Gar­den for All Senses

India Today - - BEST OF INDIA - By Sudha Murty, so­cial worker and writer

Lal­bagh has a spe­cial place in Ban­ga­lore. It is not a park for amuse­ment or en­ter­tain­ment, but ba­si­cally a botan­i­cal gar­den. Its main pur­pose is the con­ser­va­tion of plant life. It re­sem­bles a univer­sity with a huge li­brary, where ev­ery book is a tree. Ev­ery tree in Lal­bagh tells us a story. I am one of Lal­bagh’s reg­u­lar walk­ers and have no­ticed many dif­fer­ent species of trees that are rare and beau­ti­ful. There is a creeper, Jadewine, from the Philip­pines with flow­ers in ex­quis­ite cop­per sul­phate blue in win­ter. An­other tree, Pride of Burma, is called the queen of flow­er­ing trees. Its flow­ers look like red hum­ming­birds. There is a palm tree that blooms once a cen­tury and dies. I’ve also no­ticed the Fi­cus Kr­ishne tree, with pe­cu­liar leaves that re­sem­ble a spoon. I’d tell my chil­dren that Lord Kr­ishna ate but­ter with th­ese leaves. Lal­bagh holds two flower exhibitions, one on Au­gust 15, the other on Jan­uary 26, which I never miss. It is one place where I for­get all my worries and be­come a teenager who just wants to en­joy her walk.

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