Beauty And Wonder – The Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore might be small in fact in Southeast Asia it is known as the Little Red Dot – but when it comes to nature conservation it takes it cultural heritage and its flora and fauna very seriously.
One of the places where this love of the flora of the island and indeed of Southeast Asia in general is demonstrated is at the Singapore Botanical Gardens. this is place which is beloved by both native Singaporeans and those who visit the nation state.
The idea of having a national botanical garden is hardly a new one. The founder of the modern nation of Singapore – Sir Stamford Raffles came up with the idea in 1822. Granted, as a keen naturalist whose drawings can still be viewed at the natural history museum in Singapore, his interest may have been more scientific than based on the sheer beauty of the flora surrounding him – he still was the driving force behind the establishment of the gardens.
However it was only in 1859 that the Gardens was really established in the form that it now enjoys.
But the garden was not what is today enjoyed by both those who call Singapore home and visitors to the island. It was primarily a place where the potential of flora for export to the British Empire could be explored.
But it was not long before the Gardens were handed over into the able hands of professionals who were trained in Kew Gardens in London. And this is when the Gardens began to flourish as never before.
However it was the introduction of the Para Rubber Tree that was to seal the fate of the Gardens. The importance of this tree to the future success of the British Empire should not be underestimated. Even today visitors to the Gardens can see several examples of the tree that that made it world famous.
The professionals who made the Singapore Botanic Gardens world famous have also contributed in no small way to making Singapore renowned as the ‘Garden City’. Strolling the city streets it is impossible not to see that this is a place that places a large amount of emphasis on the fact that greening is absolutely essential to the happiness of the citizens that call it home.
The Singapore Botanic Garden’s 82 hectare site has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and any visitor will immediately see why. It is well worth a visit.