Faces in full bloom

Faces in full bloom

There is no limit to imagination at the flower show being held at Lalbagh as part of the 2015 Republic Day celebrations.

Visitors have been thronging the venue to see flowers of all colours, shapes and sizes take unique forms and figures.

This year, the flower show has over 200 varieties of flowers and 20,000 pots for decoration. While most of the seeds were nurtured in-house, around 75,000 seedling were outsourced from Pune’s Syngenta India Pvt Ltd which costs about ten lakh and the 20,000 potted plants were all developed here.

The highlights of the show are Red Fort, India Gate and the musical instruments, which have been receiving much appreciation from the visitors.

If you were awestruck by the beautiful creations of musical instruments and monuments and wondered how they were all made, Gunavantha J, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Lalbagh Gardens, explains, “We have used only cut flowers for all our creations. Iron and steel are fabricated, out of which a floral foam is obtained which resembles bricks.

On top of the bricks, we apply a chicken mesh which then is soaked in the water and then the flowers are stuck on them. Each creation requires thousands of such floral foam on which the cut flowers are struck. The entire process is bio-degradable and the floral foam melts down which can then be used as manure.”Behind the beautifully laid out monuments and instruments in flowers, there is also a story of hard work and sincere effort.

Since the show is held for 10 days, maintaining the freshness of the flowers is a task in itself. Gunavantha says, “We water the plants twice a day and watering is done even before the visitors throng the venue.

Since the show is for 10 days, some roses dry up within two days, we replace them with fresh ones and sand is sprinkled on them to protect them from dust. After the tenth day, most of the flowers dry up, some flowers produce seeds which are regenerated while dried flowers are used as a manure for the plants and trees.”

The nursing team of the Department of Horticulture has been actively involved in making each and every flower show a grand success. Their recognition and their efforts are rewarded twice a year thanks to the appreciation of the visitors. This edition’s flower show has around 35 people working on 55 variety of seedling nurtured by the Department of Horticulture, Lalbagh alone.

Some of the gardeners are trained while some learn it on the job. Krishnamurthy, a horticulture assistant who has been working here for the past 15 years, says, “We have been working for this flower show for the past six months. Every day, we spend around eight hours nurturing the flowers.

It’s like a baby to us, we spend as much as time as we would for a baby. If our plants do not grow as per our expectations, it’s very disheartening. But we are elated when lakhs of people come, see, buy our work and appreciate our efforts. The flower shows make us happy and get us recognition.” 

Lingaya, a self-taught gardener, feels that gardening has helped him get closer to nature and the mother earth.

    “Being an uneducated person, I learnt gardening lessons from my seniors. Now, I have completely dedicated myself to gardening. I wanted my children also to come to this field but they had different plans. I find absolute solace in gardening, it is what I live for and this is my bread and butter. I love to grow potted plants and indoor plants,” he says.

Manjunath, a horticulture assistant, has sought a year of training from Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) and worked there for eight years in various divisions like vegetable and tissue culture. From past three years, he has been working with the Department of Horticulture.

“In IIHR, it was mostly research work, here, I get to do a lot more of practical work which I’m very happy about. It feels nice to see when the flowers bloom. This job is self-satisfying and I want to teach what I have leant to other people and bring smile on people’s face.”

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