National Orchid Garden

 

Tucked away in a pocket of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the National Orchid Garden showcases more than 600 species and hybrids of prized orchids all in one small enclosed garden space.

If wandering around for free in the large Botanic Gardens isn’t satisfying enough, for just 5 bucks we can get to poke around the orchid bushes in the National Orchid Garden. But be sure to make it within the opening time between 8.30am to 7pm, and if you tend to be a last-minute person like us, be warned that last entry is at 6pm.

While we are frequent visitors of the Botanic Gardens, we had never once stepped inside the National Orchid Garden, until we found out about the free admission for Singapore residents during the school holidays. Being huge fans of freebies, we simply couldn’t pass up the chance to go in and take a look, while not having to make a dent in our wallets. All we had to do was flash our ICs!

Once inside, we’re instructed to look out for the distinctive colour zones (spring, summer, autumn, winter) as we walk through the garden.

The bright shades of gold and yellow of spring are particularly outstanding at the Golden Shower Arches, a popular selfie magnet. To attempt to take that obligatory picture with the arch without a photo bomb in the background is as difficult as trying to spot the Crimson Sunbird in our backyard.

While meandering around the garden paths, it might be a good idea to check out the display at Burkill Hall, showcasing various hybrid species named after foreign dignitaries who have visited Singapore…

…such as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall…

…and the Princess of Wales.

Planted all over the museum, the very educational informative boards teach us on the orchid breeding process that starts out in the laboratory and could take many years to bear fruit, culminating in the gorgeous displays that we see all around the garden.

The Vanda Miss Joaquim, standing high above our heads and swaying in the wind, is too easily missed. Plain as it may look, it is actually very resilient and grows well, qualities that contributed to it being selected as Singapore’s national flower. It is a hybrid between two very common species, the Vanda teres and Vanda hookeriana, and was named after its creator, Miss Agnes Joaquim.

If you miss Miss Joaquim, not to worry – a whole bunch of them can be seen outside the orchid garden next to the Ginger Garden.

What could be more exciting than spotting beautiful orchids blooms all over the Orchid Garden? Spotting birds, of course!

Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)
Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)
Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis)
Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra)
Common Parasol (Neurothemis fluctuans)