|New Delhi: Exotic flowers, lush grass, and garden-wonders amidst the quaint surrounding of the President's Estate — the 'Mughal Garden' is set to return in the capital on February 5 this year, according to P N Joshi, Superintendent, President's Gardens.|
Long rows of dark pink "Modern Art" roses, juxtaposed with patches of daisies, tulips and lilies mark the onset of spring, ahead of the annual "Udyanotsav" at the historical Mughal Gardens. Over 10,000 tulip bulbs, 138 types of roses and 70 different kinds of 5,000 seasonal flowers will welcome visitors to the garden.
Save Mondays, the gardens will be open from 10 am to 4 pm till March 8. However, the garden will be opened exclusively for farmers, people with disabilities, defence, para-military, and Delhi police personnel on March 11 from 10 am to 4 pm.
On regular days, the entry and exit to the event will be from Gate No. 35. On March 11, Gate no. 12 — situated on Church Road — will be the exit and entry point for visitors.
What are the 'rosey' highlights of the show? The garden is all set to display the 'Grace de Monaco' rose, planted by Prince Albert II of Monaco last year. A variety of roses named after eminent people -- former president Pranab Mukherjee; Mother Teresa; former US president John F Kennedy; Queen Elizabeth and former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru -- will also turn the fragrant exhibit epic. Uncanny and unconventionally named roses such as 'Christian Dior', 'American Heritage', 'First Prize', 'Kiss of Fire' and 'Double Delight' will complement rarities such as the 'Green Rose' with its thin and long green petals, 'Oklahoma' and 'Bonne Nuit' with their almost black texture, and 'Blue Moon' and 'Lady X' with their blue hues.
A variety of bulbous flowers — 'Narcissus', 'Dahlia', 'Sparaxis', 'Ranunculus', 'Hyacianth' and 'Asiatic Lily will also be seen at the gardens. The distinguished teacup-shaped tulip 'Jammu Pink tulip', with its white-edged pink petals will also be exhibited.
Mughal Gardens saw 5.18 lakh visitors last year and has received 3 to 6 lakh visitors every year, since 2003. "The large number of visitors also pose some issues when they don't adhere to guidance and let their children pluck flowers or create disturbance for others," said Joshi.
"There will be security, barricades where necessary and our garden staff will keep an eye on anyone ruining the plants," he added.
The history of the pristine exhibit goes way back; inspired by the Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, it was designed by Edwin Lutyens and includes many elements of British Garden Art. Covered by "doob" grass, which was originally brought from the Belvedere Estate, Kolkata, the lawn is abundantly covered by shade of neatly trimmed trees like Moulsari, Cypress and China Orange.
The visitors will be able to access all three parts of the garden -- rectangular, long and circular -- apart from the spiritual garden, herbal garden and bonsai garden. On their visit to the Mughal Gardens, people can also view the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum, which houses archival photos and drawings of the garden.
The dominant colour scheme of this year's ornamental flowers is white, yellow, red and orange. Like previous years, a small beautified cactus corner with interesting varieties of cactus and succulents has been landscaped, and air-purifying plants have also been showcased in the garden.