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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Complete Guide to Singapore Botanic Gardens( Part 1)

Dates of visit: 21 Aug, 2 Sep, 12 Oct 2014


PROLOGUE


Maybe I did go to Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) with my parents when I was child, don't have much impression of it any more.  Had wanted to visit but hubby always told me got nothing to see, it's just a boring garden blah blah blah....  An opportunity came when I was invited to Daylong Sunscreens Launch event held in the garden.  After the event, I spend the whole day in this garden and found that....

HE BLUFFED ME

Now, I realized that he sort of "hates" tourist attractions due to scope of work.  He brought guests to SBG repeatedly, but what he saw is always the entrance and car park.  He did not explore but insisted that's nothing to see.

Have something or nothing to see depends on how you look at it and how you feel about it.  Others may find it boring but people like me is totally fascinated with SBG.

Human is like a tree in a way.   Each has a trunk and a green canopy, but each looks different.  They have different leaves, bears different flowers and fruits; they stretches out to the sun and rain in a different manner.  Whereas for human, we drive towards our dreams, reaching out for our goals in differently.

I found beauty in these differences although I have very minimal knowledge on plants.

SBG is also a habitat of animals.   Some were timid peeking around, some walked across my path like bosses.  I had encounter lizards from as tiny as 5 inches to larger 1 meter ones.  Swans, ducks, different species of birds, large fishes swimming freely in the ponds and many squirrels!  However, I did not see any monkeys during my visits.  These "encounters" are some how different from looking at caged animals in the zoo.  It's thrilling, it's exciting and it's sometimes unexpected.  It's a shiok feel of FREEDOM!!

All these non-professional photos that you will be seeing are taking during a few visits.  During one of the visits, I bumped into a young lady, Mariam from France.


Some of the photos that you see me in it were taken by her and a few were taken by Tiffany Yong.

Compiling and re-arranging thousands of photos together so that it makes sense to readers (and myself) was quite a challenge. May or may not be appreciated, able to compose an almost complete guide on Singapore Botanic Gardens gave me a great sense of satisfaction.

I feed my body with food
and
I feed my soul with nature's green


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Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road
Singapore 259569
Opening hours 5am - 12am


This vintage English style garden of 74 hectare was found in 1859.   Beautifully baptized by history, SBG it's very different from Gardens By The Bay.
For larger map click HERE

As you may seen from the above map, SBG spreads it's area in a longish manner, it's divided into 3 sections - 

Tanglin Core, Central Core and Bukit Timah Core.

Within each core, there are various attractions to explore, even little areas not high-light on the map can be surprisingly stunning too.  Before visiting, I never know there so much in SBG.  This garden is awesome, really.

I always enter from Bukit Timah Gate, so will start my pictures rolling from Bukit Timah Core (see from the right side of the map).
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Bukit Timah Core -

Bukit Timah Core the is smallest section compare to the other 2 cores.   Next to the MRT station, this section is easily accessible to most visitors.  It's very lively during weekends, with both local and foreign picnickers.  Personally, I prefer the tranquility state on weekdays.

Major attractions were:
* Trellis Garden
* Eco-Garden and Eco-Lake
* Foliage Garden
* Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

Mini attractions were:
* Bougainvilleas & Bamboo collection
* Fruit and Nut Trees collection


Trellis Garden
Trellis Garden showcases climber plants on many such triangular structures.

Sandpaper Vine
Sandpaper Vine

Eco-Garden

Prominent landmark of Eco-Garden.
Love & Peace Flower by Madam Anna Tzarev

Kindergarden children were here for excursion ^.^

Cute shelter.

We may not have Snow Lotus (冰山雪莲), but we have white hibiscus.
Found this white beauty near a public toilet at Melati Gate, heehee....

No worries, I checked before and after I sat on the tree, to make sure it's not injured by my weight >.<
No idea why it's tree trunk grows this way instead of normal vertical.

Lol at it's name, Dead Rat Tree.  The trunk is like an elephant's leg though.  Bottle Tree is another name which is more familiar to us.

