and 40 labourers worked round the clock to erect the floral monuments, which draw lakhs of visitors every year.

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