Human Flower Project

Back to Eden, Every January

The New Year is anything but bleak in Bengal. Sandy Ao returns to Eden and brings us a rainbow of observations. Thank you, Sandy!


Dahlias, marigolds and roses in January? It’s flower show season in Kolkata, India.

All Photos: Sandy Ao

By Sandy Ao

This is Eden Park, one of the fond parks of Kolkata, especially for Kolkatans who reside in the heart of the city.

Morning walkers love this garden. I was one of those morning walkers once.

Besides this, I feel very sentimental with Eden Garden as it is related to our childhood growing up. My mother would drive us to this garden every evening. While she would be busy taking pictures, she exposed us to nature, music, and much more here.


I had a few gardeners as friends then in this garden. I remember I used to bring some orchids and other plants from Nagaland to them, but they have retired and gone back to their villages.

Nowadays Eden Garden is more famous for its sports than its flowers.

The garden area has been reduced to less than half its original size; however, it still has its beauty and charm. There is one very old Burmese Pagoda, and an open modern pagoda, which used to have those army bands playing their pipes.


This garden is managed by the Forest Department of Bengal. Every year during January, the department holds a flower show along with cultural programs consisting of songs and dances from whole over the country.

Today I found there were not too many flowers, unlike the last few years. Perhaps within the next few days more stalls will be added and more flowers growers will join this show.


There are some very pretty orchids, and more of them, this year.

imageHelaconia, snapdragons, ginger, banksia…a radiant arrangement from the Eden Park Flower Show.

There are stalls where flowers, fruits, and vegetable plants are sold. Some years back I bought a very good variety of fruit trees from one of them.

And in the Flowers Arrangement section, I saw some rare flowers. I am told these two flowers are actually from Saudi Arabia , and it is its national flower, a cactus.

Another one, I am not sure if it is real or artificial, though the man in charge says they are real!! And there are hollies too.

I also noticed that the visitors are mostly from rural places. Somehow, the modern elite group doesn’t much visit this particular flower show.

There are many fairs during winter in Kolkata: a book fair, trade fair, horticulture show. I miss out on many of them, but make it a point to visit this Eden Garden flower show every year.


The crowd at this year’s Ful Mela (Flower Fair) at Eden Park Gardens, one of India’s many wintertime flower shows, January 21, 2011.

Photo: Sandy Ao

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/21 at 05:24 PM


I love those floral displays! Hopefully one day I will make it to India for flower show season, rather than in the pre-monsoon summer heat.

Posted by College Gardener on 01/25 at 09:27 AM
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