LAHORE: We can keep our youngsters away from harmful and hazardous pursuits by encouraging them to take up gardening, said Tariq Jilani, the Pakistan Horticulture Society (PHS) general secretary on Wednesday.
He was speaking to The Express Tribune at the second day of the Annual Chrysanthemum Flower Exhibition at the Race Course (Jilani Park).
The exhibition, organised by the PHS, would continue till December 6.
Jilani said that such events provided a platform for competition which was good for the spread of horticulture and improvement in standards in the sector. He said the exhibition will have been a big success if it encouraged some sections of the population to take up gardening and plant more trees. He called for increasing the number of such events in the city.
Winners in eight different categories were presented gift hampers and certificates.
The categories included: civilian flower growers, professionals (Parks and Horticulture Authority, Lawrence Gardens and Archaeology Department), gardeners, industries and commercial institutions, universities, hotels and Lahore Fort gardeners.
Mian Tanveer, Mrs Sikandar Mustafa Khan, Sohail Basheer, Laeequd Din Ansari, Latif Hashmi, Begum Basheer, Begum Wajid Ali and Mian Muiz won the prizes for organising and decorating flowers in the home growers’ category.
Aitchison College, Government College University, Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), Millat Tractors and Avari Hotel won prizes their categories.
Sohail Bashir, one of the winners, said that gardening was his passion. The exhibition, he said, provided him with a golden opportunity to showcase his achievement.
Begum Wajid Ali, another prize winner, said that she loved flowers. “I have a large number of plants at my house,” she said, adding that she had bought saplings of different types of chrysanthemum flowers from Peshawar and Islamabad and grew them in her garden. Asad Khan, the Government College University team leader, appreciated the PHS for organising the exhibition. He said more efforts were required to revive the gardening activities in the city.
Tariq Hameed, former Wapda chairman, was the chief guest at the occasion. He distributed certificates and gift hampers among the winners.
He expressed pleasure at the increased participation of civilians saying that it was an encouraging sign for the horticulture sector.
The prize distribution, he said, was an effort to encourage more people from different sections of the society to engage in gardening.
Mansoor Saeed, a visitor, said the festival was much better than last year’s. He said he had been visiting such exhibitions for about 50 years, adding that he enjoyed such activities a lot.
More than 350 types of the chrysanthemum flower would remain at display at the exhibition. A PHS spokesperson said that the society had spent Rs250,000 on organising the exhibition.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2010.