Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kitchen Gardening Training (Dada pota show)

Dear All,

It is a pleasure for me to let you know that PAMCO ( is organizing a series of Kitchen gardening workshops with a collaboration from Data pota show website . You need to register yourself at  and then you will be contacted to participate in the training.

Training will be held every Saturday by Mr Imran (Horticulture officer at PAMCO) and this Saturday its venue is railway station, lahore.

For more details, keep listening to data pota show and dada pota website. I will keep updating you in this regard.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rose rose encyclopedia from Gardening Pakistan

Roses are considered the king of flowers. The gardening pakistan team is doing a great effort in compiling a list of most beautiful and famous roses both in northern and southern hemisphere. Of course it is expanding regularly and you will see many rose plants not available at other rose databases.

Here is the link to this rose encyclopedia

Monday, September 30, 2013

Passiflora incense and Bushman's poison flowers

Let me tell you about two very fragrant plants i have recently come across. Both are growing very happily in my city lahore and i am sure they can grow as easily in other warm climates. Though i can grow both but i am opting to grow only only of them. Why so? you will learn soon.

First one is Passiflora Incense. Passion flower with botanic name passiflora and common name "ghari phool" are flowering vines mostly from warm climates as not all of the varieties can tolerate sever winters. The most common variety around has been passiflora caerulea which survives the winter of lahore with some care in first year. A very good article on growing passiflora in pakistan has been written by Zahrah nasir of Dawn.

I personally grew passiflora incarnata from seed in May last year. But i will not advise growing it from seed as it may take a lot of years to flower from seed. Better to purchase rooted cuttings or buy plants in flowering stage to ensure that plant has broken flower dormancy. The below is passiflora 'Incense' a hyrbird between Passiflora incarnatax x cincinnata. Very fragrant purple flowers and very prolific flowering in lahore such that the vine is almost covered with flowers. Easily survives winter of lahore, 0c. Flowers almost whole summer.

The other plant which is probably one of the most fragrant plants i have ever come across, more fragrant than marwa or even snail vine It is Bushman's poison with botanic name Acokanthera oppositifolia The fragrance of one small plant can be felt even from 25-30 feet which is just amazing. But being a nuts for fragrant flowers, i did not grow it, why? Because it is one of the most toxic plants of the world. Yes this is why the name Bushman's poison. The plant is so toxic that it has been used as poison on the tips of the arrows. Phew!!! what a fragrant plant but too bad it is too toxic to grow. Well enjoy the picture.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

3 Months free floriculture course - Lahore

The Government of Punjab, floriculture department is offering a free 3-months course at Lawrence gardens, Lahore. Minimum education is matriculation and last date of application is September 27, 2013. Course will include landscaping, commercial cultivation of flowers, ornamental flowers and kitchen gardening.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Purple Buddleja and Cassia nodosa

There are very few plants which grow well in summer heat of lahore. Our summers are constantly over 40C. But there are some flowering plants which take the heat very well. Here are some of the flowers showing their grace in our hot summers in June. This is purple dwarf buddleja. Probably a variant of buddleja followiana and davidii. It is fragrant and heat tolerant. Not all purple buddleja plants are heat tolerant but this one is. It tolerates our monsoon rains too. It is planted in my soil bed.

This is cassia nodosa, a tropical summer flowering tree. It flowers in our summers when there are very few trees in bloom. Ofcourse cassia fistula is another summer flowering tree. Cassia nodosa is loaded with flowers in summer. Young plants need protection from winter.

For more macro shots, please visit Lisa's Chaos
For more Floral friday pictures, please visit Floral Friday

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Private garden of Amer Yar Khan - Lahore

Dr Amer is a Doctor by profession and has tremendous interest in gardening. He has accumulated some wonderful rare plants from his garden. I would like to share some of the beauties in his garden. Hope you will enjoy it. A very large flowered daylily.

