1.1 Historical Background:
Botanical Garden a place protected from public interference, in which plant species that are rare, exotic or useful are grown for scientific or educational purposes. Aristotle in 340 BC established the first botanical garden on record. The oldest public botanical garden was established in Italy in 1543 and with the passage of time it became a tradition in most European cities to have a botanical garden. One of the world’s famous botanical gardens was established at Kew in a suburb of London in 1759, but was officially opened in 1841. Its founder director was Jackson Hooker (1785-1865). Later his illustrious son, the famous botanist Dalton Hooker (1817-1911), gave the garden a fuller character. The Kew Botanical Garden had been and is still providing pivotal help to plant conservation and research and in establishing botanical gardens in different parts of the world. In Calcutta, India, the Royal Botanical Garden was established at Shibpur in 1787. Colonel Robert Kid of the East India Company was its pioneer. In the beginning, cultivation of teak trees was the main goal, but even before Kid died in 1793 this garden had 300 plant species. Subsequently, celebrities such as William Roxburgh, Nathaniel Wallich, George King, David Prain and others turned the garden into one of subcontinent’s most famous botanical gardens.
Image: Botanical garden in Italy in the time of 1600th century.
Image: Botanical garden in London at present
One of the oldest botanical gardens in this part of the Indian subcontinent was established in the city of Dhaka in 1909 at the initiative of the then landlord of the Estate of Baldah, and the garden came to be known as the Balda Garden. Although relatively small in area, the Baldah Garden is famous for its floristic splendor and a large collection of rare and exotic plant species acquired from over 50 different countries during its long lifetime of nearly a century. A much later addition and a garden much larger in area is the National Botanical Garden, which was established in 1961 covering an area of about 84 ha of land located at Mirpur, about 10 km from Dhaka city.
1.2. National Botanical Garden Bangladesh:
The National Botanical Garden of Bangladesh and the make up the largest plant conservation center in Bangladesh. It is one of the greatest botanical gardens of Bangladesh, a knowledge center for nature lovers and botanists and a tourist destination. The herbarium has a scientific collection of approximately 100,000 preserved specimens of plants. It is divided into 57 sections, and is managed by Forest Department under Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh. The garden houses about 56,000 individual trees, herbs, and shrubs including a huge collection of aquatic plants. Many exotic plants have been introduced in the garden and acclimatised, and are routinely propagated under the local climatic conditions. Rare and exotic plant species found in the garden include Anthurium (Anthurium crystallinum), Camphor (Cinamomum camphora), Rabbit Fern (Davallia canariensis), Dambia (Dombeya spectabilis), white ‘Rangan’ (Ixora superba), little Mussanda (Mussaenda luteola), Amazon Lily (Victoria amazonica),’Harhjora’ (Vitis quadrangularis), African Tulip (Spathodea campanulata), Sambucuas (Sambucusnigra), white ‘Chandan’ (Santalum album), etc. A modern vegetativepropagation
arrangement and a tissue culture laboratory have been established in the garden for propagation of rare species. Initially, tissue culture of orchids and other rare species have been adopted. Besides, a huge rose garden, crisscrossing lake, watch deck, artificial water fall, bridge over the lake and above all the thousands of migratory birds in winter are the main attractions of the National Botanical Garden. There are cactus house, lily pond, Amazon lily pond, six lakes, tissue culture research Centre, two nurseries, orchid house, two net houses, five shadow rooms, nine visitor’s sheds, three snake corners, eight toilets, two watchtowers, one artificial lake and Padma pond. At the UNESCO convention on Scientific Problems of Humid Tropical Deltas declared to hold this garden in Dhaka in 1964.
Image: Botanical garden in Bangladesh at present
2. Features of Botanical Garden:
Botanical gardens must find a compromise between the need for peace and seclusion, while at the same time satisfying the public need for information and visitor services that include
restaurants, information centers and sales areas that bring with them rubbish, noise, and
hyperactivity. Attractive landscaping and planting design sometimes compete with scientific
interests with science now often taking second place. Some gardens are now heritage landscapes that are subject to constant demand for new exhibits and exemplary environmental management. Here are the main four features of Botanical Garden:
2.1. Ex-situ Conservation:
Conservation can come in many forms. There are two ways of categorizing conservation efforts by institutions like botanical gardens, ex-situ and in-situ. Ex-situ conservation involves the preservation of biological diversity outside of the natural habitat. An example of this at the botanic garden I visited is a seed bank, which is where they store and conserve seeds from all kinds of plant species. Whether it’s due to human-induced factors like GMO or natural mechanisms like cross-pollination, the genetic diversity of plant species across the world can be reduced over time due to such processes so having seed banks help with retaining the genetic profiles of imperiled or rare plant species.
