#GoodNews: Karnataka-Tamil Nadu Connect Over New Garden in Ooty
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.(Photo: iStock)

#GoodNews: Karnataka-Tamil Nadu Connect Over New Garden in Ooty

The Cauvery waters may be a bone of contention between the twin south Indian states, but flowers are set to bridge hearts in Tamil Nadu’s Ooty, where a garden developed by the Karnataka government will open on 8 January.

Spread over 38 acres in the Fern Hill area of the picturesque hill station, the Karnataka Siri Horticulture Garden is expected to become a major tourism attraction, top officials said.

We are inaugurating the new garden in Ooty on 8 January. A few top ministers and senior officials from both the states are slated to attend the opening ceremony. Ooty gets about 25 lakh visitors per year and we are expecting 80 percent of those tourists to visit our garden
M Jagadeesh, Joint Director, Karnataka Horticulture Department
Tickseed, marigold and summer asters. Representational image. 
Tickseed, marigold and summer asters. Representational image. 
(Photo: iStock)

He said about 75 different kinds of flowers have been planted in the new garden and special potted plants are being sent to Ooty for the inauguration ceremony.

"It will have a rose garden, and flowers like Camellias, Azaleas, and Begonias. Since Ooty has a temperate climate, plants like Agapanthuses, Calla lilies, Germaniums, and Red Hot Pokers, will be planted to attract visitors,” Jagadeesh said.

Bengaluru-based architect and author Yashaswini Sharma said the people may find it unusual that garden owned by the Karnataka government garden falls in Ooty’s geographical area, but there is a story behind it.

Hydrangea and Goldenrod flowers. Representational image.
Hydrangea and Goldenrod flowers. Representational image.
(Photo: iStock)
This part of the Fern Hill was used for horticultural research before independence when the area came under the Mysore royal family. After independence, it went to the Karnataka government.
Yashaswini Sharma, Author, Bangalore: The Early City: Ad 1537 - 1799

Jagadeesh said the area was chosen for researching on potato tuber production originally, but a "pest attack" left the area in disuse for several decades.

Noted botanist and landscape architect Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, who served as a superintendent of Lalbagh Gardens in Bengaluru from 1908 to early 1930s, was even sent there for research, he said.

Tickseed, Marigold and Summer Asters. Representational Image. 
Tickseed, Marigold and Summer Asters. Representational Image. 
(Photo: iStock)
Since it lay unused for a long time, and Ooty is a tourist destination, the horticulture department decided to develop a garden there
M Jagadeesh, Joint Director, Karnataka Horticulture Department

The area also neighbours the iconic Fern Hill Palace, part of a heritage resort, owned by the erstwhile Mysore royal family.

"It is said, the British put Krumbiegel under house arrest for some time during the Second World War, as he was a German. And, he was housed at Fern Hill Palace. So, Ooty has some Karnataka connect," Yashaswini Sharma added.

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