With an aim of exploring nature using foldscope, a nature walk was organized by GGDSD College, Chandigarh. On 13th September, 2018, we were taken for a visit to the P.U botanical garden.
This beautiful garden is taken care by Botany department of Panjab University, Chd. On reaching the garden, we were greeted by the calm and quite environment. After making an entry in the register at the gate, we moved in. Not many visitors could be spotted at this time of the day. The only noise that could be heard was of the chirping birds.
Mr. Gurdev Singh, garden in-charge interacted with the college students and highlighted the rare and indigenous plants growing over there. Though I have been to many landscape gardens, It was my first visit to a botanical garden where I could see various types of plants – trees and creepers as well as blooming flowers that I had never seen in my life.
Moving along the entry path we were directed towards the huge cluster of bamboos swaying with the wind.
Nearby I saw a unique tree with its leaves forming a pocket-like pouch at the rear end. It was the rare Ficus krishna tree. I also came across Ginkgo biloba, the important Gymnosperm planted a few years back.
Many Pinus and Abies trees with their cones fallen on the ground were seen. Though I wanted to take home one, but my teachers told it is the property of the garden and not permissible.
Moving on a huge Peepal tree with hanging roots was visible. I had always seen prop roots only in photographs, but was viewing them actually for the first time. The hanging roots reminded of the saints (called Jatadharis as told by my grandma) that would sit under it and meditate for long periods and their beards and hair grew like these unlimitedly.
The mesmerizing beauty of the lotus and Nymphaea is beyond description. The large floating leaves filled the pond and we collected samples of algae and zooplanktons present in the pond.
We were allowed to move into the Cactus house after giving some precautions about the prickly thorns. It appeared as if we are entering into some unknown world as we moved in through its gate. Large number of cactii could be seen there. We posed for photographs. But after sometime it was difficult to stand because of excessive heat.
The next to be seen were some wild creepers that had climbed the trees in wilderness. Nearby along one of the backyard walls of the garden, I could make out ferns. They had grown forming a mat in between the bricks. Even a climbing vine growing along the ferns made us realize how plants grow in nature together irrespective of their group and category.
A large number of other annual and perennial plants were also seen in the garden. Some of these were cultivated pot ferns, while others were growing wild like Phyllanthus niruri, Chenopodium alba, Euphorbia hirta, etc.
Even the caretaker showed us the 3 O’ clock plant that bloomed right as the clock struck 3.00 p.m. We were by now tired and hungry, so walked to the student centre to have some refreshments and assembled to move back.
The visit was a memorable one and gave an insight to the diverse flora growing there.
B.Sc 5th Sem.