From vegetables carved to represent the culture of the country to the display of blooming flowers of myriad colours, the Flower Show and exhibition got off to a colourful start at Kadri Park on Saturday.

The two-day event, organised under the guidance of the Horticulture Department, displays more than 120 types of flowers both endemic and exotic. The centrepiece, however, is vegetable sculptures. Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi sitting in discussion, the three wise monkeys and a Veena player in action, the figures were made entirely of pumpkins, melons, carrots and other vegetables.

Over 36 stalls displayed their wares at the exhibition, from selling farm equipment to displaying horticultural products, handicrafts and food products made by self-help groups, even a Jute bag stall by artisans from West Bengal. The budding horticulturist has plenty to be excited about with garden implements, seeds, ornamental plant saplings such as orchids, herbal products also on display and sale.

The exhibition has a special focus on encouraging apiculture, that is, the rearing of bees, in their ‘Madhu Mela’ section. Eshwar Bhat from the Bee Keepers’ Cooperative in Puttur displayed equipment needed for rearing bees – from boxes that cost up to Rs. 2,600 to honey extractors priced around Rs. 3,000. “It is a profitable trade. Between December and May, the hives will have honey. One box can give up to five kilograms of honey per week, and each kg goes for Rs. 135. Ten such boxes in a farm can be very lucrative,” he said.

K.N. Vijay Prakash, Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Panchayat, said apart from encouraging terrace gardening in the city, the administration was looking at a proposal to start Integrated Horti-clinics in the district to provide information on plants and fruits.

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