Friday 1 February 2013

Singapore Botanic Gardens: photo essay

This is the 2nd in a series of blogs based on my recent visits to Singapore and Australia.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens takes up a large part of the island of Singapore (183 acres), and is one of Singapore's greatest pleasures. Right in the middle of a very busy city, it is an oasis of calm, colour and bird song. I had arrived in Singapore just a few hours before after a 12-hour flight from London, and it was just the place for stretching out the aching bones and for enjoying fresh air within lush surroundings. This is a predominately photo essay blog, so you too can enjoy some of the tropical flora of Singapore.

Note, I was unable to find labels for many of the plants. Everything was so lush and fecund that I suspect plant growth hid many of them!

Entrance gate

Green, green, green, including moss and Asplenium growing on the tree trunk

Such wonderful tropical colours

Totem pole and pond

Cheilocostus speciosus - Crepe Ginger

Another Ginger, who's tag I couldn't find. Fine specimen

Fascinating, in a weird way. I wasn't sure what to
make of this flower!

Bird sipping nectar from a flower

This plant, though delicate looking, was planted on many streets
throughout Singapore. Could obviously easily survive
busy traffic and car pollution.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens also holds the National Orchid Garden.

What I found personally interesting was how lovely I found it seeing orchids growing en mass. I'm not a fan of the single orchid woefully sitting on a window sill of a small English terrace house. Clearly out of place and not that happy with it's environment. But I was wowed by seeing orchids growing on mass in their native habitat. For the first time, in the right context, I understood peoples love of orchids. Here are just a few (again, not always labelled) that I enjoyed.

Epidendrum hybrid

Something rather alien but beautiful about some of the orchids

This blue and the red orchid behind, looked stunning. Not sure I would put the colours together like that,
but in context, I felt it worked.

Again, more bright colours together. I love these two.
Colour clash!

This was my favourite orchid. Simple beauty, and I loved the way it grew between the branches of a tree

Dendrobium 'Margaret Thatcher'
Orchids are lovely, but some are named after not very lovely people...

Wonderfully planted arches of orchids

The tropical heat causes mosses to grow quite beautifully.

I spent several hours at the botanic gardens, and didn't get to see everything. So an excuse to return one day. Not that I need one. Singapore Botanic Gardens is a must see when you are in Singapore. Great for recovering from long flights. Even better for enjoying tropical planting.

See also: Singapore Greening