This year around ten lakh tulips have been planted in the garden, spread over an area of 15 hectares."This year around ten lakh tulip flowers will be in bloom comprising of 53 varieties in total," an official of the Floriculture Department said.

He said the department has planted the tulip bulbs in a phased manner so that the flowers remain in the garden for a month or more.

"The average life span of the tulip flower is three to four weeks but heavy rains or too much of heat can destroy them. This year, we have planted the bulbs in a phased manner to increase their longevity. That way there will be tulips in the garden for the whole month or even more," he said.

The official said the department has imported three lakh fresh bulbs from Holland this season."Some 3.3 lakh bulbs and more than 36 quintals of seeds have been grown from the previous stock. In addition to tulips, more than 70,000 bulbs will be in bloom during this season," he said.

In addition to the tulips, the other flowers grown in the garden include Hyacinths, Narcissus, Daffodils, Muscuria and Iris.The opening of the garden, in the foothills of Zabarwan Range, marks the beginning of a new tourism season in Kashmir Valley.

Formerly known as Siraj Bagh, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden was opened in 2008 by the then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The idea of the garden was conceived to advance the tourism season in the Valley by two months. Last year the garden was thrown open to public on April 5.

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