Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel
Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel (December 18, 1865, Lohmen, Kingdom of Saxony - February 8, 1956, Bangalore) was a German botanist and garden designer who was best known for his work at the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens in Bangalore and for the planning of the avenues of Bangalore.
Life and work
Krumbiegel was born in Lohmen near Dresden, and his early studies were in Wilsdruff and Dresden after which he trained in horticulture. In 1884 he worked in Schwerin and from 1885 to 1887 he worked as a landscape gardener in Hamburg. In 1888, he moved to England, designing flower beds at the Hyde Park and became a staff at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew. He then took up a position in 1893 with the princely state of Baroda as Curator of the botanical gardens there. He also worked with the Government Botanical Gardens at Ootacamund and was responsible for redesign of the architecture. In 1908 he was requested by Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the ruler of Mysore to serve him and he succeeded John Cameron at the Lal Bagh Gardens as an economic botanist and superintendent. He introduced numerous plants and was involved in the design of the Brindavan Gardens. He was also involved with the Mysore Horticultural Society that was started in 1912. Although outside his key work area, he was often involved in architectural design. The Dewan of Mysore appointed him as an architectural consultant despite protests from the British Resident in Mysore. During the Second World War, Germans in India were declared as enemies and Krumbiegel was along with other Germans kept in an internment camp in Bangalore.
He obtained seeds from other countries and sent collections in return to Kew and the United States of America. These included Indian specialities such as bamboo rice, varieties of rice, mango and others.
Apart from his work with horticulture and economic botany, he was responsible in the introduction of many ornamental plants and flowering trees and was involved in the choice of avenue trees for Bangalore. The road adjoining the Lal Bagh botanical garden is named after him as Krumbiegel road.
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- Letter from Chief Secretary to H. Trevelyan Esqr. Secretary to the Hon’ble Resident of Mysore - Enemy Foreigners: 1) G.H. Krumbiegal; 2) Dr. O. H. Koenigsberger; 3) Otto Schmidt; 4) Captain Charles Chimani, September 6, 1939, File No. 66-40, S. No.1-28, GOM War, KSA, Bangalore, Karnataka.
- Baweja, Vandana (2008). A Pre-history of Green Architecture: Otto Koenigsberger and Tropical Architecture, from Princely Mysore to Post-colonial London. Unpublished Ph D thesis, University of Michigan. hdl:2027.42/60709.
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- Anon. Journal of the Mysore Horticultural Society, Issue 1, 1956 (obituary)