Monday, 20 July 2015

Past and Present of Singapore Botanic Gardens

Even since I spent my childhood days as a kid at the Botanic Gardens and I am thinking of how the Singapore Botanic Gardens would declare the Singapore's first UNESCO World Heritage that I had mentioned earlier in my blog: Singapore Botanic Garden of the Past.
And It was indeed come true - Singapore's first UNESCO World Heritage! It was reported in the news and international news spread across the world.
Singapore Botanic Gardens UNESCO World Heritage
More than 150 years of history of Singapore Botanic Gardens, the 74-hectare Gardens holds a unique and significant place in the history of Singapore and the region. Through the botanical and horticultural work carried out today, it will continue to play an important role as a leading tropical botanical institute, and an endearing place to all Singaporeans, young and old alike.
Signage Stand
The Gardens has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) on 4 July 2015. The Gardens is Singapore's first nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Gardens provided the expertise, skills and resources needed to implement the vision and continues to contribute through its plant research, education and conservation work towards Singapore's modern City in a Garden vision.
The Bandstand
Decades ago in 1930s, a music that was played at the Bandstand, originally known as 'Gazebo' a pavilion structure, sometimes octagonal or turret-shaped, often built in a park, garden or spacious public area. I was there with my family and my mum's old friend sat on the grass which was near to the Bandstand. Surrounding the pavilion is very quiet and lonesome place where people would walk pass by. I hardly see people walk up to the Bandstand till now, only to see technical workers to repair to the ceiling at the Bandstand.
Burkill Hall@SBG (Then)
Burkill Hall (built in 1868) was named in honour of two former Directors of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Isaac Henry Burkill (1912-1925) and his son Humphrey Burkill ((1957-1969), who served the Botanic Garden. It was home to the Burkills as well as the Gardens' Superintendents and Directors until 1969. It was designed in the 'Plantation style', this black and white bungalow was gazetted as a conservation building by URA in 2008.
Burkill Hall@SBG (Now)
The key feature is its steeply sloping pyramidal roof which extends far beyond the external walls to protect the core of the bungalow from the sun and torrential rain. In 1969, Burkill Hall was once the School of Ornamental Horticulture and it was restored in the 1990s during the developments of the National Orchid Garden. Today, it is a popular for the weddings and special events. The ground level serves as an exhibition area, showcasing information on the different hybrids named after VIPs who have visited the garden.
VIP Orchid Garden
At the back of Burkill Hall is the VIP Orchid Garden with hybrids of some of the VIP orchids on display. There are also sculptures on display too.
Ascocenda Yingluck Shinawatra
One of the VIP orchids - Ascocenda Yingluck Shinawatra is named after Her Excellency Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand on the occasion of her visit to the National Orchid Garden on 8 Dec 2011.
Holttum Hall in 1920 
Holttum Hall was once served as the office and laboratory of Eric Holttum, who was assistant Director of Singapore Botanic Gardens from 1922 to 1925 and then became Director from 1925 to 1949, was an eminent botanist expert on ferns, orchids, gingers. Later he became the first Professor of Botany at the University of Malaya (which was located at the present site of NUS Bukit Timah Campus) from 1949 to 1954.
Holttum Hall as Heritage Museum
Holttum Hall is the only building in the Gardens to be built in European style even though its roof vents and louvered vents over the windows were incorporated to cope with tropical climate. Gazetted as a Conservation Building by URA in 2008.
POW Brick Steps
During the Japanese Occupation, POW was forced to make brick steps (staircase) in 1942 - 1945.
Imprinted of arrows from POWs
As a sign of defiance, POWs imprinted of arrows (as seen on the left above my name) on most of the bricks to indicate that they were "detained by the authorities".
POW bricksteps
In August 1995, at the 50th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities, eight former Australian prisoner-of-war (POW) visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens in order to observe their wartime workmanship and gleefully recounted their memory of that time.
Plant House in 1882
Plant House was constructed in 1882 to display ferns, ornamental plants and aroids. It was later extended to display orchids and also served as a venue for public flowers shows, flower festivals and exhibitions, plants sales were held here to generate revenue. 
Structure at Plant House
It gained a roof in 1885 which was later replaced with beams and restructured to showcase many ornamental, exotic and rare climbers. An example of the rare climbers still thriving here is New Guinea Red Jade Vine that introduced in 1930s, blooms irregularly and feature spectacular tresses of orange-red claw shaped flowers.
Ferns@Plant House
It is indeed creepy of climbers of plants and large flowering climbers that are such a spectacular element in tropical garden.
Frangipani Grove
Frangipani trees and garden swings may seem like odd bed-fellows at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. 12 garden swings lure passer-by to pause for a moment and sway along with the breeze under the frangipani trees. Those were the days when I was a kid, I sat on this swing at my late grandma's kampong since 1970s.

My childhood friends and me (1980)
In 1980, my childhood friends and I were sat wooden bench at Swan Lake at Singapore Botanic Garden. Those were the days, where we were having a good time together and already keep in touch wherever we went.
Rainforest Tree park at SBG (1980)
It was then sunny at that time I remember, we took shelter at the nearest rainforest tree where there was a bench to sit on. It was indeed cool shade under the tree to have a photo shot by one of my childhood friend using my old camera - Pentax. Oh yes, at that time I was working at Pentax company located at No 98, Pasir Panjang - Rank O'Connor's at O'Connor House. It specialised in CCTV, P.A. Sound, CATV, Energy Management, Sign & Score-Board and to name a few.

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