The Garden City…it’s a familiar moniker for Bangalore. And with our lovely gardens bursting with flowers of every type, in the flower beds as well as the divine flowering trees, it does live up to the name. With the Neralu festival (an urban tree fest) coming up this weekend, The Good City crew decided to take a moment to appreciate the city's blooming heritage - the flowering trees of Bangalore!
The flowering trees aren’t restricted to places like the Lalbagh Gardens however...they’re to be seen across the city, planned so that blossoms of varied hues brighten up different parts of the city across the seasons.
And who was responsible for giving us this sequential visual delight? History attributes it to German botanist-horticulturist, Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, whose expertise was requested in 1908 by the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar. With a gorgeous mix of blooms native to the country as well as those from other countries (which our delightful climate permits), Krumbiegel’s ‘poet-painter’ vision (as spoken by author TP Issar) gave us the canopy shade and flowering trees that charm the hearts of all who see them.
Spring, a favoured time when all of Nature blooms in all her glory. And what blooms in our fair city? Brightly leading the charge is the South American Tabebuia Argentea (most commonly called the Golden Trumpet Tree), alongside the fuchsia glory of the Burmese pink Cassia Javanica and the golden glory of the Indian Laburnum. There’s a magic to spring that you can feel in the essence of these blooms!
Summer is a time when most flee to cooler climes and exotic foreign trips; but for those who call Bangalore home, it’s time to step out and immerse themselves in the riot of colours that are indicative of the season. The fiery Gulmohar (native to Madagascar and synonymous with Bangalore) and sunny Copper Pods from North Australia contrast beautifully with the pink powder puffs that are the South American Rain Tree (an ironic name for a summer tree!). With sights like these, who would go elsewhere?
Transitioning from heat to wet brings with it the unmistakable heady scents of Jasmine (Mallige) and Champak (Indian Magnolia). And as time marches on, the whites and pale yellows are taken over by the vibrant side of the colour palette - like the reds of the African Tulip Tree - before transitioning to the delicate shades of the coming winter.
Pink Tabebuia and the mauves and blues of the elegant Brazilian Jacaranda dominate the winter skies in our fair (and quite cold) city. There’s a lot to be said for enjoying the pretty view with your hands wrapped around a hot cup of tea, capturing the quiet moment before the cycle of blooms begins anew.
Even as our city grows and changes, moving from verdant green to concrete jungle, it’s heartening to know that these perennial beauties are holding their place; reminding us every year that this is still ‘The Garden City’!
Text by Rachel George; Research by Ashwini Nagaraja