Singapore Botanic Gardens

Today we woke up around 6, so we decided to visit the botanical garden.* No worries about being too early — in consideration of the heat and humidity, the garden is open from 5 AM until midnight. We got breakfast at a hawker centre (mee siam for Erik, kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs for me), then headed out.

Even around 8 AM, the air was steamy and warm, but we were determined to see what we could. The gardens were quite busy; we saw families, people walking their (poor, overheated) dogs, and men and women in office clothes (cutting through the gardens on their way elsewhere?).

{click images to enlarge; no mouseover notes today}

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Trellis garden with millipedes underfoot!!

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Trailing bauhinia:

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Can you see the humidity?

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There were many people jogging. How can they?!

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Reflexology path:

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Corkscrew flowers in the Fragrant Garden:

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Ants ants ants:

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Gardenia:

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Near the visitors’ centre and gift shop:

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Big lawn next to a symphony stage. I wanted a better look at the stage — but not enough to overcome my distaste for walking any more than I had to in that heat! There was a yoga class on the lawn. We also saw multiple tai-chi classes elsewhere in the park.

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By the entrance to the ginger (zingiber officinale) garden:

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Flamboyant torch ginger:

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Snail!!!

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Crazy giant lily pads. I first saw these in the Washington, DC botanical garden when I was 10, and was completely struck by (and not a little scared of) them. I still feel the same way. They’re otherworldly.

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Pretending the plant is a bell pull. I thought I was smiling but I guess it was just too hot for smiles.

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The gardens were free to visit, so we didn’t mind paying extra for the national orchid garden.

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Staghorn ferns!

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I was charmed by the orchid trees. Well, as charmed as I could be while melting in the heat.

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In the orchid garden we ran across a trio of staff members who were removing yellowed leaves from some of the vines. These groundskeepers were in evidence throughout the garden: pruning, clearing, tidying. They all wore long-sleeved shirts and pants and rubber boots. I hope they get to rest during the hottest part of the day.

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Most welcome attraction in the garden: a “cool house” full of mountain plants! It really felt like the mountains in there: chilly, misty, delicious!

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Every time I leave a cool place and step out into the humidity, my glasses fog.

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An hour or so and several bug bites later, we finally gave up and took the subway back toward the malls to take refuge in the air con.

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Only a day and a half left in Singapore.

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*Fun fact: I’ve now been to botanical gardens in San Francisco, Washington, DC,ย Glasgow,ย Reykjavรญk, Paris, Hawaii, Kyoto, and Singapore. Three continents and five islands!

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