Ever wondered where Singapore got its “Garden City” moniker? Well, much of that credit should go to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where many of Singapore’s current crops and plant species were first introduced.
Established in 1859, the 74-hectare botanical garden boasts a beautiful landscape of sloping hills, winding paths and lakes that entertain a steady stream of tourists, locals and nature lovers. Ask any local and they’ll probably be able to recall a childhood spent hanging from the garden’s century-old Tembusu tree or dancing round the water’s edge at Swan Lake, eagerly awaiting the appearance of the lake’s two resident swans. Framed by lush foliage, The Swan Lake Gazebo, nicknamed “The Bandstand”, conjures up images of ravishing summer romances. It’s little wonder the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a favourite photo shoot location for couples tying the knot.
A spectacular show of tropical flora beckons to anyone strolling through the various themed gardens – from the peaceful Zen of the Bonsai garden to the spicy aroma that pervades the Ginger Garden. The gentle meandering slopes of the Palm Valley seem made for lazy afternoons stretched out on a picnic mat – the perfect manner to enjoy a musical performance on the Symphony Stage.
The National Orchid Garden is home to the world’s largest orchid display, a prized species that includes Singapore’s national flower – the Vanda Miss Joaquim and a number of other orchid hybrids named after celebrities and honorary members of society. Within the sprawling perimeters of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a rare pocket of primeval rainforest still stands. Its multi-layered ecosystem sustains over 300 different species of vegetation, many of which are extremely rare in Singapore.