One of my most favourite things about Bangalore is its trees. Wherever I go in the city, I am fascinated by the trees. Sometimes, they seem to form a warm, protective canopy overhead as I am passing by, and at other times, they force me to look up and pay attention by laying out a pink or purple or orange carpet of their flowers on the ground.
This is one of the most beautiful periods in Bangalore, as far as flowers and trees are concerned. There are pink flowers in bloom on trees all over Bangalore this season, and I can’t seem to stop my smile every time I look at them! They are so pretty, like big balls of bright pink all over trees, and give me the feeling of being in Japan (I don’t know why!) whenever I spot them. They seem to lend a sense of extraordinariness to the roads that I pass through every day, to the places I visit every day.
These pink blooms have, for me, been synonymous with winter for the last 3 years that I have been in Bangalore. Every year around this time, I first begin to notice that nip in the wind in the early mornings and late evenings, then I begin to notice that it is growing dark quite early. As I begin to get out our quilts and colourful woollens, I notice that the city is blooming in bright pink! Trust me, you have to make a trip to Bangalore in this season and see it, if you haven’t already, to understand what I mean.
These lines by Tagore always run through my mind when I look at these lovelies…
When I bring to you colored toys, my child,
I understand why there is such a play of colors on clouds, on water,
and why flowers are painted in tints
—when I give colored toys to you, my child.
Isn’t it so true? Is there a heart that is not uplifted by these little gracious gifts of Nature?
I am pretty soon going to have to whack my BIL’s wonderful camera again, and take some pics of these pink beauties.
A quick Wiki search showed me that these pretty flowers belong to a tree called Tabebuia Rosea, which is native to Mexico. The people here also call it the Pink Trumpet tree or Pink Poui. It is, apparently, the national tree of El Salvador.
Rome was not built in a day. And neither was Bangalore. So I learnt from the Internet. Bangalore follows a system of serial blossoming, pioneered by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. Serial blossoming is a system of planned horticulture, that ensures that in any season, in any part of the year, some tree somewhere in the city is in bloom. As far back as 1908, the king appointed German botanist Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel to plan the horticulture on the avenues of Bangalore. It was Krumbeigel who was responsible for bringing this ornamental tree to the city. And I cannot be thankful enough to him for that! The serial blossoming still happens in Bangalore, and every season, different coloured flowers brighten up the city. It is amazing that the flowering trees I am awed by in different seasons were all meticulously thought over and planted so very long back! Fascinating!
In honour of the wonderful work that Krumbeigel has done, Bangalore has a road (adjoining Lal Bagh botanical garden) named after him.
The next time I find my spirits uplifted by the various beautiful plants and trees that Bangalore boasts of, I am going to spare a thought to the immensely foresighted Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and Krumbeigel, and thank them from the bottom of my heart.