Gaa-Yuel Gardens is the manifestation of Kinley Lham’s lifelong passion for plants
HORTICULTURE: It is high summer and Gaa-Yuel Gardens in Semtokha, Thimphu, is full of colourful flowers. It simply is beautiful, almost otherworldly.
Kinlay Lham has been in flowers for more than 30 years now. It is her passion and love for flowering plants that made her create a floral paradise of her own. She has about 300 varieties of plants and flowers in her garden.
“It’s challenging. But then, I also get extreme satisfaction to see the plants grow and flowers bloom beautifully,” said Kinlay Lham.
As I enter the garden, I can see little bees, butterflies and other insects fly among the flowers. There is a sweet fragrance all about. I am amazed. I stand there relishing the delectable sight. The garden is a work of art, labour of love, passion’s wonderful child.
It is tedious work to attend to every detail and requirement of the garden, said Kinlay Lham. “You have to give 100 percent of your time to each and every plant. If you have no love for plants and flowers, it’s a very difficult job.”
Kinlay Lham has four women working full time with her. During vacation, students come to work for her. Ladies working with Kinlay Lham are experts in the field and they can start their own nursery anywhere anytime.
Well, how did it all start?
Kinlay Lham bought some of the flowers from Kalimpong, India, and some flower bulbs from Netherlands. Now, of course, Gaa-Yuel Gardens has all the flowers. Prices of plants at Gaa-Yuel Gardens range from Nu 150 to Nu 12,000. It has a hybrid azalea that is more than 20 years old.
“Some of my azaleas, which are worth about Nu 12,000, when in bloom, are priceless,” said Kinlay Lham. “Even if people are willing to give me Nu 50,000, I won’t sell it.”
She said she loves her plants genuinely and her plants reciprocate by blooming beautifully. She feels her plants understand how she feels about them. She walks towards a group of plants and sits nearby. She tells them that they are beautiful.
“When people come and tell me their flowers bloom differently than mine, I tell them to give enough love to plants,” said Kinlay Lham. “I do nothing special. I just love my plants and that’s the secret.”
Kinlay Lham gets customers are from every corner of the country. People from as far as Trashigang come to buy flowers and plants from Gaa-Yuel Gardens.
Kinlay Lham has plans to start a big nursery on a 10-acre land in Punakha and one in Paro.
“I can create employment opportunities for youth and train them so that later they can start their own garden,” she said.
By Dechen Tshomo