[Click To Enlarge]
While Tabebuia in full bloom colours the city pink, the skies over Bengaluru are turning brown from industrial pollution that is making people vulnerable to air- borne diseases, find Amit S. Upadhye and Samiha Nettikara
Bengaluru is coloured pink in November with Tabebuia blossoms that never fail to bloom this time of the year.
Come April and the city is bathed in yellow with Tabebuia Arjensia blossoms.
The colours of the Garden City have been carefully planned, according to biodiversity expert M.B. Krishna. “Exotic species of flowers have been planted in such a way that the city has flowers all the year round,” he says.
“All these flowering ornamental trees have been introduced far from their place of origin. These species are maintenance free and have no infections like their local counterparts,” he explains.
If Bengalureans are able to feast their eyes on splashes of colour on the trees that line their roads and streets, they have visionaries and urban gardeners of the past to thank.
The master plan for ornamental trees in the city was prepared way back in the 17th century, while modern day urban landscaping began in the early 1900s in Bengaluru.
Arun Prasad, research head, Discover Bengaluru, an organisation engaged in documenting city history, says the history of gardening in Bengaluru dates back to the 1760s when Lalbagh was created by Hyder Ali.
Lalbagh, which mostly had native species of flowering and fruit bearing trees, was inspired by the Moghul style of gardens in Sira in Tumkur district.
“It was also known as Cyprus Garden and it was Tipu Sultan who introduced a number of exotic species of flowering plants here. Plants from Persiam Multan and other countries were brought to the garden,” says Mr Prasad.
John Cameron, who became superintendent of Lalbagh in 1874, introduced cultivation of cauliflower, carrot, radish, beetroot and cabbage during his tenure. “After Cameron retired in 1908 Mysore Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyer got Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, who was chief gardener of the Gaekwad Estate in Ooty to come to Lalbagh,” adds Mr Prasad.
Krumbiegel introduced a number of exotic plants in Bengaluru, besides beautifying the KRS gardens in Mysore and the Mysore Palace gardens.
“Before his retirement in 1932, Krumbiegel started pavement gardening, planting flowering trees alongside the road,” he says.