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Sheila’s new plants to bring birds and animals to her garden

While the monsoon has yet to make its presence felt in the city,tree plantation has started at an unlikely place — Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s residence.

Written by Neha Sinha | New Delhi |
July 24, 2009 12:22:51 am

While the monsoon has yet to make its presence felt in the city,tree plantation has started at an unlikely place — Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s residence.

Her residence,3,Motilal Nehru Marg,may be the haunt of politicians but the lady herself wants more visitors of the winged kind.

On Tuesday,Dikshit planted 50 trees along with a group of school children in an attempt to create a “peacock corner”,a “sparrow corner”,and a “butterfly corner”.

For over a year now,scientists and biologists have been creating a nature trail at the CM’s residence,with several varieties of plants and grass. But the plantation on Tuesday was aimed at bringing birds and animals to the garden — so the focus was on fruit trees for birds,grasses for peacocks and flowers for the butterflies.

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Large saplings have been planted with the hope of more rainfall. “The CM told us she is aiming at creating an ‘ecological park’ out of her garden. So the species chosen are native to Delhi,and are fruit and flower bearing to attract fauna,” a senior official of the Environment department said.

Officials point out that a regular monsoon will help establish the saplings. “The saplings are 3 to 4 feet tall. They are being watered regularly but the monsoon will establish them properly,” an official said.

Birds and animals are being wooed with an elaborate game plan. On Tuesday the CM herself planted fruit trees for birds and bats: four varieties of pomegranate,sweet tamarind,ficus,ber (small yellow fruit),jackfruit and jamun. Flowering Milkweed,known to be a good butterfly host plant,which is also lived in by butterfly larvae,was also planted. For peacocks and sparrows,grass that provide tiny granular seeds were sown.

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And one part of the garden will now be the botany section — the CM planted two species of menthol (pudina),tej patta,cardamom,camphor (the kind used in worship),and black pepper.

Speaking to Newsline earlier,Dikshit had said she missed the sparrow,which she saw throughout her childhood.

There are other advantages of being in the CM’s garden — the swish,leafy area ensures minimum humidity,said scientists. “The surrounding area has a lot of green cover and the general moisture in the air is high. The saplings are also being irrigated regularly. Still,we are eagerly waiting for the rains!” an official said.

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First published on: 24-07-2009 at 12:22:51 am

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