Pune: Gardening course at Empress Garden from Nov 16
Written by Rupal Jhajhria
KNOWN FOR its annual flower show, one of the biggest of its kind in western India, the Empress Garden will be the venue for a gardening course that is being organised by the Agri-Horticulture Society of Western India from November 16, with classes every weekend for the next three-and-a-half months.
The course will be open to people of all ages and experiences. In the last two batches, 80 people enrolled for the course that prompted the organisers to revise and better the course this time. Gardening enthusiasts from outside Pune also took part in the previous batches.
Empress Garden is known for its annual flower show held in January. In addition to this, the Agri-Horticulture Society also organises classes, lectures and exhibitions from time to time.
Due to lack of proper knowledge about plants, pests and methods of adding manure and watering, plants die early.
These classes aim at raising awareness and educating people on the same. The sessions have been increased in number and a lot of practicals have been added to give a hands-on experience.
“This time, it will be more DIY (do-it-yourself) and there will be more demonstrations to facilitate better and effective learning. Optional subjects like ayurvedic plants and their uses, bonsai, etc, have been added to the course. The participants will stand a better chance of getting jobs out of this,” said Nandan Kalbag, a course expert and chief instructor of the programme.
According to Suresh Pingale, honorary secretary of the society, gardening was the best hobby.
“Gardening as a hobby is not only creative but also promotes self-sufficiency. You can produce food such as fruits and vegetables. Innovation in agricultural techniques has made it possible to grow vegetables in limited spaces,” Pingale said.
Talking about in-house substitutes to chemical fertilisers and pesticides, Anupama Barwe said, “Something as trivial as spices used in cooking can be used as supplements and manure for plants. Compact manure makers available in the market also help serve the purpose,” said Barwe, who is also an office-bearer of the India Rose Federation.