The famous Flower show of Bengaluru happens twice in Lalbagh corresponding to our Independence day and Republic day every year. Commissioned by Hyder Ali in 1760 and completed by Tipu Sultan, Lalbagh has grown from 45 Acres to 240 acres of verdant greenery and a veritable Botanical lung space for the city of Bengaluru.
Flowers are an attractive mechanism devised by plants by which it bewitches and covet insects to visit them for their pollination, propagation and sustenance of their species on earth. Fairer sex in the evolved beings of mankind too found flowers an useful tool through their colours and fragrance to attract the opposite sex, as the many cultures has shown through history.
'Say it with Flowers' have become integral part of the lives of mankind as it takes part from birth to death through various occasions.
No wonder the 'Flower Shows' attract right from children to old equally. I am remided of the lyrics from a melodious song --- ‘Poovin mozhi, nirama..manana ? ( Vairamuthu)
Is the language of Flowers - their Colours or their Scent? Seem to me it should be both !
I was thrilled when my class mate Mr.J.Balasubramanian (consultant- Horticulture & Medicinal Plants) a walking encyclopedia of plants accompanied me to this year's Show. It was double whammy when yet another store house of knowledge my class mate Mr. S. C. Gunasekaran (chief Manager P.N. Bank) also joined us.
We leisurely went past the organised flower show at the Glass House through the milling crowd; thoroughly enjoying the riot of colours presented through flowers of various shapes and sizes each vying for attraction and importance.
Dainty Asters, cosmos, celosias, Linerias and statis, Dazzling Pansies and Petunias held their forte against the common Dahlias, Zinnias & Marigolds and much acclaimed Phelenopsis Orchids & Tiger lilies. There were regal Streltzea; the bird of paradise nonchalantly imposing their superiority among other showy Heliconias.
Beds of Geraniums, Chrysanthemums, begonias and pansies looked like the delightful brush strokes of an innovative painter.
Apart from the groups of flowers there
were floral arrangement done by professional advertising their firms.
The central theme of Buddha stupa looked jaded and lacked the glitter, as the flowers used to decorate were listless and withered due to lack of humidity!
However The floral cascade with Peruvian (Alstromeria) lilies were colourfully spectacular.
What is expected of the results of the visit by tens and thousand people, were all there - noise, chaos, unruliness and trash. School Children in gay abandon was seen meddling with pop up sprinklers, plucking and vandalizing plants and trees! You guessed it right; I was drenched by the sprinklers thanks to the boys playing with it. Luckily my camera escaped the showers!
The show also had the share of humour & goof ups by the organizers; in the labeling of plants and awarding even for the wrong plants! Even the police outpost there spell t the place as Lalbag ! The meticulous banker in Gunasekar helped spot all the bungling.
It was time to see the exotic and rare trees and Balu was in his best to educate us about Saracas, Tipuanas, and Guiacums etc. The giant kapok (silk cotton) tree there is a sight to behold!
We saw a 60 feet tall mahogany tree in majestic form.
We walked till our legs ached and it was time to rest and relax.
It is indeed sad that slowly the sanctity of the Botanical Garden is lost in transforming to a public park! Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan surely will turn in their graves!!
Which brings us a question, why no new Botanical parks are planned even after 300 years?
Botanical Gardens can serve as centre for educating children and general public on environment, ecology and of the various plant species and the importance of preserving them for posterity.