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National Orchid Garden is nestled within Singapore’s Botanical Gardens and claims to have the largest display of tropical orchids in the world. It has accumulated over 1,000 different species of orchid and 2,000 hybrids, among the collection of over 60,000 individual plant. Another remarkable feature of the garden is its distinctive design concept that arranges orchids on the basis of a color system to suit the four different seasons. For instance, the spring zone with colors shades of gold, yellow and creams, the summer zone with vivid reds and pinks, the autumn zone with matured shades and the winter zone with whites and cool blues. The wondrous colors and exquisite natural beauty of thousands of these fantastic tropical flowers make for a memorable experience.
There is a fantastic amount of fun facts to discover here, you can either take the workshop or follow a 90-minute walking tour for more insight on the hybridization process – how plants pollinate and adapt to environmental change are among the range of fascinating information there is to learn. I opted for the second option, I rather walk he he 🙂 I have learned that growing orchids can take several years, you certainly need to have a lot of patience! Well it is evident that Singapore is incredibly successful at it, leading to becoming one of the world’s top centers for commercial orchid growing.
As soon as I entered the National Orchid Garden I was welcomed by the “Dancing Lady”, a beautiful yellow, brown and white orchid that looks like a lady in evening gown. When hundreds of them are on a single spike, it’s like the celebration of festival. Interesting to know that the forms of the flowers are celebrated in often ornate names, such as ‘Lady’s Slipper’ (paphiopedilum), which resembles a ballet shoe and of course the dancing lady.
VIP Orchid Garden
More than 100 celebrities, dignitaries and visiting heads of states have been honored by Singapore’s orchid diplomacy program such as Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, Elton John, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Kate Middleton & Prince William, our very own Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and many more. Like for instance the white orchid that was meant for Princess Diana, but unfortunately, she died in the tragic car crash in Paris just two weeks before she was due to fly to Singapore to see it. All these named orchids can be found in the VIP Orchid Garden right behind Burkill Hall.
When leaving the VIP Orchid Garden I passed Singapore’s National Flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim; a beautiful white and pink orchid. This is one of few orchid hybrids that has been chosen as a national flower. Among the several varieties of Vanda Miss Joaquim, the variety “Agnes” was chosen in particular for its vibrant colors, hardiness and resilience – qualities that reflect the Singapore spirit.
Vanda Miss Joaquim originated from the garden of Agnes Joaquim, an Armenian lady residing in Singapore. It is the hybrid of two orchids, which were then known as Vanda teres and Vanda hookeriana.
Orchidarium is haven for serious orchids enthusiasts, as it houses natural species of orchids in a tropical setting.
Tan Hoon Siang Mist House
From there I took the way to the Garden’s Mist House which displays rare orchids from different parts of the world. The Mist House is full of incredibly beautiful orchids and I spent some time admiring the colors and shapes. It also has a small collection of fragrant orchids like Vanda Mimi Plamer. Have a look at these beauties:
Lady Yuen-Peng McNeice Bromeliad House
Next to the orchids are a bromeliad collection. But I was here on the wrong time of year, barley any flowers. Nevertheless, it is impressive. Bromeliad House showcases plants from the Bromeliaceae family, which includes also the humble pineapple. There are over 300 species and 500 hybrids.
The Coolhouse recreates the environment of a tropical highland forest and showcases orchids and carnivorous plants that are normally only found in the tropical highland areas.
The National Orchid Garden is a must visit when in Singapore. It’s a real pleasure to wander around the garden, get up close to Singapore’s national flower – the stunning Singapore Orchid, discover the diversity of this species of flower, and a chance to escape away from the hustle and bustle of concrete city into a land of nature, color and serenity.
- 5 am till midnight for the main Gardens;
- 30 am – 7 pm for the National Orchid Garden.
- Admission to the main Gardens is free.
- Admission to the National Orchid Garden is:
- $5 for adults;
- $1 for senior citizens
- $1 students (please produce your student pass)
- Free for children 12 and below of age
- Due to the need to preserve the orchids in a climate similar to their natural environment, this is a steamy place. Bring water with you for your visit, or get some refreshments at the kiosk.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.