Staff Reporter

Competitions in flower arrangement and vegetable carving to be held

KOCHI: Over 8,000 flowering and evergreen plants will be laid out as a massive carpet at Marine Drive Grounds for six days from Wednesday, as part of the 26th Cochin Flower Show.

Of this, over 2,500 will be rose varieties. The event has been organised by the Ernakulam District Agri-Horticultural Society and will conclude on Monday. A huge pandal spread over a 1.30-lakh square feet area was being readied at the ground, said District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish while addressing mediapersons here on Monday. Agricultural produce and implements too will be on show. Many of the regular viewers were farmers from the eastern parts of Ernakulam and nearby districts, he added. Spices Board Chairman V.J. Kurien will inaugurate the show.

A special attraction will be the participation of an Italian firm, which will put up a collection of ornamental plants. Three hundred fresh-flower arrangements will be laid out over a 10,000-square feet area. Landscaping is being carried out in a 1,500 square feet area to guide owners of houses and apartments on the designs for landscaping their premises. Bonsai plants too will be on show, some of them over a century old. Apart from individuals and nurseries, the Kerala Books and Publications Society, the Cochin Port Trust and the Cochin Shipyard are among the institutions that will participate.

The show will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 9 p.m. each day. The entry rates are Rs.20 for elders and Rs.10 for children. It will go up to Rs.30 for elders, after 4 p.m. This measure has been introduced to prevent formation of huge queues at the venue, as many had to return without seeing the show last year. “Over a lakh people had visited the stalls in the 2007 event,” Mr. Hanish said.

Competitions will be held for fresh as well as dry-flower arrangements and vegetable carving. Friday will witness children aged 3 to 10 years competing for the flower prince and princess titles. Each day, cultural events and musical shows will be held from 6 p.m. and cine actor Bhama will inaugurate the programmes on Wednesday.