Another beautiful daylily

He has many varieties of hibiscus specially tropical hibiscus. This one is cosmic dancer
hibiscus cosmic dancer

This hibiscus is city slicker
 hibiscus city slacker

He is very fond of fragrant plants so gardenia is an expected plant in his garden. He grows around 6 varieties of gardenia. This one is Aimee Yoshioka the largest gardenia in the world. 
gardenia Aimee Yoshioka

Tall beard iris grow well here in lahore. This one is Cloud Ballet. 

iris Cloud Ballet

This is michelia figo also called as magnolia figo.Common name is banana shrub. Very fragrant flowers but very slow growth

. machelia figo

There are lots of roses in his garden including david austin ones and other fragrant roses. This one is bronze star.
 bronze star

Double delight is one of his favorite roses for both the beauty and intense fragrance. double delight rose

Ebb tide

ebb tide rose

Augusta louise

 Augusta louise rose

He is also growing many bulbous plants as well. This one is a giant amaryllis.

Cybister lima
. Cybister lima

Ornithogalum dubium Ornithogalum dubium

Scilla peruviana. Probably the only scilla which will grow in lahore. Many plants from peru do good in lahore. Scilla peruviana

Some of the vines from his garden. This one is lonicera gold flame, a honey suckle. lonicera gold flame

Lonicera magnifica
 Lonicera magnifica

Passiflora clear sky
 Passiflora clear sky

Tabebuia haemantha

Tabebuia haemantha

I will post more rare flowers from his garden off and on. I hope you would have enjoyed this virtual tour of his garden.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Evening primrose, climbing snapdragon and gardenia florida

Spring is coming to an end in Lahore and coming heat wave is having its toll on the spring flowers. On the other hand, the semi tropical perennial flowers are coming to their own. This year i grew many perennials from seed. Not common in lahore, i took they risk whether they will grow good in lahore or not. Some produced excellent results. Here are some of those:

Evening primrose, Oenothera pallida "innocence", seeds bought from Chilten seeds UK. Flowers are very fragrant citrus spice and bloom in mid day. They last few days. They are supposed to be a perennial plant in lahore and other hot climates. I hope they survive our hot summers and prove to have a permanent position in my fragrant garden.

Another rare climber i grew from seed and it flowered only after 8 months is, climbing snapdragon. This is asarina purpurea seeds from Sunshine seeds Germany. seeds are small but germination was good. It produces hundreds of buds on a small plant. I hope it will prove to be a perennial in my hot climate too.

This gardenia although not grown from seed but a very fragrant and prolific blooming gardenia florida i have. There are many cultivars of this common gardenia and this one seems to be "Heaven scent". Gardenias likes bright shade and not much direct sun light. They also need humid air and an acidic soil to thrive. Most healthy gardenias have green leaves.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Garden Of Mr Waheed Malik in Lahore

Waheed malik is a very experienced and skilled gardener of Lahore. He is very passionate in growing almost all forms of plant kingdom including cactus, succulent, bonsai, bulbs, climbers etc. He grows hundreds of Amaryllis bulbs on his rooftop and has some rare collection of amaryllis family bulbs. I had the honor to visit his garden and learned a lot of things from him. Let me share some of the flowers blooming at his farm house and one of his gardens.
Wisteria flowering at his farm house. This is one of many types of wisterias he is growing.
This is a bulbous plant which is not common in Lahore. It is a perennial in lahore and has wonderful fragrance. This is Ipheion uniflorum 'Wisley Blue' It is from allium family.
This is amaryllis papilio, a rare amaryllis in lahore, flowering on his rooftop.

This is one of many clematis vines grown in his garden. They do not give profuse flowering but do grow fine and flower regularly.
A lot of dutch Iris. He is also growing lousiana Iris and Tall beard Iris, both of which grow very well in lahore.
This is a flower of some cydonia. Cydonia is relative of prunus and has many varieties which are grown in lahore. He has more than one cydonia i believe.
He is growing Euphorbia in masses.All planted in soil bed. They give a spectacular look indeed.
This is yellow Tabebuia. Tabebuia is from Tecoma (Bignonia) family tree and there are lots of color available in lahore. It is one of many Tabebuia he is growing.

