67th annual flower show opens

Published March 2, 2018
VISITORS throng the annual flower show, which opened at A.K. Khan Park on Thursday.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
VISITORS throng the annual flower show, which opened at A.K. Khan Park on Thursday.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: Featuring a range of floral species and allied accessories for indoor and outdoor decor, the 67th annual flower show of the Horticultural Society of Pakistan (HSP) opened at the A.K. Khan Park (former Seaview Park) on Thursday.

While the four-day event, which concludes on Sunday, attracts a multitude of citizens every year, this time it offers an added attraction of a better landscape recently made possible with the park’s renovation by DHA.

According to the organisers, more than 300 plant varieties are on display this year, including seasonal, perennial and rare species at stalls set up by horticultural groups, commercial nurseries, DHA and educational institutions.

“Most of them are local as the government has impo­sed a ban on plant imports, though you still find some imported exhibits on display,” Salman Khan representing the HSP said, describing the exhibition as the country’s largest flower show.

The popular seasonal species used in exhibits prepared for the competition included petunia, marigold, impatience, carnation, salvia, dahlia and ageratum, he added.

There was a lot more, however, at stalls of commercial nurseries from cacti varieties to vegetables and fruits grown in pots, bamboos to a range of orchids and indoor-outdoor plants. Many of them were stated to be imported.

“We have brought the best from our collection here and we are selling varieties at cheaper rates compared to rates at our nursery,” Iqbal, looking after a plant nursery stall said, adding that the stall owner paid around Rs150,000 for the space allotted to him. There was an additional cost for labour and transporting the paraphernalia.

This wasn’t a bad bargain given the fact the large number of visitors the event attracted, offering opportunities for developing more contacts and getting business, he said.

At stalls set up by the Ladies Horticultural Club, the Floral Art Society, the Ikebana International, the Ikenobo Study Group, the Amateur Gardeners Club, the Orchid Society of Pakistan, the Pakistan Bonsai Society and the Cactus and Succulent Society of Pakistan, visitors have the opportunity to see classy and specialised floral arrangements.

“I have gotten so many ideas about how to grow plants in small spaces by just looking at these exhibits. Second, the best part of this event is that it promotes local species and products made from them,” said Saba, a mother of two visiting the show.

While organisers seem to have put a lot of effort into the show, one point largely ignored was to tag each plant with its name. This deficiency was particularly felt by people visiting the bonsai exhibits, where most exhibits were found without details of specific plants and their age.

At the ceremony held for launching the show, DHA administrator Brigadier Shahid Hasan Ali, the chief guest, appreciated the HSP efforts and distributed prizes among the winners.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2018

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