Pune: The annual Empress Garden flower show kicked off on Thursday amid a plethora of blooms this year.
The four-day exhibition, managed by the Agri-Horticulture Society of Western India, has almost three lakh flowering plants put up on display.
Sheetal Kulkarni, a resident of Kothrud, has been visiting the flower show for the last 15 years. “Many unique varieties of plants and flowers are displayed at the exhibition. I usually shop in bulk for fertilizer, soil and even gardening tools from here,” she said.
The organisers of the exhibition are expecting significantly high footfalls this year owing to the large collection of seasonal, exotic and hanging plants.
“This year’s show is our biggest one so far. We have almost 75 nursery stalls, 10-15 food stalls and some entertainment events for the visitors,” Suresh Pingale, the secretary of the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India, said.
Nursery owners from Nashik, Sangli, Nagpur and Kolhapur are displaying their plants, decorative pots as well as gardening tools at the exhibition.
The displays also include many unique flowering plants from places such as Darjeeling and Sikkim.
The highlight of this year’s exhibition is the ikebana and bonsai exhibit.
Archana Vaidya, an architect and ikebana artist, has displayed her floral arrangements under the theme Ikebana Through Shapes. “These are modern arrangements and require planning. I have used chrysanthemums, liliums, anthuriums, orchids and many more flowers for the arrangements,” she said.
Mangala Rao, who has been practicing bonsai for the last 45 years and displaying it at the flower show since 2007, said, “I receive great admiration for my collection from visitors. A few bonsai plants displayed are more than 25 years old.”
Nagpur-based 84-year-old Nishchint Gokhale has presented a unique collection combining leaves and flowers to create art on paper.
The exhibition also has various competitions, including creative flower arrangements, roses and vegetables.