The Sunday Times says

Sow gardening interest in garden city

A total of 1,000 "allotment gardens" like the one in HortPark (above) will be built in 10 parks by 2019. However, gardening interest should not be sustained by official diktat alone, but also by the green impulses of citizens.
A total of 1,000 "allotment gardens" like the one in HortPark (above) will be built in 10 parks by 2019. However, gardening interest should not be sustained by official diktat alone, but also by the green impulses of citizens.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

The leasing out of garden spaces in public parks for people to grow their own plants is a small but valuable extension of the idea of Singapore being a garden city.

That vision was introduced in 1967 to infuse an urbanised habitat with lush greenery that would be abundant enough to make everyday life more pleasant on a small and densely populated island.

The garden city would serve also to draw tourists and foreign investors.

Nature was seen as a contributor to Singapore's overall quality of life and to sustainable economic growth.

The National Parks Board is now creating more gardens within the garden city. A total of 1,000 "allotment gardens" will be built in 10 parks by 2019. The 2.5 sq m plots can be rented for $57 a year for up to three years. Users are free to use the space to grow any plants of their choice, from blooms to vegetables.

The initiative will add to the momentum created by community gardens, whose spread islandwide reflects popular interest in gardening that goes beyond professionals.

Gardening plays an important role in society. It reflects respect for nature's ability to replenish the environmental boundaries of human life.

While tools are supplied by human hands, soil, water and seeds come from nature. Agriculture feeds both those who are engaged in it and those who are not.

On a smaller scale, gardening attests to life as a compact between nature and man.

Gardening has other social attributes.

 

Gardening spaces could bring together Singaporeans from a wide range of backgrounds, providing them with space in which to interact and exchange tips on areas of common interest.

The gardens will encourage a degree of physical exertion, an objective worthwhile on its own in a society where insufficient exercise feeds health hazards.

Gardening interest ought to flower here as a garden city should not be sustained by official diktat alone but also by the green impulses of citizens.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 12, 2017, with the headline 'Sow gardening interest in garden city'. Print Edition | Subscribe