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Aww! Late bouquet for city of parks

- Delayed monsoon the real bloomer; marigolds shine despite odds

Flower power, which packs quite a punch in Ranchi by this time, is almost missing from the city’s parks. Christmas and New Year will not exactly be blooming, too.

So, if you are planning to upload beaming family pictures or selfies on Facebook against a floral backdrop this Yuletide season, wait till Makar Sankranti, Tusu or Republic Day.

There is a culprit for this no-show. The rain god is squarely to blame.

The monsoon, which dragged this year to October-end, spoiled the show as far as preparing saplings or bulbs from flower seeds went.

In fact, many saplings rotted due to the rains.

Late departure of monsoon equals late arrival of seasonal flowers, say horticulture experts of the city.

Ranchi parks, which usually boast a riot of colours in December — chrysanthemums, petunias, verbenas, pansies, carnations and pinks (genus Dianthus), and more — are lacklustre right now.

The only winter cheer visible is the ever-dependable and hardy marigold.

“Usually, Ranchi has some 100 varieties of flowers during December and January. This year so far, flowers are just not ready. Because of delayed monsoon, saplings could not be planted on time,” said Satish Kumar, a horticulture enthusiast and promoter of Kuber Infrastructure, the agency which has been handed over to look after Sri Krishna Singh Park at Doranda.

Kumar added that flowers usually take 45 days at the very least to get ready and bloom.

“As I see it, flowers will start getting ready by the first week of January. But to catch them in full bloom, wait till January 15. Yes, picnickers will catch the burst of colours on January 26, Republic Day,” he smiled.

Kumar has just planted flowers such as petunia, verbena, phlox, pansy, salvia and more. He promises the rewards of waiting for flowers will indeed be worth it.

“A new attraction here this year is cineraria. There are some hybrids too,” he said.

On when they would be ready for eyes and cameras alike, the expert said: “The early bloomers should get ready by January. Will they say Happy New Year 2014? Let us wait and watch.”

Roses will also take another 20-25 days or so to bloom, he added.

Only marigolds were seen at Aqua World near Raj Bhavan, which is managed by Pratul Nath Shahdeo.

“We have just procured some bonsai from Calcutta and planted them here in the park. They have become the new attraction for our visitors,” said Shahdeo.

Nakshatra Van, another park near Raj Bhavan, is almost bare. Roses have been planted but would take another one month or so to flower.

It is the same sight at Nigam Park, Ram Dayal Munda Park, Sidho-Kanhu Park, Children’s Park, Dada-Dadi Park, all in Morabadi, as well as Dr Zakir Hussain Park near Raj Bhavan.

“Our gardener has gone to the market to purchase some flower saplings. Our marigolds, petunias and verbenas are also getting ready, but slowly,” said a caretaker of Nigam Park, Morabadi grounds.

We’re waiting.

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