Remembering noted botanist GH Krumbiegel, creator of Bangalore’s Lalbagh

A nice tribute. We neither know about such people nor remember them.

“There is a saying about him- German by birth, married an English woman, but his heart always belonged to India.” Alyia Phelps Gardner is talking about her great-grandfather Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel (1865-1956), a German botanist and town planner who was one of the chief architects of the Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

Krumbiegel is credited for having brought over 50% of the nearly 9,000 trees from 800 genera in Lalbagh. His work was also instrumental in the city getting the “Green City” tag. Krumbiegel was responsible for planting seasonally-flowering trees on the city’s avenues so that they would be covered in bloom throughout the year.

Were Gustav Krumbiegel alive today, Gardner says, he would have been “very sad” at the sight of the beautiful city losing its green cover which he had painstakingly worked on creating.

“I feel sad about all the trees, some over 100 years old, being hacked and poisoned. I worry about the pollution and the garbage in the Garden City and I feel he is telling me to stand up.”

A part of several local city groups on Facebook, Gardner has been actively advocating the need to plant trees with the help of local citizens. She is also working on a campaign to restore the dilapidated Krumbiegel Hall.

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