The changing seasons bring about a kaleidoscope of colours in the sky; in Feb, the cloudy grey early mornings give way to a cover of myriad shades of blue with fluffy white cumulus clouds orchestrated to hijack our thoughts (for a moment at least), by forming vaguely familiar but mostly mysterious patterns; floating to elsewhere but sometimes just appear standing perfectly still; which after a few hours disappear leaving behind streaks of feathery white; occasionally it’s just a completely cloudless sheet of monochrome indigo by noon and finally tufts of golden fleece and streaks of crimson amidst the white clouds frame the evening sky. These days if you gaze up in the evenings, you can even see a half moon at 5:30 pm 🌛
And here in the Garden City of Bangalore, it’s not just the heavens that change colours, the earth too puts up a competing and spectacular show with the passing seasons. A natural spectacle, I thought until now… Harini Nagendra in her book Nature in the City writes…
“Inspired by the Sanskrit poet Kalidasa’s Ritusamhara, these administrators moved away from the focus of pete (pronounced ‘paytay’ the populous commercial and residential part of old Bangalore) on shade providing, fruit-bearing, large canopied trees such as the mango, banyan and tamarind traditionally planted on Indian roadsides. Instead they selected exotic trees from different parts of the world with a focus on visually spectacular blossoms. The mix of trees were carefully selected to ensure sequential blooming, such that the viewer…”Nature in the City by Harini Nagendra
“…need not sigh on finding one day that that beautiful yellow blossom has gone. For he is sure to discover soon after that the very next tree is all smiles, with a burst of white Frangipanis. A few yards away, and just a few weeks later, another tree, which was till now only a thick, shade-giving canopy of green leaves, waiting like a member of an orchestra for his turn to come alive with his piece, will be covered with a shimmering mantle of gold coins as if to prove that summer has its precious compensations.
The City’s created aesthetic was made possible by the colonial regime, which imported flowering tree species from far flung parts of the colonized world.”Blossoms of Bangalore by T P Issar
And so the majestic trees that provide the colorful drapes which adorn the streets of Bangalore have been carefully selected and planted with thought by the administrators. It is only last year by March that I began to notice the sequential bloom among the Bangalore’s adored street trees and the magic created by the changing hues. 👉Tabebuia bloom in Bangalore 🌸🌸
This year, the first show of colours to burst forth is from the Bougainvillea; it is so common here, but apparently it is native to South America. It is named after the French navigator Louis-Antoine de Bougainville who collected the plant during his sailing expedition around the world.
It is not a tree, but a woody creeper and the pictures of the bougainvillea here are from the garden around our apartment complex. It’s often grown as a hedge plant and is seen draping the boundary walls of many apartment complexes and homes in Bangalore; the exotica comes from seeing new colours in bloom. They are also seen planted along the central median of the roads in the city.
Purple bougainvillea is for me the most common; the colour is as always spectacular !!
And we do have a bunch of other colours in bougainvillea around our apartment complex- the white is pretty 🤍 ; the small and actual flowers of the bougainvillea are seen framed by the more colorful bracts.
They are almost red from afar, but close up they look more magenta or fuchsia, these bracts are a standout 💖👇
We have an orange and pink bougainvillea climbing up an Australian Almond tree 🌳
The colourful clusters of bracts look full and yet so light; watching them sway gently in the wind is a lovely sight. There are also the hybrid varieties 👇
The dry February weather seems perfect for the bougainvilleas and the colours are picturesque !!
Till next post, take care !!