Gardening demands skill, knowledge and selection of right plants which would yield fruits in the given environment. If we select fruit-bearing plants for our parks, river corridors and gardens, they can give fruit which can be consumed or sold for the public welfares. But the plants which are just planted for beautification purpose meet single purpose. The difference between fruit- yielding plants and show plants can be compared with two female pigs - sterilised and not sterilised. The pig in the latter case can conceive and give birth to several puppies at a time for years, which he can use for a variety of purposes; while in the former, the owner has to serve the pig, but cannot survive on it.
Setting individual views aside, we should concede that the beautification drive has become popular in government offices as well as private homes following the advent of the federal republic. If you have a good memory, there were open places in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts, but those places were just barren and littered with animal carcasses, bottles and open sewerage during the reign of late King Birendra. Even the roads of Tundikhel, Narayan Chaur and Shankha Park were in the sorry state during the reign of former king Gyanendra.
But now, the situation has changed. Mayor Balen Sah has begun plantation and greenery drive in Kathmandu. The roads of the metropolis are decorated with plants. The Bagmati, Bishnumati and Rudramati corridors – all in Kathmandu – are green with plants and many of the once-deserted parks and play grounds are green today. Bhaktapur has been developed as cultural city with green parks. Lalitpur is one of the fast urbanizing districts, with overhead bridges, under-pass roads and greenery. However, since most of the plants are planted just for beautification purpose, this greenery of the three cities can be compared with the sterilised pig as mentioned before. Failure in selecting right plants has become a nationwide problem.
For example, Birendranagar Municipality in Surkhet district, decided to turn the city green. Mayor of the municipality, Mohan Maya Dhakal, brought bottle-neck trees and other expensive plants from India for the purpose, but none were fruit-bearing plants. Two parties are largely responsible for this nationwide problem: decision makers and nursery owners. The decision makers do not bother on selecting the right plant type and quality, so they are responsible for short-sightedness. The nursery owners, on the other hand, with the bad intention of profiting from the business, convince the decision makers to buy expensive plants just for beautification purpose. In this case, nursery owners share the most blame. Both sides must right their faulty decisions.
In the western part of the Tribhuvan International Airport, there is gulf course, which is demarcated with green trees. The area resembles a jungle, but has no fruit-yielding trees. But, if you look closely at the jungle, you can see a Japanese persimmon tree some one hundred metres ahead of the main gate of the airport along the Ring Road. The tree is laden with fruits. The fruits in the tree have become the centre of attraction for the street children as well as monkeys in nearby Bankali area. Had the government authorities, local levels and private sectors selected the fruit-bearing plants in the past, the trees in parks, roads and corridors would have been full with fruits. So, correcting past mistakes, we should initiate planting local persimmon tree, guava, pomegranate, mango, papaya and other plants along the corridors, parks and highways in this winter season.