From the moment you arrive in the ‘garden city’ of Singapore, it’s impossible to ignore the country’s impressive green spaces, from the glass-roofed atriums within the airport itself to the tree-lined expressways on route to your first destination

Tree Grove outside – there are more than 162,900 plants (including over 200 species and varieties of bromeliads, orchids, ferns and tropical flowering climbers) planted on these Supertrees and they’re all embedded with environmentally sustainable functions like photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy.

If you prefer park hopping, rent a bicycle and ride along the city’s rivers and canals or through its many nature reserves. You can find a full list of naturally inspired activities available in Singapore by visiting the National Parks website www.nparks.gov.sg

We share our roads with over two million trees, from the native Tembusu Tree to the impressive Trumpet Tree, famous for its spectacular blossoms that burst into bloom following a long dry spell. As well as the more regularly spotted blooms lining the city’s streets like the brightly coloured Frangipani and Bougainvillea blossoms, there are many rarer species worth looking out for.

One spectacular tree, which can be spotted on walks through the East Coast Park or the Singapore Zoo, is the Cannonball Tree. With large mesmerizing flowers and fruit the size of cannonballs, it’s one of thousands of different species on display around Singapore, part of a deliberate policy in keeping the city as green as possible in line with its rapid development.

Apart from the natural beauty of the city visible from the roads, there is also an abundance of areas of natural beauty to visit that are a little more off-the-beaten track. From the Sungei Boleh Wetland Reserves, where you can experience mangroves in their natural habitat, to the many parks and nature reserves boasting exotic vines and beautiful flowers, there are many natural treasures to discover. So when you tire of shopping and have eaten as much of the fabulous food that you can, it’s well worth putting on your walking shoes and exploring some of these parks, green spaces and gardens to become acquainted with the greener side of the city.

Taking a break from city life is good for the soul and the abundance of green spaces here in Singapore will help you connect with nature, providing a much-needed retreat, as well as wonderful photo opportunities. You won’t be alone though, as the greener areas are popular with joggers, birdwatchers, cyclists and flower lovers.

Many of the plants, trees and flowers you see around the city began their life at the

Singapore Botanic Gardens. Located close to Orchard Road, the Singapore Botanic Gardens were set up by the British colonial authority in the 19th century. Open from 5am to midnight every day of the year, it has since become one of the leading botanic centres in the world. If you take an early morning stroll through the gardens there is plenty to see, from residents jogging and taking their dogs for a walk, to groups practicing Tai Chi. Besides enjoying the walk, there’s some spectacular flora and fauna, especially in the vast showcase of orchids in the National Orchid Garden located here. This is a fabulous place to get up close to Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim. There are over 1000 species of orchid here so get your cameras ready to shoot the Dancing Lady Orchids (Oncidium Goldiana) and view the world’s largest, the Tiger Orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum). This orchid was once considered extinct in Singapore, mainly due to habitat destruction but thanks to a reintroduction program, the wild population of Tiger Orchids is now on the increase.

Another centrally-located burst of green, the Flower Dome at the iconic Gardens By The Bay, has to be on your list of places to visit. The biggest surprise to many is that it’s not hot, tropical or steamy inside but cool and dry instead, to replicate the climates of Australia, Africa, California and the Mediterranean, where many of the plants originate. Don’t miss the cacti, baobab trees and olive trees here – some are over a thousand years old! There’s a huge variety of fabulous flowers and succulents from many corners of the globe on display, so take your time and enjoy the fabulous temperature!

Gardens By The Bay also features the cool humidity of the Cloud Forest dome, home to an impressive 35-metre waterfall and a collection of plants and flowers usually found at altitude. Also check out the unique Super

Experiencing the beautiful flowers and plants that Singapore has to offer is a fabulous way to take a break from city life. Not only will you be reconnected with nature, but you’ll feel healthier for it as well!


About The Writer
Karen French is a Floral Designer, Image Consultant, Freelance Writer and Author who has been based in Singapore for the past 20 years. She is the Author of a recently published book ‘Entertain with Flowers and Flair’.
Karen has been on the committee of the Singapore Flower Club, Ikebana International Chapter 135 and the Floral Designers Society of Singapore. She is the owner of Karen French Floral Designs in Singapore

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