Monday, March 20, 2006

Singapore, Day 4 - I, Botanical & Orchid Gardens

I woke rested at 6 AM the following morning. I planned to take it easy and only walk the one

block from my hotel to the Botanical Gardens.

As I entered the gardens, there was a solitary man performing Tai Chi on top of a hill. Further along, I noticed a cannonball tree flower (I only knew what it was because of the label). There were scattered gazebos of all designs along the way for shelter from the monsoons, I supposed.

I walked through the water gardens and with great disappointment noted that there were no fish, only turtles! I did notice some lovely pink and white lotus, although the blooming season was just starting. Upon closer inspection, I did notice some wild fish that looked like cichlids (see picture, they must be earth eater cichlids). I bought water to survive the heat.

Then I found the National Orchid Garden which was unbelievably pretty. It was not so much each orchid, but the landscaping of entire beds of orchids. There was one garden in particular of tall orchids all of one kind tied to bamboo forming a maze into which little children can, and did, get lost. Very creative indeed. I also enjoyed the mist tents and moss covered statues with bromeliads and orchids growing onto them. I also used rolls of film on single orchids, only to have my brother tell me they were all common when I returned. I don’t care what he says, they are pretty.

There was a cute Asian wedding party in the Orchid Garden. It was a photographer’s dream taking pictures of them between posed shots. The groom was in black the bride and her three little girl brides’ maids all in white and carrying orchids. See them running up the steps! How adorable! Apparently, per Paul at Bedtime Stories that is, I was there during wedding season, and the monsoon would come shortly thereafter.

On my way back I went through the jungle which was very tropical and beautiful but had a concrete path. I saw a tiny squirrel and a very big bee-like insect on yellow flowers. There were lots of unlabeled trees so I did not know what they were (of course – I took botany in College, but to me a fern is still a fern).

Once out of the jungle I came upon a small water garden with an arbor and rectangular concrete ponds. These ponds had water lilies, miniature papyrus, Japanese iris and other plants I could not identify. There was one with a goldfish, more fish like those I saw in the lake, plus tiny red fishes that may have been Siamese fighting fish. The center pond had three white koi that were 6-8 inches long (15-20 centimeters). There were also pretty blue and purple water lilies.

I walked back to my hotel and watched the monsoon move in dramatically from the window.


Anonymous said...

oh, ok, now i wish i had seen it. you know my weakness is flowers! (oh, and thanks for the jade!!!!)

love u,

Sue said...

I wish you had been there too. You could have helped me to feel less stupid about the plants and enjoy the shopping and exploring more.

savante said...

Ah, a garden wedding. Wish I was the groom!


Sue said...

I bet you do, Paul. It was such a lovely place, I would have married there also.

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YvesPaul said...

Magnificent pictures, Sue. You do have a very artistic eye. And everything you bought so far sounds like you are really an expert on Asian art. I'm very impressed.