Forum: Keep wildflowers around

A lone cyclist, half-hidden by overgrown grass and other roadside plants because grass-cutting and weeding have been suspended during the current circuit breaker period here, cycling in Seletar Aerospace Drive earlier this week.
A lone cyclist, half-hidden by overgrown grass and other roadside plants because grass-cutting and weeding have been suspended during the current circuit breaker period here, cycling in Seletar Aerospace Drive earlier this week. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

With the suspension of grass-cutting services during the circuit breaker period, Singapore's grounds have suddenly burst into life (Spy the native biodiversity among the wildflowers, May 23).

The roadside kerbs and parks that used to have just grass alone are now teeming with life as flowers adorn the landscape and butterflies and bees buzz and flit in the mix.

I am among many who find this new scenery a comforting scene as we battle with the ennui of staying at home.

With a "new normal" on the horizon, I am hoping that the authorities could consider keeping our landscapes looking more natural as part of our transformation into a city in nature.

It is also important to keep wildflowers, such as the ubiquitous Tridax procumbens commonly known as coatbuttons, intact as they support our local ecosystem and provide food for our local fauna.

While there are concerns about overgrown vegetation such as grasses resulting in mosquito breeding, I believe not all turfs need to be kept and maintained the same way.

Should there be a need to cut the grasses, care should be taken to save most of the wildflowers.

Nevertheless, it is still best to reduce the frequency of grass cutting as this will also reduce our reliance on foreign workers.

Other methods can be employed to prevent mosquito breeding such as the use of mosquito pellets and the monitoring of the formation of puddles.

Ong Yao Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2020, with the headline 'Keep wildflowers around'. Print Edition | Subscribe