Bloom time for floriculturists
The innovative ideas which were engraved on a tombstone of a father
by his son paint a clear picture of human qualities of a man. The last
row of this emotional verse ended with the name of a flower `Orchid’.
The son had compared the good qualities of his father to an orchid
flower. He therefore placed a blue natural orchid flower on the
tombstone to mark his father’s first death anniversary.
When Sunday Observer visited florists at Deans Road, Maradana, a shop
owner related this story and said majority customers who visit their
shops prefer orchids than any other flower. It is not a secret that
among flowers, the orchid is the most beautiful and the expensive one.
Like other flowers, the orchid does not fade or wilt easily. Even
florists too know the value of orchids compared to other flowers.
Like Malwana is famous for Rambutan and Bataleeya is for cashew,
Deans Road in Colombo is a famous place for natural flowers. The
florists at Deans Road supply cut flowers, wreaths, bouquets, garlands
and flower baskets for weddings, funerals, birthday parties, social
At present about eleven florists are engaged in a brisk flower
selling business at Deans Road. Among them Jayaratna, Sunshine,
Wijayagiri, and Trilakshika are some of the famous florists engaged in
the flower selling business.
There are a few other major florists in the city of Colombo. Some of
them are Huejay International, Lassana flora, Lak Mal Sela in
Kollpitiya, Supreme flora in Ward Place, Supreme Orchid, Rosarian
Florists in Maradana, Parker Traders and Sterling flowers.
Many of these florists have nurseries in Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and a
few other places in the upcountry. The Huejay international who has
floriculture gardens in the upcountry also export flowers. Parker
Traders said they do not sell cut flowers. They import artificial
flowers from China, while. Supreme flora said they have their own
nurseries in Lindula and Ambewela.
The flower business at Deans Road has a history of nearly 70 years.
They supply flowers, flower baskets, bridal bouquets and takeaway
boxes to locals as well as for foreign nationals for various functions.
In addition, some of these florists visit wedding houses and social
functions to do hall and garden decorations, poruwa and table
arrangements with various kinds of expensive flowers.
Manager, Jayaratne Florists at Deans Road Banuka Hettiaratchchi said
in addition to their main shop at Maradana they have other shops at
Kollupitiya, Kandy, Negombo, Ratnapura and Kalubowila.
Banuka said the shop was opened during 1960s and they purchase fresh
flowers from regular suppliers in Nuwara Eliya, Diyatalawa and
Our shop at Deans Road is open everyday at 5.30 am and we supply
flower pots and bouquets for office functions and wreaths for funerals.
He said flowers are also provided to foreign Embassies in Sri Lanka
and also for evening garden parties, conducted by Ambassadors and their
He said his shop provides only good quality natural flowers to
customers. Some of them are orchids, anthuriums, roses, geberas,
carnations, daisies, astromanis and cryshanthimums.
We normally do not sell artificial flowers and 90 per cent florists
at Deans Road supply only natural flowers.
A florist, Nihal Fernando said wreaths are very expensive and some
prices of wreaths are ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 25,000 or more.
He said some florists charge around Rs. 125,000 to 175,000 to make
flower arrangements for weddings in Colombo hotels.
He said unlike those days even large number of foreigners visit their
shops at Deans Road to purchase flowers and flower based items as they
are mostly ten times cheaper than other places.
A florist at Deans Road Thilak Elpitivithanage said unlike earlier, a
large number of persons are currently engaged in the flower selling
business in the Greater Colombo area. “We open our shops early in the
morning to have orders for wreaths and bouquets. We receive fresh
flowers from our suppliers almost everyday,”. A shop owner K.Y.G.
Gunadasa said he started the flower supply business in 1993 and has
plans to expand the business further, since there is an increasing
demand for fresh flowers from customers almost everyday. He said flowers
are mainly sold during the festive seasons in December, April, January
and May. The owner of Jayasetha flora at Deans Road Wimalasiri
Galappaththi said he has been in the business for the past five years
and most people buy flowers for functions than for funerals.
He said there is a brisk business for flowers in the months of
November and December. Customers buy large stocks of flowers for
Christmas celebrations in December and also to commemorate the All
Soul’s Day on November 2 every year.
A florist at Deans Road, Gunadasa Peris said that there is a high
demand for flowers based products including garlands, flower boxes,
bridal bouquets, flower pots and flower baskets for functions only
during festive seasons and therefore requested Government to help them
to sell their flowers to foreign countries.
A businessman, R.P. Sumanadasa proposed the Sri Lanka Tourism to
conduct flower exhibitions in Colombo, so that florists could sell
flowers and also their products even to foreigners. A 45 year old
Kithsiri who has been in the flower selling business at Deans Road for
the past 14 years said floriculturists too have problems, but
authorities have never spoken regarding their matters and want the
Government to provide barelands outside Colombo (not in the up country)
to people to grow flower plants as well as foliage plants. A florist,
G.K. Lal of Dematagoda wants Municipal authorities and Pradeshiya Sabha
officials to warn their employees to refrain from selling used wreaths
to florists again . He said some cemetery workers are in the habit of
removing used wreaths and flower bouquets from cemeteries at night and
sell them back to florists.
He said an employee in a Colombo cemetery was recently taken into
custody by Police following a complaint made by a relative of a
deceased. They were later produced before courts for removing two
wreaths, made out of fresh flowers and artificial flowers.