Sunday, October 05, 2014

National Orchid Garden - Definitely for Orchid Fans @ Singapore Botanic Gardens

I love flowers but like many others, it's their physical beauty that attracts me rather than genealogy, anatomy etc. Therefore, i have never been keen in visiting the unsheltered National Orchid Garden and this reluctance was reinforced when i heard there is an admission fee!

Dad is different; he has the gift of a green thumb and was a proficient gardener when my family was living in the kampong where we had a huge backyard. As such, it seemed appropriate to bring him and mom to check out the orchid garden, especially when they had never been there before too!

It was a surprise to have mom joining us as she has always hated the sun and would usually decline such invitation. On second thought, maybe she was under the impression this garden is similar to the two air-conditioned domes in Gardens by the Bay!

Whatever the case, it was a fine (and sunny) day and mom did come prepared with a brolly, a pair of sunglasses and likely a few bottles of sunblock.

A customary shot of the parents in the midst of orchids!

Given my lack of knowledge about Orchidaceae, i shall refrain from posting any scientific information lest i make a laughing stock out of myself. You shall see plentiful of "this is so beautiful" statement in this post instead.

For a Sunday, it sure wasn't crowded and as expected, i am seeing more foreigners than locals. It's really funny whenever i hear of some friends who always complain that Singapore is boring; by and large, their definition of fun usually doesn't include the sun, the heat and the humidity.

I don't really quite understand the need to install a "photo spot" sign, especially when the entire place is filled with flowers! The backdrop is nice? Take a picture lah! 

Among the three of us, dad was definitely the most delighted!

Mom didn't perform too bad either and gamely accommodated to my frequent requests for photo taking despite the incredible heat that i personally could not 'tahan' as well!

The garden was teeming with life, other than those of homo sapiens and plants. We spotted the active squirrels, elusive changeable lizards and of course, the well hidden garden snails.

Open daily from 8.30 am till 7.00 pm, this garden with the 'largest display of tropical orchids in the world' has in total nine designated highlights.

I can only remember going through six which means for the other three, i could have likely walked past without knowing their existence! Haha, a likely scenario since i can get quite carried away when it comes to taking pictures.

Just like dad (many relatives commented i have inherited his love for photography) although he has an eye for nicer photo spots. In my case, i rely heavily on technology (photoshop etc) to crop and frame the pictures.

An ex-colleague of mine commented that Singapore has one of the worst weather in the world; the high humidity is a major turnout and a sunny day could give way suddenly to stormy weather! This lack of predictability translates into scheduled showers on the plants to ensure they remain in their tip-top condition!

Tan Hoon Siang Mist House - named in honour of a descendant of Tan Tock Seng, this displayed rare orchid hybrids originated from the Garden.

I couldn't find much explanation although i read from a brochure (after my visit) that there was a fragrant orchids corner with a species which emits a chocolate-like fragrance! Whatever the case, the orchids in this house were indeed unique and very pretty,

Like the above which could have been mistaken as white orchids splattered with blood in a murder scene!

Instead of a 'lip' typical of most orchids, this has a shoe!

There were numerous moss-covered cultural artifacts said to be from countries that have distribution centres for orchids. Blame my lack of knowledge; i could not recognise most of them!

The above is from... Philippines? No?

Professional photograph slowly composing the shot! I have a tripod yet i am seldom patient enough to bring the tripod whenever i go. Furthermore, it's very tiring to lug the tripod along!

Glare from the morning sun! Lighting is an incredibly important element when it comes to photography and using natural light shining on the spot is always the best!

Yuen-Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection - sponsored by the late Lady Yuen-Peng McNeice, the bromeliad is not in the same family as orchid! An example of a bromeliad would be the commonly seen pineapple. 

Nothing of interest to us actually; guess we would be more excited to see pineapples. Come to think about it, biting into a slice of sweet pineapple on a hot weather would be so damn shiok! 

Arches with overhanging ferns in between Tan Hoon Siang Mist House and Yuen-Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection; this area should be quite mystical at night. 

We were halfway through the Garden and what we severely needed then was a cool temporary respite from the sun! The Cool House to the rescue! 

To get there, walk through the elevated boardwalk! It was a pity there wasn't much to see beneath the boardwalk except for trees and foliage. 

Anyway, it was only a short walk and you can so imagine our exhilaration when this building, covered in condensation, loomed in front of us! 

Dad was happy; mom was glad; i was thrilled to have air-conditioning! By the way, the cool house was meant to simulate a tropical mountain forest and have you noticed this is a similarity with another attraction in Singapore? 

The amazing Cloud Forest Conservatory at Gardens by the Bay! I think it is obvious my affection is with the one at Gardens by the Bay; bigger in scale, taller in height and a much better replica for a mountain forest. Click here to check out "Cloud Forest"!

Random pictures; guess you can recognise a sun dial when you see one. 

Climbing the stairs to check out another highlight; one that i really was looking forward to seeing! Do note that the National Orchid Garden is wheelchair accessible; so please do not hesitate to bring along your grandparents who might be having difficulties in walking! 

The flower plot next to the left of the lady was my aim for the visit that day.

Vanda Miss Joaquim - the national flower of Singapore! This is my first time seeing it in its natural form, complete with stems and leaves. 

Honestly, i never found it to be exceptionally beautiful but looking at a whole bunch of them that day, my opinion has changed! Appearance aside, Vanda Miss Joaquim was also chosen as the national flower due to its resilience and year-round blooms. 

There were also very charming and befitted the name of White Fairy! 

A group of Thai tourists was hogging this spot for like more than ten minutes! Tourists (including Singaporeans) are the same everywhere, regardless of whether they are in Taiwan or in Singapore! 

Mom finally got her chance. 

For my separate post on Burkill House and the VIP Orchid Garden, click here

Flowering banana tree! My colleagues laughed at me recently when i told them it was only in the last year or so that i am aware bananas are grown within the flower! Apparently, i should have failed my science.

Once again, mom in the photo and this time surrounded by loads of orchids. Orchids have a special place in Singapore; those who collect currencies would know the first currency note series to be circulated in independent Singapore is the Orchid series. For more information, click here

Entering a "bird cage" enclosure.

Last photo for the day! 


Within Singapore Botanic Gardens
[Enter from Tyersall Avenue]

Garden Map
As above.

Admission Fee
S$5 for adults
S$1 for seniors & students
Free for children below 12

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