Making the best of a garden city: Singapore's best gardens for appreciating nature

PHOTO: Instagram/singapour.tourisme

Whether or not you love city life , being on a travel lockdown might have been tough for the last year . Many started hiking the moment the circuit breaker ended, but if you’re not one strenuous activity, don’t worry.

Singapore is, after all, the Garden City. With the Lunar New Year coming up – also known as the spring festival to the Chinese – there’s no better time to check out our beautiful, accessible gardens. Here are our favourites.

1. National Orchid Gardens, Singapore Botanic Gardens

Here, you’ll find a peaceful respite from the hubbub of city life. With over 1000 species of orchids and 2000 hybrids on display, The Botanic Gardens has been growing orchids since 1859, the year of the garden’s founding.

These gorgeous blooms have been bred by the Garden’s horticultural staff – don’t leave without appreciating Singapore’s national bloom, the hybrid Vanda Miss Joaquim.

National Orchid Garden is located at 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569. Open Mon – Sun, 8.30am – 7pm. Admission is S$5 for adults, S$1 for students and senior citizens and free for children below 12 years of age.

2. Silver Garden, HortPark

HortPark has a huge number of themed areas but one of the most interesting is the Silver Garden. The collection of plants here are silver-, grey- and white-hued, thus earning its name. This stunning expanse is a popular place for weddings and photoshoots due to its unique flora.

Take a trip here on a cool afternoon and lay in the green for a relaxing day, or take a stroll through the garden and the rest of the park to learn about plants you may have never seen before.

Silver Garden is located in HortPark, 33 Hyderabad Rd, Singapore 119578. Open Mon – Sun, 6am – 11pm.

3. Serene Garden, Gardens By The Bay

PHOTO: Gardens by the Bay

This unique horticultural garden is the place to go if you’re searching for some zen. The tranquil 2-hectare space is just a short stroll from the popular Supertree grove and in true Singaporean fashion, offers scenic views of the city skyline while bringing visitors closer to nature.

Make a point to visit the central water feature and the mini waterfall nearby. The sound of rushing water can do wonders for an anxious mind.

Ethnobotany Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens

This stunning outdoor garden showcases over 300 species of plants found in the traditional cultures of the Malay Archipelago, Indochina and South Asia.

You’ll find botanicals used for medicine, wild fruits and vegetables traditionally foraged by the indigenous people of the region, and plants of cultural significance.

There are even live stingless bees, so you can observe bee activity up close without the risk of getting stung. If you have time, drop by the Centre for Ethnobotany to learn how plants shaped our cultures and the history of the world.

Ethnobotany Garden is located at 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569. Open Mon – Sun, 5am – 12am.

Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden, National Gallery Singapore

This open-air rooftop garden doubles as a gallery at the National Gallery Singapore , so not only can you sit and soak in the sun here, but you can soak in the art. There are often exhibitions in this space, not of paintings but most often of sculptures, kinetic artwork, and large installations.

After your next museum date, give this roof a visit and have a walk around – if you get thirsty afterwards, you can always go to Smoke & Mirrors for a drink.

Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden is located at Level 5 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957. Open Mon – Thu, 10am – 7pm and Fri – Sun, 10am – 10pm.

Terrace Garden, Telok Blangah Hill Park

Telok Blangah Hill Park is probably best known for the Henderson Waves, but have you been to the Terrace Garden? This stunning spot offers 360-degree views of Singapore from a series of semi-circular terraces on the top of the park.

It’s so beautiful that it’s a popular spot for wedding photoshoots. Sit in the shade of the tall trees and enjoy the vibrant colours of the flowers.

The Terrace Garden is located in Telok Blangah Hill Park, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178. Open Mon – Sun, 24 hours.

The Canyon, Gardens By The Bay

PHOTO: Gardens by the Bay

The Canyon brings together more than 60 unique ancient rock forms sourced from Shandong, China, in this collection of sculptural rocks. The rocks’ natural shapes and massive sizes are sure to awe you, especially against the backdrop of the surrounding Cooled Conservatories.

This 400-metre-long trail includes not just these incredible rocks, but also 200 plant species unique to arid regions and four mystical sculptures.

The Canyon is located at Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953. Open Mon – Sun, 5am – 2am.

Chinese & Japanese Gardens, Jurong Lake Gardens

Note: The gardens are closed for renovations until June 2021.

The Japanese and Chinese Gardens are well-known in Singapore for being some of the most beautiful parks in Singapore. Built on shimmering Jurong Lake and connected by a bridge named the Bridge of Double Beauty, they differ slightly in aesthetic.

The Chinese Garden is designed to be visually exciting while the Japanese Gardens are designed with the Japanese principle of zen in mind. You’ll find a Turtle and Tortoise Museum on the grounds, and you can also make it a mission to find all ten sundials placed in the garden.

The Chinese and Japanese Gardens are located at 1 Chinese Garden Rd, Singapore 619795.

This article was first published in City Nomads.