This is prunus growing at his farm. Not sure how much fruits it produces but it looks beautiful.
The pictures above show a glimpse of what he is growing. There are lots of plants i did not cover just because they were not in bloom. I will try to capture more flowers from his garden in coming months will share with you. I will also cover more private gardens of lahore in next few posts. Your feedback will be highly appreciated.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Annual flower show Lahore 2013

Details of Annual spring flower show in lahore for year 2013 are as follows:
Venue: Bara dari Gate, Bagh-e-Jinnah Lawrence gardens lahore
Date: March 23 - March 31, 2013

This year exhibition is better than previous year. The fountains add a very beautiful element to the flower show. PHA and HSP has really put a very impressive effort. Do visit the show.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Heliotropium arborescens and Hyacinth flowers

Heliotropium arborescens "marine" is a a very fragrant compact annual/perennial flower. Flowers cover the whole plant and vanilla fragrance is very strong. I bought seeds from chilterns seeds UK and sowed the seeds in October 2012 and it germinated in November 2012. It started flowering in March 2013. An annual in cold areas but tender perennial in warm climates like mine. Not sure how it will handle the extreme summer heat and monsoon humidity but the fragrance is really worth it. I will save seeds if it forms seeds.

Talking of fragrant flowers, Hyacinth is very fragrant spring bulb. It grows very good as annual in lahore. It is also successfully forced in special water jars. It is amazing that each color of hyacinth has unique fragrance. Sometimes hyacinth gives second flowering stalk too but that it not often. Hyacinth bulb is not worth saving for next year and must be bought again.

For more macro pictures, visit Lisa's Chaos

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Flower exhibition in Karachi 2013

The 62nd Pakistan Flower Show 2013 will be taking place at DHA Seaview Public Park on Thursday the 28th of Feb. The Flower Show will end on Sunday 3rd March 2013. The timings are from 9 AM to 10 PM.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Amaryllis Graffiti and Kashmir Dahlia

Kashmir dahlia is also called indian dahlia here but it is not from india. It is from holland. It is propagated from cuttings. These are raised and grown in cool areas like hilly mountains of Murree and then brought to warm areas in winter. It needs protection from fog and sever winter. It likes to be fed well and needs lot of energy to put large flowers. It goes dormant in summer and keeping it in soil bed is best option instead of digging and storing. It will re sprout in late summer. Not every indian dahlia is dinner plate. Full sun is must for good flowers. Remove spent flowers as soon as possible. This one is flowering on my terrace in a clay pot.

Hippeastrum (common amaryllis) is very ideal for growing in hot climates. There are two most common sources. The south african hybird and dutch hybirds. Hadeco are very famous south african company in hybridizing amaryllis. This one is hadeco Graffiti i am growing in a pot. Double amaryllis can also multiply specially in pot. Remember to bury only 1/3rd of the bulb below the soil.
For more macro shots, visit Lisa's Chaos

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Plants having cosmetic value

