Friday, October 02, 2009

A part of Malnad in Cubbon Park

A part of Malnad in Cubbon Park
Subhash Chandra N S, Oct 2, Bangalore:

The IT City will soon be getting a feel of Malnad with the Horticulture Department to recreate its atmosphere by landscaping a portion of Cubbon Park, which was neglected for decades.


The department hopes to maintain it with the recently announced entry fees to Cubbon Park. Though the decision evoked mixed reactions from people, the Horticulture Department says that it requires the fees to maintain its new ‘Malnad garden’, which is specially landscaped with orchids, ferns and creeps which are found in Western Ghats region.

The new park, which is coming up on a patch of 1,070 sq metre adjoining Venkatappa Art Gallery, was without maintenance for nearly 30 years. However, with the Government having released a sum of Rs 2 crore to develop the entire park, the department has come forward with this unique idea to beautify and protect the tree cover in this patch, which was a dump yard to debris just a few years ago.

Suitable micro climate
“We came up with the idea after we realised it is suitable for such a garden. It will be full of orchids, ferns and attractive creepers, they will be grown amidst the shade, since the micro climate here differs and is suitable for such garden,” said Dr M Jagadish, Joint Director, Gardens, Department of Horticulture.

He said that the stretch, which extends up to UB City, has been carefully planned for such garden. “The shady patch is comparatively cool from the other parts of the garden as well as the City. It will facilitate the growth of several orchids. We are planning to introduce at least 15 varieties of orchids and ferns, which includes ground orchids with attractive flowers,” he explained.

Aimed at recreating the Western Ghats’ climate, the department has gone for huge creepers like Scindapsus aureus (money plant) and at least 50 varieties of philodendrons (creepers) which can grow over 100 feet, if supported by huge trees, which already exist.

Orchid species of dendrobium, cenbidium and other species, which are classified into terrestrial and jewel can be found here. “Most of these dendrobiums being ground orchids have colourful flowers, this along with other select varieties can be cultivated in modified conditions and will have an attractive flowering,” explained Dr Jagadish.

Over 70 ferns will be planted along with the shade grass and creepers and shrubs over here. Not just these even various kinds of peppers and betel leaves will also be grown here.

Explaining about the ongoing work, Jaydev, Joint director, Cubbon Park said that sphagnum moss, a variety of moss to aid growth of creepers, have been grown. Planting of yellow bamboo all around the fence is being done. “The park will soon wear a new look like a forest patch with a natural rock, we have even converted a natural rock amidst the patch into a water fall,” he said.

Karagada Kunte
The lake within the garden where the historical Karaga begins is also being developed and beautified along with this patch of land.
Horticulture officials said that the renovation of gazebo and lawn work has begun. A mechanised lawn mover has been procured to maintain the patch, while landscape design is being done. The entire work will be taken up at a cost of Rs 17 lakh.

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