Flower lovers, cultivators and green enthusiasts will miss the popular flower shows organised by the Agri-Horticultural Society of India (AHSI) and the Indian Botanic Garden in Shibpur for the second consecutive year.
The unpredictability of the pandemic continues to throw a spanner in such physical events.
The twice-a-year, back-to-back flower shows at horticultural society, normally held in December and February, drew many visitors. Those shows were the first to be called off. Now, the Indian Botanic Garden in Shibpur too has cancelled this year’s flower show because of the pandemic.
Even though the state government has opened parks and gardens to the public with restrictions, something like a flower show cannot be organised at a short notice, said horticultural society secretary Sandip Saha. “We start preparing for the shows in June. We need to notify the growers, corporates who take part in advance so they can prepare. We also begin to prepare the landscape in the garden earmarking areas for the show .”
Around June 2021, the second wave of the pandemic was raging and the society did not notify the possible participants.
The preparation for the flower shows begin six months in advance as the committee of the AHSI meets to decide the various categories of plants and flowers that will be showcased that year before notifying the participants.
Indian Botanic Garden director Devendra Singh too said: “We need at least three to four months’ preparation before we have a flower show. We definitely have one next year.”
Besides, it is not possible to have an event like a flower show that is open to the public with a controlled number of people. “We cannot have just 50 people because the growers and participants themselves are more than 50. Similarly, since it is open to the public we cannot restrict the number of visitors to the shows,” said Saha.
The last flower show that the AHSI organised was in February2020 on its bicentenary year.
“It was a big event with international delegates. That was the last show in the garden before Covid restrictions kicked in. Now we are planning to have a big flower show in December 2022.