Season of fragrance ’n gaiety

Yasmin Taj


A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy. “I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes,” said Pedro consolingly.Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering. She fought back a tear as she entered the small village chapel.As she approached the alter, she remembered Pedro’s kind words: “Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes.” She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.Today, the common name for this plant is the poinsettia!

Spring welcomes the blossoming of a lot of bright, colourful and beautiful flowers, which make the entire valley look strikingly fresh. “On the basis of popularity, roses are but naturally the most desired flowers for any and every occasion,” says Laxmi Pradhan, owner of Chameli Nursery. Other flowers that people like include gerbera, carnations, lily, gladiolus, snapdragon, calendula and orchids. “Buying flowers for someone is a common practice these days. Valentine’s Day, though, seems to be the ultimate day for the sale of roses and other flowers, too,” says Sunil Tamang, owner, Daffodils Flower Shop. Even among roses, red roses seem to be dominating the preferences of almost all customers and can be found abundantly in the market too. Other favourite flowers during spring are chincherinchee and stromeri. “Flowers can be divided into two parts - seasonal and perennial. Seasonal flowers last for a period of three months and once the times lapses, the plant has to be changed. Pansy, dianthus, dahlia, winter daphne, balloonflower, orchids and phlox are a few varieties of seasonal flowers. Perennial flowers on the other hand do not have to undergo plant transplants and can be kept in poly-houses and glass-houses and hence can be used all year round like azalea, carnation, camellia, gerbera, etc.,” Kumar KC, owner of Amar Nursery informs, adding, “Flowers can be further divided into two varieties — cut flower variety and garden variety.” Carnations and roses are typical cut flower varieties while marigold, aster and zinnia are a few among those that belong to the garden variety.