HYDERABAD: A walk through the Horticulture exhibition is almost like a regular day at any other exhibition. With people turning up by the dozens, the exhibition that was being held at People’s Plaza grounds, had the usual drama going on — ice cream stalls, toy stalls, families walking around with their hands full of merchandise and salesmen calling out their wares, complete with lost children being brought to the Help desk. As the last day at the horticulture expo wore on, plants were being picked up by farmers, small-scale garden owners and even first-time garden enthusiasts.
The expo housed about 200 stalls with a variety of vegetative plants, flowering plants, bonsai, Ikbana, farming gear like irrigation systems (drip irrigation, centre pivot irrigation, etc), electrical saws, sprinklers, machetes, rakes, spades, shovels and so on, a host of pots and pans in different shapes and sizes, decorative accessories like pebbles and stone, artificially-coloured pebbles, glass marbles, artificial flowers, bamboo shoots and ceramic tortoises for Feng-Shui, solar fences, seeds of plant, honey, oil, herbal tea and so on.
Also seen were helpers walking around with cane baskets to help customers carry their plants around while shopping, for a nominal fee.
Prices for plants began at as low `5 for a 20-day old vegetable plant like bitter gourd, ridge gourd, tomato, chilly and watermelon, among others. Flowering plants like Crysanthmum were being sold at `30 to `40, depending on the colour and size. Petunias, roses, crysanthamum, marigold, orchids, crosuses and bougainvillea were the most common flowers to be found, prices ranging between `30 to `60. On the more exotic side were Zebras, button roses, carnations and lilies were there too. The majority of them were hybrid flowers, with even some double-coloured flowers and a double-coloured bogainvillea plant.
Speaking to a few customers, it was the general opinion that prices were more or less the same compared to the nurseries. Said a home-maker Nandita, “The difference is just a question of `20-30. They are almost the same as the nurseries.”
Agreeing, another customer added, “While the prices are almost the same, it does seem that the overall price range has increased by just a bit.” However, what made the expo an overall success was the number of new comers.
Said Younus Khan of evergreen Seeds store, “This time quite a few people turned up for the first time at a horticulture expo. They were first-timers and were keen to take a small plant home.”
Among all the natural plants was a stall that was selling artificial turfs. Great Sports Infra had a variety of polyethylene and polymer plastic grass that claimed to be easy-maintain. “The market is huge in Hyderabad with so many MNC’s here. So we’re actually headquartered here,” commented the sales manager, Sujit Yata.
All in all, it seemed that the expo had a pretty good show with even Tollywood actor Dharmavarapu Subramanyam turning up to buy a few plants.