The splendour of colourful pansies and fragrant roses notwithstanding, the cacti corner and the bonsai segment at the sprawling Mughal Gardens in the Rashtrapati Bhavan here occupy the place of pride this year.

The Gardens, which will be thrown open to the public beginning Saturday, will have cacti in different sizes and colours, apart from exquisitely crafted bonsai plants. In the main Garden, visitors can see roses, lilies, tulips and pansies in full bloom.

“This year, the special attraction will be the cacti corner and the bonsai segment which will add to the beauty of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Visitors, while walking in the gardens, will be able to experience how green surroundings and water bodies can add to an eco-friendly environment by attracting fauna,” said a Rashtrapati Bhavan official.

The Gardens, contiguous to the main Rashtrapati Bhavan building, cover an area of 15 acres. Designed by Edwin Lutyens and inspired by the Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, the garden around the Taj Mahal and Persian and Indian miniature paintings, it has three parts — the first is the rectangular garden adjacent to the main Rashtrapati Bhavan building, divided into four quarters, each with terraced gardens on either side.

“The rectangular garden has several winter seasonal bulbous and flowering beds, with a prominence of a variety of roses in full bloom. They include Adora, Mrinalini, Taj Mahal, Modern Art, Oklahoma, John F. Kennedy, Virgo, Mr. Lincoln and Folklore. In addition, dahlias, tulips, Asiatic lilies, daffodils, hyacinth and other seasonal flowers suitably incorporated add beauty to central garden,” the official said.

Following the central park, the long garden also has roses like Christian Dior, Queen Elizabeth, Iceberg, Pasadena, Montezuma, Summer Snow, First Prize and Century Two on display.

The circular garden at the western edge is lined with various flowers including violas and dahlias, phlox, poppy and larkspur. “Winter flowers like calendula, antirrhinum, alyssum, dimorphotheca, larkspur, gerbera, brachycome, verbena, viola, and pansy grow well here.”

The biodiversity park, with deer, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowls, turtles, parakeets, rabbits and migratory birds, is an added attraction. “This park is also full of peacocks. Important medicinal and aromatic plants, depicting their uses, can be seen in the educational-cum-conservation herbal garden. The bio-diesel producing plant jatropha, stevia [which provides safe sugar for diabetics], isabgol [plantago], damask rose, ashwagandha, brahmi, mints, tulsi, geranium and 33 other types of herbs can be seen in the herbal garden.”

The gardens will be open for public viewing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days except Mondays until March 11.

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