Published Nov 27, 2017 06:37am

Handbook on horticulture turns into coffee-table book

Shazia Hasan
Photo by White Star

KARACHI: The Ladies Horti­culture Club, Karachi, launched a new edition of their classic book Nature’s Bounty — Gardening, Flower Arranging, Preserves of Garden Produce at the Horticulture Society of Pakistan’s (HSP) Garden Centre here on Saturday.

The book, as its title suggests, is a practical guide to gardening, flower arranging, the preserving of fruits and vegetables, was originally published in 1970 and has been extensively revised and updated for this, the golden jubilee edition. This time it is a coffee-table book with colour photographs to enable easy identification of plants and concepts.

Editor Durdana Soomro, the book’s editor, said that the title of the book, coined by Naseem Fayyaz almost 50 years ago, was perfect. She said that she herself had a copy of its second edition from 1981, which she held up for all to see. “My book is now tattered and worn-out as you can see, because I keep referring to it for every little thing,” she said.

‘Using the information from the book, we were able to achieve wonders in my lawn’

“Whoever saw it in my hand asked where to buy it but it was out of print. Therefore we decided to bring out a third edition, our golden jubilee edition which has some changes,” she said.

The book’s original contributors include the late Baba-i-Baghbani and founder of the HSP A.K. Khan, past chairpersons, presidents and members, floral artists, landscape designers and flower show and floral art judges. And their names are still there in the book with their contributions even though the chapters have been revised and updated. The book also carries the names of the new contributors.

The editor shared that changes have also been made keeping in mind the changes in our environment. “For instance new chapters have been added about how to indulge in gardening even despite the shortage of water. So there are chapters about building rockeries, roof gardens, patio gardens, caring for cacti, which require little water,” she explained.

President of Hum Network Sultana Siddiqui, the chief guest on the occasion, said she was not a voracious reader but she couldn’t put the book down and finished reading it the day she got it. “The next day my gardener was in trouble,” she said as the entire Garden Centre full of guest burst into laughter. “Still, using the information from the book we were able to achieve wonders in my lawn,” she added.

“I always say that women are better organisers, managers and planners at whatever they do or set their minds to do,” she said, also referring to the good work done by the Ladies Horticulture Club over the years. “Gardening is a positive activity. Why not promote it. It will do away with the negatives,” she said.

Hawwa Abdullah, president of Ladies Horticulture Club, thanked her book committee for putting the book together, which was a marathon effort.

Farhana Ansari, member of the book committee, the club’s vice president Nasreen Afridi and HSP vice chairperson Naushaba Khalil also spoke.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2017

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