National Orchid Garden to be upgraded to showcase more orchid varieties

The World of Flowers exhibition was opened on Jan 28 by Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee. NParks also announced an upgrade of the National Orchid Garden. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
The World of Flowers exhibition was opened on Jan 28 by Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee. NParks also announced an upgrade of the National Orchid Garden. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
Other key features of the garden, such as the Mist House, will undergo enhancements. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
Other key features of the garden, such as the Mist House, will undergo enhancements. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

SINGAPORE - The National Orchid Garden, located in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, will undergo its first upgrade in 20 years to showcase more orchid varieties and improve visitor experience.

When the upgrade is fully completed by 2020, visitors will get to see at least 2,000 orchid species in the 3ha garden - up from the current 1,000 in its collection.

They will also be able to get up close and personal with more varieties of orchid species, particularly those growing at higher altitudes, when a second level is built in the garden's Cool House. Currently, the Cool House only has one level.

Three other key features of the garden - the bromeliad enclosure, Mist House and orchid nursery - will also undergo enhancements.

The bromeliad enclosure and the Mist House, for instance, will be fitted with improved ventilation, misting and irrigation systems.

The public will also be able to look over the orchid nursery from a viewing deck after the upgrade.

"This completes the current experience for visitors who can also view a part of the orchid hybridisation process at the laboratory located at the Botany Centre," the National Parks Board (NParks) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The enhancement programme will start next year and is expected to cost about $35 million. Of this sum, $10 million was donated by Sembcorp Industries to partially fund the enhancements of the Cool House, which will be renamed the Sembcorp Cool House.

Said NParks chief executive Kenneth Er: "We would like to thank Sembcorp for its generous donation and for its partnership in our greening journey.

"The contribution will go towards creating an environment for researchers to grow and bring orchids to flower, that are naturally found at higher elevations. This, in turn, will create a refreshing educational experience for visitors to learn more about these orchids and their environments."

Wednesday morning also marked the launch of the World of Flowers Exhibition at the City Developments Limited Green Gallery @ Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Museum. An educational exhibit featuring panels of text and photographs has been set up, which was opened by Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee.

The free exhibit will run from Wednesday (Jan 28) to May 31, from Mondays to Sunday. It is closed every last Tuesday of the month.

audreyt@sph.com.sg