2.2. In-situ Conservation:
Not all conservation efforts happen within the confines of a garden. In-situ conservation involves the preservation of biodiversity in the natural habitats. As I was doing more research, I came across the Ecological Restoration Alliance, a global consortium of botanic gardens with a mission to actively engage in ecological restoration. This form of conservation is common in places like national parks and sanctuaries.
2.3. Educational Activities:
Turns out botanic gardens offer fun and interesting workshops and classes. Examples include photography classes, gardening workshops, landscape design workshops, and floral design classes. Search online for your local botanic gardens and see what kind of workshops they offer. As a keen photographer, there is probably no better place for me to snap nature photography than at a botanic garden.
2.4. Research & Development:
Research is a core aspect of a botanic garden’s mission. As you may suspect, a lot of the research revolve around plant science. Growing our knowledge around studies like horticulture and taxonomy is important as the world continues to change. As you can see, botanic gardens serve a number of important roles to not just the environment but to our community as well. Hopefully, you’ll be just as inspired as I was after making a trip to a botanic garden. If you have any great stories to share with our readers then please contact us and we will add to this page.Many others are listed below to give a sense of the scope of botanical gardens’ activities at that time, and the ways in which they differed from parks.
display of plant diversity in form and use
display of plants of particular regions (including local)
plants sometimes grown within their particular families
major timber trees
plants of economic significance
glasshouse plants of different climates
all plants accurately labelled
records kept of plants and their performance
catalogues of holdings published periodically research facilities utilizing the living
examples of different vegetation types
selection and introduction of ornamental and other plants to commerce
studies of plant chemistry
report on the effects of plants on livestock
at least one collector maintained doing field work
National Botanical garden is generally open for all kinds of people like students, children’s,
couples, aged etc. For sake of them there have some shortcomings in garden.
In the morning many people go out for exercise in this area, but everyone can not enter
in garden without tickets.
There have no sufficient rest house or road side bench for the visitors because it’s a very
large area to visit at a time.
There have no medication system or medical center for an accident or emergency of aged
people because in rainy day the roads get slippery where anyone can slipped.
There have some uplands, ponds, small and big bushes, bamboo field where can stay
some dangerous snakes or other animals which can attack people to harm.
Sometimes there happens some inappropriate incident like hijacking, eve teasing, and
sometimes women forced to be outrage.
There have no ambulance service for emergency.
Some school and college students go there for relaxation in their daily administrative
The way to Botanical garden have no good transport service so that many people don’t
want to go.
National botanical garden is an enrichment for our country. To save and develop this we have to
be determined and aware. we can introduce our country to the world in a new way by protecting
this heritage site. We have some recommendations against these inappropriate situations and
management, they are in the below :
Environment and forest ministry should look after this garden strictly as a national
A medical center is essential for the visitor’s emergency situation.
In rainy days the roads and bushes have to be keep neat and clean.
The number of security guard have to increase and their duty should observe actively.
Some police force or other security force should keep there standby for immediate action.
University students of botany department should have proper access in the garden to
study and to help how to maintain this heritage.
Ambulance service have to add with the other facilities.
To keep neat and clean there have to increase dustbins in proper place.
School and college students will have access in garden on administrative time with a
teacher or a permission letter otherwise they should not have access in garden.
National Zoo situated beside botanical garden so they can run a transport service jointly.
Botanical gardens have always responded to the interests and values of the day. Botanical
gardens were gardens for physicians and botanists, but then they progressively became more associated with ornamental horticulture and the needs of the general public. The scientific reputation of a botanical garden is now judged by the publications coming out of herbaria and similar facilities, not by its living collections.The interest in economic plants now has less relevance, and the concern with plant classification systems has all but disappeared, while a fascination with the curious, beautiful and new seems unlikely to diminish.
In recent times, the focus has been on creating an awareness of the threat to the
Earth’s ecosystems from human overpopulation and its consequent need for biological and
physical resources. Botanical gardens provide an excellent medium for communication between the world of botanical science and the general public. Education programs can help the public develop greater environmental awareness by understanding the meaning and importance of ideas like conservation and sustainability. So in future we have not much time but we can try our best to reserve or sustainability of the plants by improving botanical garden.
Field survey at The National Botanical Garden