Green Life in the Garden City

Singapore, known as the Garden City, is recognized for its wealth of green spaces, gardens and parks and the way it preserves natural areas right in the city for Singaporeans and visitors alike to get away to some green.

Besides Sinagpore’s impressive natural reserves, there are plenty of lovely, well-kept gardens all over the city. Some of the most fun to visit are the Botanic Gardens and Orchidville. The orchid is Singapore’s national flower and Orchidville has over 2 million varieties of the colorful blossom. Orchidville, however, has much more than flowers. The Forrest Restaurant, rainforest-themed and covered in sumptuous green and growing decor, is well known in the city for both its ecological atmosphere and cuisine. Experience its flowering trees and flowering canopies to the background music of flowing water arrangements. Some specialties are the Dragon Beard King Prawns and Fragrant Lotus Rice. Forrest has extensive banquet menus and is well-equipped to handle any kind of parties or corporate events. Orchidville has also developed several edu-tourism initiatives and holds regular classes and workshops with themes like crafting with orchids, orchid cultivation and aquatic plants.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens were first opened in 1859 and today cover 74 hectares. The Gardens have always had intricate ties with the city’s history and other local green spaces. In the mid-1960s the Botanic Gardens staff was responsible for many of Singapore’s greening initiatives and supplied plant material and plant education to businesses all over the city. In recent years, new attractions like the Ginger Garden, Evolution Garden, Coolhouse and a Children’s Garden have been added. Kids will love the Children’s Garden’s Water Play area, tree houses and playground. The Evolution Garden tells the story of the evolution of plant life on Earth. More interesting sights include the Library of Botany and Horticulture and the Singapore Herbarium. Palm Valley is a park-like spot that is an attractive area for picnics. In case you haven’t seen enough of the national flowers in Orchidville, there is also an Orchidarium that displays the plants in a tropical setting.

The Botanic Gardens are a major research institution as well as a touristic one, and have been responsible for many botanical studies breakthroughs and the development of new varieties of orchids. They also host many lecture series and educational workshops. There are lots of events always going on at the Botanic Gardens, including frequent Rainforest Tours and Edible and Medicinal Plant Tours. Visit the impressive Heritage Tree section, containing fourteen mature tree species from around the island. There are three lake areas in the gardens: Eco-Lake, Swan Lake and Symphony Lake where there are often free weekend concerts. Most of the Botanic Gardens are still free to visit and, unlike any other botanic gardens in the world, they are open every day of the year from 5am until midnight. There are several gift shops on the premises as well as two French restaurants, Au Jardin Les Amis and Café Les Amis, as well as the Halia Restaurant in the Ginger Garden.