By Erfan Khan
ISLAMABAD, Dec 01 (APP):For many the winter season may entail a typical chill, foggy days and cool drizzle, but for some the period is something to rejoice in the rainbow of colours as the slyly mother nature cradles in riot of colourful flowers, blooming from dusk till dawn.
The tendency to adorn lawns, entrances and balconies has always been the luring preference for the residents of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
The local nurseries mushrooming across the length and breadth of the twin cities offer a wide range of local and imported floral plants ranging from the local dahlia to ever-blooming cosmos, French marigold, gazania, pansies, petunia, sweet Sultan, azelea, African daisies, freesia, ranunculus, carnation, amaranthus, gerbera, antirrhinum, besides myriad variety of colourful bushes, thistles and floral trees like the hanging blue bells.
The colour and aroma emanating from the giant roses are hard to ignore as the local nurseries boost of cross-breed mutli-coloured rose plants, climbing roses and rose bushes.
The borderlines of the flower beds or balconies with full winter sun can give dandling view of ever blushing petunia. How can one overlook the chrysanthemum! the blazing coloured posies give an insight to a nostalgic soul.
The ornamental plants not only adorn one’s abode, but lift the spirits with the balming quality of nature hovering all around. They also provide ample room for the ever haunting bumble bees, butterflies, moths and of course, the fast dwindling colonies of local honey-churning bees which are attracted towards the nectar.
The other creature like honey suckers, nightingales and finches will not forget to join the chorus of beauty and bounties.
With arrival of winter, the oft-quoted lines of famous English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley resound in one’s mind “O, Wind! If winter comes, can spring be far behind”, Abid Hussain Shah, a retired professor, explains that Shelley’s words trace the glee associated with the spring season which is widely considered as the moderate one in that region after passage of harsh winters.
But with such expression, the winter seasons evidently herald the shades and colours which will haunt the minds till May.
According to entomologists, the local varieties with sweet scent and pollen-laden flowers should be preferred considering the protection of the fragile biodiversity.
Azlan Sheikh, a lawn and landscaping designer said, spaces could be created everywhere outside and inside homes, by placing hanging baskets, pots, in and around corridors, with proper sunlight, whereas the wall mounted mud pots can embellish the living style.
Fareed Riaz, an owner of well stocked nursery at the Islamabad Highway, giving the tips for healthy and abundance floral growth advises that growers should properly mix organic compost prior to plantation of saplings besides, continuous addition of it at intervals.
The plantation of flowers depend upon varieties as some appear happy in the flower beds while others get strong root system in the mud pots, he further opines.
Proper drainage of water especially during the rainy season is another vital key for getting stronger and healthier floral plants as the excessive water accumulation can rot the root system, attracting harmful insects and other plant diseases.
Extra care should be given during the frost in the month of December and January which often proves too harsh for a variety of delicate floral plants, Zar Wali another plants carter informs APP.
The flower beds can also be carved out beneath the growing trees and other huge plants as they usually go into slumberous mood in the peak winter season till arrival of spring.According to these experienced people, it is better to purchase the ready-to-plant pots than sowing seeds because most of the flower lovers do not have enough knowledge of growing certain floral plants that require special soil, space and environment for proper sprouting out.
Over a dozen nurseries along the Islamabad Expressway, besides those located at sector H-8, offer numerous pots and other paraphernalia, besides valuable tips for growing flowers and plants.