NEW DELHI: Spring is here and so is the . With the of several of flowers for the first time this year, the and in have already adorned a colourful look.

Buoyed by the success in growing tulips last year, usually found in colder climates, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has introduced at least 10 more bulbous flowering plants such as hyacinth, muscari, Oriental and Asiatic lily, ranunculus and Iris bulbs from The Netherlands.

NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar said the horticulture department had succeeded in growing tulips at Children’s Park in India Gate, Lodhi Gardens and Nehru Park in Chankaypuri last winter, though they belonged to an entirely different climatic condition.

“Around 17,000 bulbs of the varieties such as Purple Prince, Red Impression, Crystal Star, Queensland and Orange Queen were successfully grown in Children’s Park and Lodhi Gardens,” said Kumar. At least 90% of them survived, prompting NDMC to introduce more varieties this year, he added.

The civic agency imported 62,000 pre-programmed bulbs in the first week of December and kept them in nurseries for some time before sowing them in parks and gardens. “The hyacinth and tulips are now in full bloom and they had become the centre of attraction for people, particularly children,” said a senior NDMC official. “People are daily enquiring about their cultivation.” The 24 varieties of tulips tried this year include Purple Pink, First Proud and Royal Virgin.

Explaining the reason for preferring imported varieties over procuring local species from Kashmir, the NDMC official said local species were generally not programmed properly. “We preferred hybrid bulbs of exotic flowering plants because these can easily adapt themselves to changed weather conditions and soil,” the official explained. For better results, NDMC paid extra attention during the plantation process such as sowing bulbs at appropriate time and temperature (below 10 degrees Celsius), and in good soil condition, he added.

With sustained efforts and the scientific approach of the horticulture department, these exotic plants have been cultivated in a humid subtropical climatic zone, he said. “Plants like hyacinth are usually imported to Delhi by florists. But we have got 95% success rate in growing them till date,” said NDMC chairman Kumar.

The life of these flowers are 18-20 days, so Delhiites can enjoy them at busy roundabouts, gardens and parks till the beginning of March. Many such flowers are also blooming at Talkatora Garden, the roundabout opposite the Vice-President’s residence and Shantipath.

“Since these sites are open to all, we have deputed guards to protect these flowers from getting damaged. We also request people to treat these plants properly so that we get motivated to introduce more varieties at public places in future,” said the official.

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