|Spread over 52 hectares and close to the centre of the city, the Singapore Botanic Gardens showcases many outstanding plant collections combining primary rainforest and manicured gardens.
This Garden has beed developed along a 3-Core Concept. The three Cores are Tanglin which is the heritage core retaining the old favourites and charms of the historic Gardens; Central which is the tourist belt of the Gardens; Bukit Timah which is the educational and recreational zone. Each Core offers an exciting array of attractions.
The first "Botanical and Experimental Garden" in Singapore was established in 1822 on Government Hill at Fort Canning by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore and a keen naturalist. This Garden introduces cultivation economic crops such as nutmeg, clove and cocoa and was closed in 1829, after Raffles' death, and it was not until 30 years later that the present Singapore Botanic Gardens was founded in 1859 by an agri-horticultural society. In 1874, the Society handed over to the government for maintenance. The Gardens' first Director, Henry Nicholas Ridley, came to the Gardens in 1888 and worked tirelessly for the next 23 years to usher the Gardens into the twentieth century and its most productive period historically.
During the 1890s and early 1900s, Ridley devised successful propagation methods and also discovered a way to harvest commercial quantities of latex without harming or killing the rubber trees. It was also during Ridley's administration that Singapore's national flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim, was discovered.
Beginning in 1928, Professor Eric Holttum, Director of the Gardens from 1925-1949, set up laboratories and conducted the first experiments in orchid breeding and hybridisation. By the mid 1960s, the Gardens was taking a leading rold in the greening of Singapore. In 1973, the Botanic Gardens merged with the Parks and Trees branch of the Public Works Department, which became the Parks and Recreation Department. In 1988, Dr Tan Wee Kiat became Director of the Gardens. Under Dr Tan's direction, the National Orchid Garden was established. In June 1990, the Gardens is looked after by the National Parks Board.
There are Workshops & Tours for Adults & Educators. Workshops include Nature Photography, Home Gardening, Orchid Growing, etc. Tours include EcoGarden Tour, Rainforest Trek and much more. See their website for more information.