The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 2 Gardens of the Plains - Agra

Bauhinia variegata flowering tree

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The blossoming arghwan trees (Bauhinia variegata) whose mingled reds and yellows so delighted Babar, were flowering shrubs; and must not be confused with the arghwan (anemone) parterres with which he was so struck in the beautiful gardens he visited on his march past Attock:-'In different beds, the ground was covered with purple and yellow arghwan flowers. On the one hand were beds of yellow flowers, in bloom; on the other hand, red flowers were in blossom. In many places they sprang up in the same bed, mingled together as if they had been flung and scattered abroad. I took my seat on a rising ground near the camp, to enjoy the view of all the flower-plots. On the six sides of this eminence they were formed as into regular beds. On one side were yellow flowers; on the other purple, laid out in triangular beds. On two other sides there were fewer flowers; but, as far as the eye could reach, there were flower gardens of a similar kind. In the neighbourhood of Peshawar, during the spring, the flower-plots are exquisitely beautiful.' A judgment which still holds good, as those must agree, who, like Babar, have passed through Northern India in spring-time: the brief northern spring, when even the exposed, dusty bungalow-gardens are lit up by the wonder of the rose bushes, ending as the first blast of the burning summer winds blows out the roses' fairy lamps of red, pink, white, and yellow. [Note: Bauhinia variegata (Orchid Tree or Mountain Ebony) is a flowering tree belonging to the family Fabaceae]