Gardeners snap up all 220 plots on offer in 5 parks

Some 470 hobbyists woke up early yesterday to queue for gardening plots at five parks around Singapore.

For 220 of them, their early start bore fruit.

They each got their hands on a plot at Bedok Town Park, Choa Chu Kang Park, Pasir Ris Park, Sengkang Riverside Park or Yishun Park under a popular gardening programme.

Before registration opened at 9am, queues had already formed at those parks, said the National Parks Board (NParks).

It runs a programme where amateur gardeners are alloted individual plots on a first-come-first-served basis.

NParks runs another community gardening programme where residents tend to a shared plot.

By noon yesterday, all 220 allotment plots had been snapped up.

Said NParks group director for parks Chuah Hock Seong: "All these allotment gardening plots have been fully subscribed."

These plots were part of plans to encourage community gardening.

Under the Edible Horticulture Masterplan announced in November last year, more than 1,000 allotment gardening plots will be introduced in 11 parks islandwide by next year.

Last November and December, 400 allotment gardening plots were rolled out in HortPark, Clementi Woods Park, Punggol Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

These were fully subscribed as well, said Mr Chuah.

Registration for 340 plots in two more parks is slated to open by the end of this year - 300 plots in Jurong Lake Gardens West and 40 in Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West.

The plots - each comprising a raised planter bed measuring 2.5m by 1m - are available for individuals to grow edible and ornamental plants.

They can be leased for three years for $57 a year.

Only one person per household is allowed to lease a plot for each lease period.

NParks provides the basics: a raised garden plot at waist level, soil and water. Gardeners have to bring their own seeds and tools.

In a pilot allotment scheme in July 2016, 80 allotment plots that were made available in HortPark were quickly snapped up, said NParks.

The public can find out more at www.nparks.gov.sg/gardening/allotment-gardens

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'Gardeners snap up all 220 plots on offer in 5 parks'. Print Edition | Subscribe