Nursery section upgraded with new nursery

The sprawling botanical garden on the Museum and Zoo premises, the city’s green lung, has hundreds of varieties of trees and plants which have been there for years.

But the admirers of this greenery are often oblivious of the real action taking place at backstage, at the nurseries and greenhouse, where exotic plants and trees are nurtured and grown to replenish the garden every passing year.

Spread over two acres, the nursery section that houses thousands of saplings and potted plants, has been recently upgraded with a new greenhouse.

The new greenhouse is spread over 200 sq m.

The Kerala Agro-Industries Corporation carried out the work at a cost of Rs.8 lakh.

Currently, the plants are being shifted to the new greenhouse from the old one that had about 1,500 Anthurium species, 25 varieties of bonsai and various other saplings.

Difficult

“When these plants are kept in the ground, especially in the old greenhouse, we noticed that roots of other trees grow with them, affecting the growth of the potted plants. It is also difficult to maintain a control over the climate changes in the old structure,” said G.R. Rajagopal, Garden Curator.

Over the years, the team of gardeners has been engaged in nurturing the plants, re-potting them every three or six months and taking care of the many exotic as well as indigenous species of plants that this age-old botanical garden boasts of.

Monitor

The curator said the team had to constantly monitor the exotic varieties that were potted because of a number of factors that could affect their growth.

“Certain plants such as the Monodora Grandiflora are very rare and are found only in six places in the country. However, these plants flower but are not producing seeds due to the varying growth conditions. So we have to constantly monitor the growth of these plants and greenhouses offer better control over the growing environment of the plants,” he added.

Causes for concern

Environment pollution and the negligent attitude of the visitors towards the care of the trees are causes for concern for the team, whose work starts from four in the morning and continues till late in the evening.

Damage

“People carelessly throwing the waste around trees can cause a lot of damage. Many trees are affected with fungus and it is a challenge for the team to keep the garden clear of any such problems,” pointed out Mr. Rajagopal.