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Indian Summer

7 May, 2009 (05:00) | south asia | By: xensen

Kew Gardens and the British Museum have teamed up on a project called Indian Summer that sounds very cool.

J. S. Marcus writes in the WSJ:

Kew has … installed a special Indian garden in the museum’s forecourt. Designed by Kew horticulturalists Steve Ruddy and Richard Wilford, “India Landscape” transforms 440 square meters of lawn into a concise overview of the Indian subcontinent’s three main habitats: the Himalayan Mountains, the temperate woodlands of the Himalayan foothills and the humid subtropical lowlands.

The Himalayas are conjured up with a vertical rock garden, surrounded by pine trees and cranesbill. The temperate zone includes a Himalayan walnut tree and a blue poppy, one of the world’s truly blue flowers. The subtropical regions come to life thanks to a lotus filled pond, and a mature banyan tree. The winding path, in the shadow of the British Museum’s neoclassical fa├žade, has a dense but spacious quality, and the gardeners have somehow managed to create a sense of north-south travel as we make our way from barren rocks to the spidery lushness of the banyan.

The British Museum will collaborate with Kew on:

  • Garden and Cosmos: the Royal Paintings of Jodhpur, May 28 to August 23.
  • India Landscape, May 2 to September 28, British Museum forecourt, free.
    Culture of import
  • A Bollywood film festival
  • Evenings of Indian performance, dance, music, and food
  • Lunchtime lectures in the new garden, by museum curators and Kew gardeners, on Indian medicinal plants, horticulture, landscapes and ecology
  • Painting and printing workshops, recreating traditional Indian craft techniques

A nice program!