The 22.4 hectare park was created by the agri-horticultural society of Singapore in 1859. Much of the land was rainforest, 6 hectares of which still remains. The rest was torn down and re-landscaped into flowerbeds, lakes and open grass land, by Lawrence Niven.
Early in the gardens development medicinal and economic plants were introduced, including crops from outside of South East Asia such as rubber and coffee. Also research was done within the gardens to increase the use of the plants. Following this research Singapore Botanical Gardens supplied 7 million Rubber seeds to countries within South East Asia, optimizing many economies.
In the 1920’s a laboratory was opened in Holton Hall to experiment with growing orchids. By growing the flowers in glass jars they were able to breed many variations of the plant. In 1995 a special Orchid Garden was opened. It now houses 1000 original species and 2000 hybrids, the largest collection in the world. It was because of this program that the orchid became Singapore’s national flower.
Through the Gardens research and plant exchange system, many new and endangered species have been introduced to the country of Singapore. The enormous collection of flora and fauna and quiet relaxed atmosphere has made the park a popular place for both tourists and local residents.
Visiting the Gardens
The Gardens are free to enter and I spent four hours wandering around taking photos, I walked from one end to the other but did not see everything.
The Orchid garden is S$5 to enter so I did not go in.
There are good public transport links with a metro station at one end and bus stops at the other.
All of the information I have used to write this article I acclaimed from the on site museum.