KARACHI: The Horticultural Society of Pakistan’s (HSP) 60th Flower Show 2011 received an overwhelming response from people on its opening day Thursday at the beach park.
During the press briefing before the show, the HSP’s Fahim Siddiqui said that they had planned to establish a Botanical Garden on Rashid Minhas Road. The government had allocated them 30 acres of land in 1981, but the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) occupied the land illegally. Even tedious litigation and the Sindh High Court’s judgment in HSP’s favour could not remove the encroachment.
At the show, visitors bought and surveyed the well-adorned and well-managed varieties of flowers, shrubs, plants, gardening tools, imported fertilising products and bouquets.
The HSP received 120 entries in about 46 active categories of the gardening competition. Being a mega event, the show attracted 40 volunteers from the University of Karachi’s agriculture department along with students from the DHA Degree College for Women. They were motivated and trained by HSP Joint Secretary Dr Farhat Aga. Serenading the visitors were bagpipers of the Navy band.
Another interesting endeavour of the HSP is the production of rare and expensive plants, indigenously, through tissue culture. They have already arranged for a tissue culture lab and scientific equipment and plan to launch this initiative in the next few months.
The first show had only cost Rs1,400, but prices have been raised and as a non-profit organisation, the HSP is unable to meet such expenses without civil society’s support.
The HSP plugged environment-friendly features that can be implemented in domestic gardens. It has plans to obtain more gardens and to hold workshops to promote environmentalism such as using recycled water, mulching to reduce evaporation, drip irrigation to conserve water, solar lighting and producing compost.
On a larger scale, the HSP’s chairman has offered some suggestions and expert technical assistance to the 18 Town Municipal Administrations (TMA). They proposed that the TMAs revive the nurseries that were once maintained by the now defunct KMC, hold horticultural exhibitions to encourage residents to garden and consider equipping their horticultural department’s vehicles with tools to maintain the landscape and to aid the residents.
Siddiqui also suggested they introduce ‘City Forests’ by planning timber trees in one or two parks in an effort to reduce air pollution.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2011.