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Kiran and her green urban garden

Ana Madigibuli
Sunday, March 11, 2018

FLOWERS bloom and it illuminates hope, hope of a day filled with happiness, joy and being content with life.

This is how 68-year-old Kiran Prabha Lal a gardener views flowers and its impeccable effect on her and her family.

Kiran is no ordinary gardener; she has over 1000 different types of flowers growing in her back yard and front yard ranging from local variety of flowers to even unique foreign plants.

Walk into her nursery and you'll feel like you have just walked into a green magical garden filled with flowers, different flowery scent and beautiful fluttering butterflies that sneak in to pollinate.

She has 50 different types of bougainvillea ranging from coconut ice to golden ice and to many colourful ones with ornamental vines.

She has different types of day lilies, waterlilies, orchids, anthurium (laceleaf), snake plants, roses, hibiscus, pine, palms, cactus, fishtail ferns, euphorbia or spurges, zulu flowers, dahlia, aster, bromeliads, crinum, ferns, spider plants, dumb canes, lantana, iris, sedum, chrysanthemum, daisies, cypress and many other perennial and biennial plants too many to name.

Kiran can spend her whole day just working on her garden, making sure all of her plants are watered, pruned, transplanted and fed.

"I started growing flowers when I was young because both my parents were farmers in Wainibuku so my family was accustomed to planting vegetables or flowers at home," she said.

"I started by flower nursery three years ago here at home and started selling flower pots two years later.

"I grow my own plants, but for the foreign ones, I buy them and later grow them at home myself because I want to sell them again to people who might be interested to add a unique flower pot to their collection too."

Kiran has different types of citrus trees that range from Meyer lemon to orange and mandarin which are quite popular with her clients.

"My family members share my passion for flowers with my husband who helps in the garden most of the time," she said.

"I make sure that my flowers are fed with the right kind of food for example my hibiscus varieties are given NPK because if you feed them with different fertiliser they can die and I often use chicken manure for other plants here.

"A gardener needs to know the type of flower they're planting and even the soil type that the flower can survive in. It's important to do research on these things and I often go on Google to get updated on this information especially what type of flowers I'm dealing with.

"I share my knowledge of flowers as often as I can, especially with family members who are interested and even friends.

"It's important for gardeners to share their skill and knowledge so there can be more flower enthusiasts in the country."

She said her favourite flowers were the anthurium and orchids because they bloomed longer than others.

The most sensitive flowers that she has grows in her garden are roses because they need a good environment and need to be cared for often.

She said it's important for people to learn to grow plants themselves because it gave them values of appreciating nature and the joy that came with it.

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