Historic Personalities

King Mahendra: King Mahendra envisioned the creation of the National Botanical Garden (NBG) on his 1960 visit to the United Kingdom. Later, the NBG was established on October 28, 1962 (Kartik 12, 2019) and inaugurated by King Mahendra.

Khagendra Jung Gurung: Deputy Minister Khagendra Jung Gurung of the Ministry of Forests and Agriculture laid the foundation stone for the NBG on July 12, 1961 (Asadh 28, 2018).

Geoffrey Herklots: Geoffrey Herklots, a natural historian with diverse interests who specializes in orchids and is also an illustrator and architect, assisted in the selection of a plot of land close to the Godawari village in the Lalitpur district, at the foot of Phulchowki. He served as a government advisor to Nepal for two years after his retirement. He participated significantly in the planning and landscaping of what is now known as the Special Garden and was present for the 1962 inauguration. Several of the glasshouses, and the gravity-fed water fountain were all conceived and built by him.

Tony Schilling: After Herklots, Tony Schilling, a horticulture student who later joined the staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, was deputed as a technical advisor to the Nepalese government. Schilling had a particular interest in alpine plants. Over the course of his two-year assignment in 1965–1966 AD, he diligently completed the tasks assigned to him, which included developing the landscape of the Godawari garden as well as gathering and establishing native plants there. Of particular note was the creation of the Rock Garden, whose enormous rocks were moved into position by elephants and humans alike. In the Special Garden, he designed and constructed the Orchid, Cactus, Ornamental Plant, and Cyclamen Houses in 1966.

Hiromasa Miyazawa: The Japanese Style Garden which is located next to the Fern Garden was designed by a Japanese scientist Hiromasa Miyazawa, a volunteer under Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) to Nepal, in 1969–1970 AD. The main features of this Japanese-themed garden are a natural stream, waterfall, bamboo & bushes, pond, a wooden bridge, traditional Japanese gate, the placement of rocks and boulders, etc.

Takashi Watanabe: Takashi Watanabe, a volunteer under the JOCV, supervised the construction of the green house of the Physic Garden in May 1987. The green house was constructed in collaboration between the His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and the JOCV, and it harbors about 30 medicinal and aromatic plant species.

Audrey Hepburn: “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”