Botanic NameFamilyCommon NameProperty
Acbillea millefolim AstaraceaeYarrowHair lotion against baldness. Heals spots, pimples, useful for face pack and dandruff. Cleanser for oily skin. Promotes sweating.
Acorus calamus AraceaeSweet FlagIt is used as a stimulating & invigorating bath.
Allium cepa LiliaceaeOnionThe skin of the onion is used as a dressing on facial and body sores.
Allium sativum LinnLiliaceaeGarlicLotion can help to control dandruff.
Aloe barbadensis Mill.LiliaceaeAloeUsed in beauty aids and suntan lotions. Possesses moisturizing and soothing properties.
Altbaea officinalis MalvaceaeMarsh MallowA marsh mallow face pack helps to combat dry flaky skin. Emollient.
Anetbum graveolens ApiaceaeDillThe oil is used as a fragrance component in cosmetics especially in soaps.
Borago officinalis BoraginaceaeBorageBorage juice obtained from the crushed plant & applied direct to the skin will cure ring worm.
Calendula officinalis AsteraceaeMarigoldUseful as an exfoliating facial soap for sensitive skin. Its flowers & leaves are very beneficial for clearing the skin of eczema, spots & grease. Healing of wounds, toning.
Carica papaya CaricaceaePapayaFruit pulp can be used as an ingredient in various shampoos and face creams. Enzymes in the fruit have a deep cleansing effect by breaking down the dead cells of the skin.
Carum carvi UmbelliferaeCarawayFragrance component in toothpaste, mouth wash products, cosmetics and perfumes.
Cassia alata L.CaesalpiniaceaeRingworm shrubThe flowers make a good paste for eczema.
Citrus limon Burmann.fRutaceaeLemonLemon juice is regarded as anti-wrinkle.
Cocos nucifera ArecaceaeCoconut OilCoconut oil was formerly the main ingredient in marine soaps.
Cucumis satiuns Cucurbitaceae Cucumber Refreshing & is used in lotions, creams, and masks.
Cucurbtta pepo Cucurbitaceae Pumpkin The roots are made into an infusion and used on herpes lesions, pimples.
Daucus carota Apiaceae Carrot seed Fragrance component in soaps, cosmetics and perfumes. Its oil is used in nourishing eye creams and the juice in facemasks.
Equisetum arvenseEquisetaceae Horsetail To encourage hair growth.
Eucalyptus globulus Myrtaceae Eucalyptus Purifies the air, The essential oil reduces airborne microbes.
Foeniculum vulgare Umbelliferae Fennel Its oil is used in soaps, toiletries and perfumes.
Glycyrrhiza glabraFabaceae Licorice root Used for skin irritations and in cosmetics for acne & sunburn.
Helianthus annuus AraceaeSunflowerIts oil is used for psoriasis & bruises. A simple soothing skin cream can be made from sunflower oil and comfrey.
Hypericum perforatum PericaceaeSt. John’s wortHelp to keep skin soft.
Hyssopus officinalis LamiaceaeHyssopEmployed as a fragrance component in soaps, eau de cologne.
Jasminum grandiflorumOleaceaeJasmineJasmine oil is used for a refreshing massage to perfume the scalp. Regarded as a perfume in many recipes. Cosmetic mouth washes, dentifrices.
Juniperus communis CupressaceaeJuniper cadeUseful for treating acne, massage and aids slimming. It is good for creams, soaps and lotions is fragrance work.
Laurus nobilis LauraceaeBayUse as fragrance component in detergents and cosmetics and especially after shaves.
Lavendula stoechas LabiataeLavenderAromatic oils are much used in perfumery. It is antiseptic and stimulating.
Lawsonia inermis LythraceaeHennaCures loss of hair and is used as growth accelerator and for decorating hands and feet.
Mangifera indica AnacardiaceaeMangoUnripe fruit is claimed to help heal a wide variety of skin eruptions, ranging from leprosy and sores to boils.
Matricaria abamomilla CompositaeChamomileAll sorts of modern hair preparations.
Mellissa officinalis LabiataeBalmFor its soothing effect use its oil in a back massage.
Lawsonia inermis LythraceaeHennaCures loss of hair and is used as growth accelerator and for decorating hands and feet.
Mangifer indica AnacardiaceaeMangoUnripe fruit is claimed to help heal a wide variety of skin eruptions, ranging from leprosy and sores to boils.
