Nation Current Affairs 09 Jun 2019 Ooty remembers Botan ...

Ooty remembers Botanical garden’s creator

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | B RAVICHANDRAN
Published Jun 9, 2019, 2:39 am IST
Updated Jun 9, 2019, 3:25 am IST
McIvor, the gardener par excellence, who travelled from the Kew gardens in London to Ooty way back in 1848 to develop this garden at Ooty.
Shiva Subramanian Samraj, joint director of Horticulture in Nilgiris, placed a wreath at the grave of W. G. McIvor at the cemetery at St.Stephen’s church in  Ooty. (Photo: DC)
 Shiva Subramanian Samraj, joint director of Horticulture in Nilgiris, placed a wreath at the grave of W. G. McIvor at the cemetery at St.Stephen’s church in Ooty. (Photo: DC)

Ooty: W.G. McIvor, creator of the famed Government Botanical Garden (GBG) here, was remembered on his 143rd  death anniversary on Saturday, as grateful hearts led by Mr. Shiva Subramanian Samraj, joint director of Horticulture here, paid homage by placing wreaths at his grave at the cemetery of the St. Stephen’s church here. McIvor, the gardener par excellence, who travelled from the Kew gardens in London to Ooty way back in 1848 to develop this garden at Ooty, died on June 8 in 1876 at the age of 53.  His mortal remains had been buried at the cemetery attached to the St.Stephen’s church here.Perhaps, McIvor himself would not have envisaged that the GBG in Ooty would become a global tourist attraction and would carry on the British garden culture legacy to stay in this queen of the hill stations for ever for the posterity to enjoy.

Nilgiris veteran Dharmalingam Venugopal, the Director of Nilgiri Documentation Centre, in a note on McIvor’s death anniversary said that Governor Sir Charles Trevelyan who visited the gardens in February 1860 wrote, “I have visited the garden and entirely agree with Dr. Cleghorn (Father of Forestry in Madras state)  that Mr. McIvor deserves great credit for the manner in which he had laid it out. The garden is both a beautiful pleasure ground and a valuable public institution for the improvement of indigenous and the naturalization of foreign plants; and it has been formed from the commencement by Mr. McIvor, , with great industry and artistic skill, out of a rude ravine”. Incidentally, the famous lawn of the garden was not by choice.

 

As frost continuously frustrated all efforts to grow some plants, McIvor decided to leave the space with just the lawn, Mr. Venugopal noted.

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Location: India, Tamil Nadu, Ooty




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