Around 59 varieties of flowers, in shades of bright yellow, soft pink, deep purple and sky blue, were put on display for the public at the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Sea View Park on Thursday evening.
The display is part of the 65th Flower Show being organised by the Horticultural Society of Pakistan (HSP) in collaboration with the DHA and the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC), which will end on Sunday.
The lush green lawns of the park, which is positioned along the sea front, were adorned with beautiful floral arrangements, as enthusiastic nature lovers arrived to view and take pictures of the flowers. The entrance fee for the show is Rs30 for adults and Rs20 for children.
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At a stall put up by the Pakistan Navy, which displayed flowers originally kept at the navy's nursery,an official of the Pakistan Navy, Masroof Khan, said the Indian Dahlia, a round white flower, was the most popular here. "We also have bonsai," he said, declaring the flowers were not for sale.
Alongside floral display stalls, nurseries and shops selling plants and garden furniture had also been set up. Food was also available for the botanical enthusiasts.
A visitor, Zehra Hasan, waits the whole year for this event and has been attending the show for many years. "I don't plan anything in these days because I know the show is going to be organised," she said as she purchased hanging grass and orchids from a nursery stall.
At another stall set up by the Orchid Society two members, Surraya Shafi and Razia Nazam, explained that they had 10 to 25 varieties of orchids at the flower show. Although orchids come from the forest, they can also be grown in homes, they claimed. "It's so graceful. Look at it," said Shafi pointing at a yellow orchid.
Before the show opened for the public, an inaugural ceremony was held where Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, who was the chief guest, spoke a few lines about gardening. "I see gardening as a healthy hobby," said the army officer, clad in a suit and tie, rather than the pressed uniform he is usually seen in.
Lt Gen Mukhtar said that he feels gardening has psychological and spiritual dimensions and revealed that his father's house won first and second prizes in different cantonments across the country.
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He expressed his hope that such events could change the face of the city. "Let us change Karachi into a city of aroma, colour and flowers," he urged.
This year's flower show was dedicated to HSP founder AK Khan, who passed away last year, said Farhat Agha, an official.
HSP chairperson Kaleem Farooqi said the society was formed in 1948 and the first display of rare plants took place at Purani Numasih in 1949, which was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. In 1950, the first flower show in the city was inaugurated by then governor general, Khawaja Nazimuddin.
The HSP held an award ceremony where trophies, cups and shields were given out for the best gardens. DHA won the overall first prize followed by CBC. The winners among club gardens included the Sindh Club and the Creek Club. Tooba Masjid won the first prize among mosques. Flagstaff House won first prize in the category of gardens of official bungalows.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Institute of Business Management were among the winners of the best garden in an educational institute category. Hilal Park won the prize for best park.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2016.
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