matricaria abamomilla CompositaeChamomileAll sorts of modern hair preparations.
Mellissa officinalis LabiataeBalmFor its soothing effect use its oil in a back message.
Mentba arvensis LabiataeGarden MintThe mint flavor of most toothpastes is derived from natural mint oil. Invigorates the bather.
Monarda didyma LabiataeBergamot Dried flowers and leaves add lasting color and fragrance to potpourris.
Ocimum basilicum LbiataeBasilThe oil is employed in high class fragrance, soap and dental products.
Olea europaea OleaceaeOlive oilMoisturizer for dry skin, lip balm, shampoo, hand lotion, soap, massages oil & dandruff treatment.
Phyllantbus emblica EuphorbiaceaeAmla oilThe fruits are used in hair dye and in hair shampoos.
Pisum sativum LeguminosaePeaFacemasks made from crushed peas are used in cases of acne and on wrinkled. Skins.
Plantago ovata Forssk.PlantaginaceaePlantainThe juice of the fresh herb is used in cream for its soothing effect.
Prunus amygdalusRosaceaeAlmondMost important of the fine cosmetic oils
Ricinus communis EuphorbiaceaeCastor oilUsed in many bath preparations & skin care formulations. It is an important ingredient of lipstick.
Rosa damascenaRosaceaeRed roseSoothing rose oil has a cooling effect on the face. Rose oil helps to ease premenstrual tension.
Rosmarinus officinalis LabiataeRosemaryIncrease hair shine and clears dandruff. It is used in any beauty care products in soaps and perfumed toilet waters and hair preparations.
Salvadora persica SalvadoraceaeTooth brush TreeEastern people made toothpaste from this plant.
Salvia officinalis LabiataeSageUse fresh leaves as toothpowder. Good tooth cleaner.
Saussurea lappaAsteraceaeCostusFixative, fragrance component used in cosmetics. Used in the preparation of rich perfumes and hair oils.
Stellaria media (L.)CaryophyllaceaeChickweedChickweed tea is helpful in slimming programmes. Its lotion helps to clear and refine the skin.
Taraxacum officinali.CompositaeDandelion Best of pimples acne & spots.
Thymus vulgaris LabiataeThymeThe oil is used in mouth washes and toothpaste. It is a fragrance component in soaps, after shaves.
Trigonella foenum-graecumFabaceaeFenugreekTreats severe skin inflammations, chapped lips & mouth ulcers.
Tulsilago farfara CompositaeColtsfootColtsfoot face pack is a good treatment for spots, pimples and acne. It is also used as a hair shampoo.
Urtica dioicaUrticaceaeNettleOil from the leaves is useful for the hair.
Valeriana officinalis ValerianaceaeValerianUsed as a fragrance component; antidandruff.
Viola odorata ViolaceaeSweet VioletUsed in high-class perfumery work. Bath addition.
Vitis uinifera VitaceaeGrape speedUseful in anti-aging and skin-lightening cosmetics.
Zingiber officinale RoscoeZingiberaceaeZingiberFragrance component in cosmetics especially oriental and men’s fragrance.
Azadirachta indicaAll PartsNeemRegarded as a blood purifier.
Cassia tora SeedPanwarIt is a blood purifier.
Curcuma longa RhizomeChob zardHighly used as a blood purifier
Dalbergia sissoo BarkShisham Blood purifier.
Fumaria officinalis PlantShahteraRegarded as a blood purifier.
Hemidesmus indicus RootUshbah-desiCommonly recommended as a blood purifier.
Psoralea corylifolia Seed BabchiBabchi is a blood purifier.
Smilax cbina RootChob chiniIt is considered as a blood purifier.
Sphaeranthus indicusFlowerGul-e-MundiFlowers are esteemed as blood purifier.
Swertia chirataPlantChirataRegarded as a blood purifier.
Tephrosia purpureaLeavesSarphokaRegarded as a blood purifier.
Tinospora cordifoliaPlantGiloCommonly used as a blood purifier.
Ziziphus vulgarisFruitUnnabIt is a blood purifier.
Note: The above is original work of Muhammad Afzal Rizvi, Hamdard University, Karachi. He could not be contacted for reproduction but his credit is displayed for his original work. I have made corrections and updates to this information though.

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