Flower plus: The three-day annual flower fest held between December 29 and 31 kept the city in thrall. Thousands thronged the venue between Sacred Heart Convent School and Sir Dorabji Tata Park to see flowers, ornamental and medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables, cacti, bonsai and more
Eye-catchers: Over 40 display stalls and 32 sale kiosks for gardening products. Around 30 each flowering and non-flowering varieties on display. From potted seasonal and perennial flowers, fruits and vegetables, foliage plants with colourful leaves, quirky cacti and succulents and elegant bonsai, to cut flowers, bouquets and garlands, it was a visual feast beyond compare. So, if roses, chrysanthemums, dahlias, pansies, petunias and even marigolds elicited many oohs and aahs, tulsi, aloe vera and asvagandha plants drew respect for their healing properties. Colourful oranges, lemons and tomatoes as well as fresh chillies and bottle gourds also vied for attention
Offbeat stars: Well, let’s not play favourites, but 70 varieties of grafted cacti in the show this year. Even the bonsai display trays based on the saikei method caught everyone’s eyes. Saikei who? Well, in Japan, it means a painted landscape. A saikei is within a large tray with low sides, with bonsai trees arranged amid rocks and soil so as to suggest natural landscape. There’s also something called mame, which must be between three and six inches tall to qualify. “The mame has to be between three and six inches. You have to be very precise and patient,” says R.S. Gabri, Horticulture Society member. Talk about gardening meeting engineering!
The flower show has around 75 categories each in amateur and institution sections. There are prizes for each category. Plus, 11 running trophies each in amateur and institution groups. Flowers also try to bag the royal crown — roses vie for the two “kings of the show” tag while dahlias preen for the two “queens of the show” epithet
An arena dedicated to wood sculptures by city artists made its debut this year. Sit-and-draw contest for students stayed as the eternal favourite
“This is one event of the year that residents wait for. This is an industrial city that loves its gardens and parks. That’s why the flower show has been such a rage for 24 years now. People get to see a huge range of flowers, saplings, fruits, vegetables and plants. It’s a great winter outing for your entire family and friends and brings a smile on everyone’s faces,” said B.N. Mohanty, Horticultural Society general secretary.