Singapore Botanic Gardens top pick on Chelsea Flower Show judge's list of 10 best gardens

A tourist takes a picture amongst the orchids at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on May 15, 2015.
A tourist takes a picture amongst the orchids at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on May 15, 2015.PHOTO: ST FILE
An aerial view of the Singapore Botanic Gardens on May 29, 2015.
An aerial view of the Singapore Botanic Gardens on May 29, 2015.PHOTO: ST FILE
Visitors walking along a path at Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Visitors walking along a path at Singapore Botanic Gardens.PHOTO: ST FILE
This gazebo in the Botanic Gardens was erected in 1930 and has retained its original form over the years.
This gazebo in the Botanic Gardens was erected in 1930 and has retained its original form over the years.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is the top pick for Chelsea Flower Show judge Christopher Bailes on his list of the 10 best gardens in the world.

In a column for British newspaper The Telegraph, published on Monday (May 23), Mr Bailes said the site offered a "real taste of the tropics", pointing to its collections of economic plants, ginger and spices set in a "charming colonial era landscape" dating back to its founding as a national garden.

Describing himself as a "committed orchidophile", Mr Bailes was impressed with the National Orchid Garden's vibrancy and its "remarkable" collection of bromeliads.

 
 

"As an antidote to all this colour, the garden still preserves a piece of Singapore's original rain forest," the former curator of the Royal Horticultural Society's garden in Rosemoor, England, concluded.

The 157-year-old Botanic Gardens, which is home to more than 10,000 species of plants, was inducted as a Unesco World Heritage Site last July.

It is the first and only tropical botanic garden on the Unesco list.

New Zealand's rhododendron-rich Pukeiti Gardens and Monet's garden at Giverny in northern France rounded up Mr Bailes' top three spots.

The Japanese Garden in Portland and South Africa's Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden were also shortlisted.

Mr Bailes said traveling the globe to visit different gardens was one of the most rewarding and pleasurable forms of tourism.

He wrote: "At its purest, gardening is a manifestation of mankind's love of plants, beauty and landscape, and gardens are as infinitely varied as the people and cultures that create them.

"A great deal can be discovered about countries or individuals through their gardens."