Floored by flowers

Floored by flowers

Floored by flowers

This is a veritable chrysanthemum paradise. Every home in this village has a tiny chrysanthemum garden.

Beautiful flowers of many hues stand at the entrance to every home, beckoning you to stop and stare at their beauty. Hulemalagi in Sirsi taluk of Uttara Kannada district is a special village. It is a great example of community bonding and creativity. The women of the village join hands to raise the garden of flowers.

This practice of raising chrysanthemums is not a new one. The tradition runs into a hundred years almost. Girijajji, who is 75 years old, remembers her mother-in-law introducing her to this method of community farming when the former came to the village as a young bride.

Traditional wisdom

Today, Girijajji has passed on her knowledge to her daughter-in-law. Girijajji is not an agricultural expert.     
    
She has no knowledge of what the varieties are called, and yet, has played a major role in conserving many varieties of flowers.

Even the names of the many varieties of chrysanthemum are interesting. A certain red variety of flower has petals in the shape of an icecream spoon, and therefore is called ‘Icecream spoon’. There are several other such names.

Also, not a rupee has been spent in sourcing the many varieties. The families have raised them over the years, by way of exchanging different types among each other.
Prabhavathi Hegde has 120 varieties of chrysanthemums in her garden. Eighty of them are now in full bloom.

Every house in the village has at least 20 varieties of chrysanthemums. The chrysanthemums have brought the community closer.