Had my first visit to Singapore Botanic Garden.
Beautiful place with greenery everywhere. I was lucky the weather was sunny when I went there.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a dynamic and living monument to the foresight of the founding fathers of Singapore. Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore and a keen naturalist, established the first botanical and experimental garden on Government Hill (Fort Canning Hill) in 1822, shortly after his arrival in Singapore. He aimed to introduce cultivation of economic crops such as cocoa and nutmeg. However, without a full-time salaried director and sufficient funding, the garden languished and was closed in 1829, after Raffles’ death.
The Gardens at its present site was founded in 1859 by an Agri-Horticultural Society. Planned as a leisure garden and ornamental park, the Society organised flower shows and horticultural fetes. In 1874, the Society handed over management and maintenance of the site to the government. The scientific mission of the Gardens evolved when the colonial government assumed management and deployed Kew-trained botanists and horticulturists to administer the Gardens.
It is fair to say that the history of the Gardens is in many respects the history of its dedicated administrators. The Gardens’ first Director, Henry Nicholas Ridley, came to the Gardens in 1888 and worked tirelessly for the next 23 years to usher the Gardens into the twentieth century and its most productive period historically. Ridley’s zealous persistence in persuading Malaya’s planters to grow rubber trees earned him less than flattering nicknames such as “Mad Ridley” and “Rubber Ridley”. During the 1890s and early 1900s, Ridley devised successful propagation methods and also discovered a way to harvest commercial quantities of latex without harming or killing the trees. He advocated the large-scale cultivation of rubber in Malaya. Planters in Malaya largely ignored Ridley until their coffee plantations were devastated by disease and they desperately required a new cash crop. During this time, demand for rubber soared as the automobile industry boomed. As Ridley had turned the Gardens forest clearings and waste land over to rubber, the Gardens had a ready source of seed supply when the rubber rush came. The Gardens’ revenue multiplied greatly as the region became a major market for the rubber trade. The plants at the Botanic Gardens became the basis for Southeast Asia’s rubber industry, an industry that generated fortunes.
Beginning in 1928, Professor Eric Holttum, Director of the Gardens from 1925 – 1949, set up laboratories and conducted the first experiments in orchid breeding and hybridisation. The results of these experiments, free flowering and hardy orchid hybrids laid the foundation for the multi-million dollar cut flower industry. Since then, outstanding hybrids have been cultivated in the Gardens and received recognition worldwide.
By the mid 1960s, the Gardens was taking a leading role in the greening of Singapore. To meet the need for urban landscapes and recreational areas, the Gardens’ staff became involved in supplying planting material and in plant introduction to increase the variety and colour in road side and park plantings.
In 1973, the Botanic Gardens merged with the Parks and Trees branch of the Public Works Department, which became the Parks and Recreation Department.
In 1988, a big leap forward occurred when Dr Tan Wee Kiat became Director of the Gardens. While the Gardens remained committed to its role in making Singapore a Garden City and meeting recreational needs, renewed focus on being a leading international institution for tropical botany was established. Excellence in botanical research, education programmes and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Gardens were emphasised. Under Dr Tan’s direction, the 3-hectares National Orchid Garden, a major tourist attraction today, was established.
Saw many squirrels on the trees 🙂
Some more information about the opening hours.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
|Opening hours:||5 am to 12 midnight daily|
National Orchid Garden
|Opening hours:||8.30 am to 7 pm daily (last ticket sale at 6pm).|
It’s a pity I didn’t get to see the Orchid Garden. It was starting to to rain and I forgot my umbrella 😀
How to get there?
Entrance to the Gardens is easy through the Gardens’ major entrances: Tanglin Gate, Burkill Gate, Nassim Gate and Cluny Park Gate, and through the Bukit Timah Entrance.
Car Parking Facilities are available at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Visitor Centre, Bukit Timah Car Park at Bukit Timah Core, Botany Centre, Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden and Public Parking along Tyersall Avenue.
Get to the Gardens by Public Bus
via Holland Road or Bukit Timah Road.
Via Holland Road
SBS Transit 7, 105, 123, 174
SMRT 75, 77, 106
Via Bukit Timah Road
SBS Transit 48, 66, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170
SMRT 67, 171
a) Coach Drop-off Point is located at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Visitor Centre, the Ginger Garden Coach Drop-off Point and Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
b) Coach Parking is available at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Visitor Centre, Tyersall Avenue Public Coach Park and Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
By Mass Rapid Transit (MRT, Circle Line):
Alight at Eco Garden (North end of the Gardens) via the Botanic Gardens Station.
This new station along the Circle Line brings you closer to the junction of Bukit Timah and Cluny Park Road and provides you access to the NUS School of Law.
All info taken from Singapore Botanic Garden’s website.
It is a nice place for those who like to relax and enjoy natural scenery. The place is big and I only toured half of it.
Planning to go again for the second round! 😀