Here's fruit!
ps. excuse me, have to "stamp" my cleavage >.<

It's skin is similar to kiwi fruit.

Triplets!

Bouganivilleas Collection


Son pounding onto his father lolxx..





Bamboo Collection

Giant Thorny Bamboo

Not all bamboos are for panda bears, especially this Giant Thorny Bamboo.  The thorns aren't very sharp but pokes.


And near the bamboo, big lizard spotted!

I had a great time tailing it lolxx...


Fruit and Nut Trees Collection

Squirrel cuties  and birds are often spotted on fruit trees.  Most of them are very shy and timid, hides away whenever they see human.

Just stay very quiet, not to alert them, they could be capture in your camera.

Butter Fruit Tree

Butter fruits

Name of fruit tree - Assam Kandis

Eco-Lake

Kiddo attracting a herd of pigeons and ducks.
Feeding is actually not allowed as animals might get aggressive.  However, this looked pretty heart warming.  Our little ones nowadays are being hooked onto gadgets of all sizes, they should be out to feel the living, just like this.

Happily eating, they weren't afraid of people.

Eco-lake is also home of black swans from Western Australia.

Only saw one and spend more than half an hour observing it.

It's a big black bully biting smaller ducks, terrapins and even big fishes if they were in it's way.
The duck at the rear left hand was actually "running for it's life" as the black swan kept biting it lolxx... so cute!

I was waiting for it to walk out of the lake but it didn't.

See that big fish?  It's more than a foot long and there were many in the lake.

There are a few shoreline plants which we don't get to see daily.  These plants rooted at the border of the lake like a fence between land and water, but in a natural way.

Sturdy arrowhead plants around 3 feet tall.
Name of plant - Arrow Head

Name of plant - Canna
Sweet pink Canna.
Name of plant - Canna Lily

Big brilliant orange and yellow Canna flowers, putting my hand near it so that you can see it's palm sized.


There are plenty of such birds hiding inside these Canna plants, but this is the best shot I could get.

Name of plant - Indian Shot/ Canna Indica
Name of plant - Cyperaceae

Name of plant - Cyperaceae

Eco-lake at different angles...

Singapore Botanic Gardens - Eco-lake

Singapore Botanic Gardens - Eco-lake
   
Singapore Botanic Gardens - Eco-lake

Singapore Botanic Gardens - Eco-lake
Beautiful blooms can be spotted around Eco-Lake in Eco Garden.


Charming, aren't they.

Name of plant - Yellow Walking Iris
Pink Kopsia
A lonely but unusual tree near Eco-Lake with the smoothest bark I ever seen!



Foliage Garden

Managed to snap a pic before the rooster and birds went into the bushes.


Never know this species of ginger plant comes in whitish color, I thought they are normally red or orange.

Painters spotted ^.^

A gardener maintaining aquatic foliage.
Tough job.

Carnivorous plants with freaking big red funnels which traps (and eat) insects! I gauged it's diameter approx 6 - 7cm, length approx 17 - 20cm.
Pitcher Plants

Note that Foliage Garden is close every last Wednesday of the month, unless it's a public holiday.


Jacab Ballas Children's Garden
Admission is free, but they set a rule that only children below 12 years old and accompanying adult are allowed to enter.

I had emailed them for entry request, DECLINED.
I asked (almost begging) over at the counter, DECLINED.

DISAPPOINTED
 
I hang around for a while to see if I could "borrow" a kid to get in, no luck.

So, I only have a pic of the entrance and nothing to write.

Besides the entrance is this Kidz Cafe.  I was too upset to check what's serve.
You may find out more about it from their offical page HERE

Another dining option available in Bukit Timah Core is The Dunearn in NUSS Bukit Timah Guild House.
Image credit www.sbg.org.sg
It's western dining which I didn't get to try.  You may click HERE for more information.

Meanwhile I am working hard on Part 2 for SBG's Central Core.....