Come one, come all: Meet the ‘Rose men’ of Chandigarh
Hira Lal, who is in his late fifties, is one of the few old gardeners in Rose Garden. On the eve of Rose Festival, his face brightens up with a smile as he begins talking about gardening. “I came here in 1986 and since then, this garden has been my work place,” he says.
“The garden is as beautiful as it was earlier. Its exquisiteness has been preserved with a lot of care,” he adds. When asked about how he learned gardening, he said, “I came here as a teenager with no formal training. I used to observe others closely and how they worked and that is how I learned it,” he said.
Talking passionately about his work, he says, “These plants are like our children, we nourish each one of them just like we look after our each and every child. It is a moment of immense happiness for us whenever a flower blooms.”
“Rose plants are difficult than growing other flowers. They need a lot effort and attention,” he said.
Agreeing with it, Barkhu Ram, 57-year-old gardener said, “I have been working in the rose nursery for several years now and I was shifted here recently. Every year, during the period of two months, grafting of over 15,000 rose plants is prepared in the nursery for this Rose Garden. This work needs expertise.”
Barkhu Ram has been selected to give awards to other gardeners on the rose festival. Every year, one gardener is selected for giving awards to other gardners.
The Rose Garden, which is spread over 40 acres of land, has nearly 50 gardeners who maintain over 40,000 rose plants. There are 4-5 gardeners who work here regularly. The garden has 829 varieties of roses and over 40,000 plants.