Flora Expo charms Delhi

Decorative

Flora Expo charms Delhi

A mega flower show lifted the spirits of Delhiites this winter weekend. Flower growers from across the nation, and some from abroad, congregated at the 8th International Flora Expo to display a mind-boggling array of flowers.

Visitors learnt of varieties in flowers, how to grow and tend to them as well as put them in beautiful arrangements. Nurseries also ensured that flower-lovers walked away with different potted flowering plants from the venue NSIC Exhibition Complex in Okhla.

This show is held annually by the Indian Flowers and Ornamental Plants Welfare Association (iFlora). Its president S Jafar Naqvi explained, “Flowers are a unique gift of nature. They can be presented on all occasions – birth, marriage, anniversaries and even death. As India adopts Western traditions increasingly, the demand for flowers is also going up. These days, customers don’t ask us for roses alone, but enquire specifically about other varieties of flowers too, such as carnations and orchids. Hence such flower expos become a good occasion to educate them further.”

“More so,” he adds, “As flower growers hail from remote parts of the country, it is also beneficial for them to visit the national Capital once in a year and do business with the urban customers directly. Both the parties get to know each others’ requirements, customers get fresh flowers and flower farmers get the right money. It is a win-win situation.”

The horticulture departments of each State brought their floral specialities to the expo. Karnataka, keeping its reputation of being the leading flower producer of India, had the best stock and display. Their large variety of anthuriums – red, brown, white and green – grown mostly in Coorg, attracted a lot of attention. Kerala, on the other hand flaunted unique flowers like heliconia, cigar, torch ginger and wax ginger. They also displayed coconut flowers and baby pineapple flowers.

Uttarakhand boasted of all possible shades of roses – white, yellow, green, apricot, pink, red, lavender and double-hued, while the Meghalaya pavilion displayed a large Lady’s slipper – its State flower. Cymbidium Orchids were to be found at the Sikkim stall only where they grow at  4000 feet above sea level and in 70-90 per cent humidity. Besides, they had beautiful liliums and glaudiolus too.

Another attraction was the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA) stall. They had flower costumes and accessories by designers from India, Singapore, Oman and Pakistan. A red floral dress made of Australian pincushion flowers was themed ‘Shakti’ while a yellow one containing cymbidiums and oriental lilies was titled ‘Sunshine.’ A purple dress had ornamental cabbages while a blue one had hydrangeas. A white flower arrangement on stumps was also contributed by Shahima Sayeed of Pakistan labelled ‘Cricket and peace.’

Other than the stalls, the nurseries also drew large crowd to purchase seeds, fertilisers, gardening tools, decorated flower pots and young potted plants. A visitor, Saeeda Mehmud said, “I have picked up rose plants besides baby liliums and gerberas. I hope to tend well to them and have them in full bloom by next winter. Flowers add colour and life to a home like nothing else.”       

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