This year marks the 206th flower show held at Lalbagh Botanical Garden. The remarkable display of plants is nothing short of breathtaking and draws crowds in the thousands each of the show’s ten days. The flower show while a beautiful display of nature is also a colorful collection of people brought together under the shady trees of Lalbagh Botanical Garden to admire the elaborate exhibitions composed of plant species from around the world.
There are over 200 varieties of flowers and over 20,000 pots with a detailed description of every plant on display. This year the show celebrates the late poet Kuvempu and his contribution to Kannada literature including his part in the modernist literary movement in Kannada. The show runs from August 4th to 15th.
The people behind the flowers
Over 500,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s Independence Day flower show, not to mention the numerous vendors, security workers, cleaners or others who make a good chunk of earnings from working at the show.
Who are these people? They’re cooks, booksellers, gardeners, toy vendors, persuasive salesmen, families, security guards, innovators, observers and participants. They are the people that run the show and also the ones who simply come to spectate.
A man selling selfie sticks and handmade fans who did not want to me named explained that he comes to Lalbagh Garden twice a year for both the Republic Day and Independence day shows to sell his goods and to be a part of the celebration. He explains that the flower show is very big deal in Karnataka and adds that he knows the name of every plant in the show because he studies the placards while he is trying to sell his goods.
Another vendor explains the benefits of stevia a natural sweetener while a bag maker walks around asking to take photos of backpacks and purses for inspiration. Security workers lean on long walking sticks while laughing at private jokes and a consistent flurry of yells for ice cream, coffee and tea is heard in the background.
A line of booths sells more trinkets like personal massagers shaped like dolphins, imported puffy winter coats and noisy wooden rattles. There is a line of men balancing fidget spinners on their fingertips while simultaneously blowing bubbles. Fresh fruit, soda, popcorn and cotton candy stands litter the maze of booths. Rows of decorative bags in every color, incense burners and buckets of colored spices and candy line the walkways as vendors eagerly wave to get the attention of someone in the passing crowd.
Among them are visitors of all ages flipping through books, bargaining prices, rummaging through jewelry, seed packets, toys and decorative items. At every turn there are several people posing for photos near the giant flower displays throughout the garden.
These are the humans of the Lalbagh Independence Day flower show.