New Delhi, Feb 12 IANS | 10 months ago

A wide variety of tulips, aquaponic cultivation and vertical cultivation are included in the list of attractions for 'Udyanotsav' (Garden Festival) 2014, which begins Feb 16 at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

The two models of cultivation have been set up for the first time at President's Estate as part of the festival.

"This is essentially to educate the public. Using these models, one can cultivate plants and produce food without putting in much labour and cost," U.D. Kukreti, officer on special duty, horticulture, told IANS.

He said in the aquaponic cultivation model, fish excreta (rich in ammonia) is used as a fertiliser for plants, which in turn purify the water for the fish in the aquarium.

"It yields twice than the conventional system and uses 85 percent less water," he added.

However, the main attraction this year are the tulips which have been especially imported from the Netherlands.

"Five thousand tulips in colours of red, orange, yellow mixed with red and white have been planted in phases. These tulips thrive at a temperature ranging between 5 degrees Celsius to 15 degrees Celsius. Hope the capital's temperature only enhances their growth," Kukreti said.

He added that the tulips could not bloom last year owing to climatic conditions.

Alongside tulips, visitors can also enjoy the beauty of other flowers that include various varieties of roses like Just Joey, Montezuma, Eiffel Tower and Scentimental, along with Viola, Marigold and Stock.

President Pranab Mukherjee will open the annual festival Feb 15.

The gardens will remain open to the public from Feb 16 to March 16. They will be open exclusively to farmers March 18, differently abled March 19 and defence and para-military personnel March 20.

(Posted on 12-02-2014)

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