Second flower exhibition draws large numbers of visitors

Environment: Against the scenic backdrop of Paro Rinpung Dzong and the iconic Ta Dzong, the second Royal Bhutan Flower exhibition began on June 4.

Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen inaugurated the exhibition.

The exhibition is being held to commemorate Her Majesty’s Birth Anniversary.

His Majesty The King, His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and members of the Royal Family graced the inauguration ceremony. The Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, foreign dignitaries, and senior government officials were also present.

The exhibition is spread over 18 acres of the palace grounds. The exhibition displays the country’s rich indigenous plants and herbs, as well as a large variety of ornamental flowers and vegetables from around the world. Seeds, seedlings, gardening tools, cut flowers and souvenirs are available for purchase with experts providing useful gardening tips.

The exhibition’s newest attractions are the bonsai displays from the citizens of Miharu, Japan and displays of organic vegetables, temperate fruits and exotic flowers from the Royal Project Foundation of Thailand.
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A Japanese Bonsai tree expert Masashi Hirao said Bhutanese have high regard for nature.

“People here value trees which is evident from the way they express their appreciation for trees and the Bonsai tree-making art,” Masashi Hirao said.

Locals said this is the first time Paro is seeing such a large gathering of people in recent times.

Restaurants ran out of space and drivers scrambled for parking spaces on the first day the exhibition was open to the public yesterday.

Ap Dorji Namgay from Shaba said the fair was much too large to visit in a day. “Maybe I’ll come back tomorrow to see the rest, there are many things I would still like to see again,” he said.

The Japanese stall was one of the busiest ones yesterday as people with children waited in queue for hours to try the Japanese traditional tea ceremony and the Japanese traditional dress called the kimino.

There were also various other installations and themed gardens prepared by various government agencies and private participants along with a collection of models of dzongs and monasteries.
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An open talk series on ‘Innovations in Green Urban Planning and Landscaping’, where experts and plant enthusiasts shared their experiences and expertise, will be held alongside the exhibition. Among the speaker are His Serene Highness Prince Bhisatej Rajani of Thailand and Bonsai master Masashi Hirao of Japan.

The Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition was initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, upon the Royal Command of His Majesty The King, as a community event for people to come together with an objective to foster appreciation for beautiful spaces and encourage horticulture and floriculture based economy.

The first Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition was held at the Ugyen Pelri Palace grounds in April last year. It was a huge success with over 50,000 people visiting over the course of five days.

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck is the Royal Patron for the Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition.

The exhibition is organised by the agriculture ministry with support from Paro dzongkhag, World Wildlife Fund-Bhutan, Royal Society for Protection of Nature, Tourism Council of Bhutan, Druk Holdings and Investment and Bhutan Power Corporation.

It will be open till June 8.

Thinley Zangmo

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