When you drive under the flyover along National Highway 24 near the Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi next, don’t be taken aback if you pass by an elephant, a giraffe, a horse or a deer. Watch out for the odd camel and kangaroo too.

These animals have been brought to life here through the art of wire topiary, in which a wire-mesh is shrouded by a verdant carpet of the clerodendrum inerme plant.

“Plantation”

Local company Garden Paradise, which won this Public Works Department horticulture project, will place 15 of these animals along the median of NH-24 up to Nizamuddin Bridge.

While the elephant will stand tall at a height of 10 feet and the deer between 2.5 feet and 3 feet, the other animals will be between 5 feet and 6 feet high.

Rajiv Vats of Garden Paradise and his men are busy completing the wire structures this weekend and start “plantation” work from Monday and complete it over the next week. Then the PWD will take over.

Watering the plants, trimming the leaves and clipping the stems to maintain the animals “in shape”, protecting the animals from “poaching” (read vandalism) will be the responsibility and headache of the PWD Horticulture Wing.

Though Mr. Vats says the PWD’s gardeners are experienced, he hopes the agency will look after the plants well.

“Eco-friendly project”

“The clerodendrum inerme is like any other plant. It needs only a nominal amount of water. The PWD has enough trained gardeners. If the agency takes care of the plants, the wire structure and the plants can survive for a lot of years,” says the horticulturist with over 10 years’ experience.

The plant grows from the soil deposited in poly bags along the four legs of these animals and will twine up along the limbs on to the rest of the body.

“This is an eco-friendly project, pleasing to the eye, and might provide impetus to taking up more of such works along our highways,” adds Mr. Vats, who had supervised the landscaping along several NDMC roads and at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium.

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