The gardens were established in 1859 by the Agri-Horticultural society, and the Singapore Botanic Garden (SBG) was originally designed by Lawrence Niven. It continues to this day to be a regional centre for plant science, research and conservation in Southeast Asia. Plus is instrumental in the greening and transformation of Singapore into a Garden City which began in around the 1960’s. The Gardens is Singapore’s first nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you are looking for a place to visit for inspiration for bonsai, then look no further than the Singapore Botanic Gardens. If you are a keen gardener, botanist, arborist or lover of nature then this is the place for you. There is so much to see and do that one day is not enough so plan your trip to allow for time to explore the vast delights. Here are a few highlights from our trip to give you a sneak insight in the world of plants and trees here. Also check out our earlier post on the Bonsai at the Singapore Gardens.

Figs in the garden

Cacti and succulents

Canopy web

This fantastic aerial walk way has a section of webbing is suspended above the ground which is great fun to climb over. Tree species that can be viewed from the aerial walkway include Sea Apple trees (Syzygium grande), Tembusu (Cyrtophyllum fragans) and Medang (Litsea elliptica).

Botanic gardens at night

As the gardens are open for free to the public from 5am until midnight it provides plenty of time to explore the 82 hectares of gardens with over 10,000 species of flora. If you want to avoid the heat of the day then go early as it is a much more pleasant walk around from about 6am and you can be there for sunrise.

Eco lake

Evolution garden

This was like a step back in time walking through this themed garden and the tree ferns and range of ferns was amazing.

Foliage garden

The foliage garden provides a chance to see ornamental and aquatic plants with a wide variety of foliage types varying in so many different shapes and colours and textures.

General pictures from around the botanic gardens

Within the botanic gardens are a collection of themed gardens including the bambusetum with giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus giganteus), which grows up to 30m tall. The Ginger garden and over 3,000 species of plants belongs to the ginger (Zingiberales) family and they are all closely related to the common spice ginger (Zingiber officinale). The Healing garden that has over 400 varieties of medicinal plants. The fragrant garden, which provides an aromatic experience for visitors.

Heritage trees

National Orchid Garden

This is truly amazing with such a colourful array of over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchid throughout the gardens. The Gardens’ orchid breeding programme began in 1928 and the gardens offer a permanent showcase and largest display of orchids that I have ever seen.

Palm valley


Tree species of interest


The Keppel Discovery wetlands is a recreation of a freshwater swamp habitat with an aerial walk way 8m above the waters surface providing a full 360 degree view. In addition to the Botanists’ boardwalk that commemorates the founding fathers of the Garden such as Henry Ridley, Henry Burkill and E J H Corner.

Waterfalls and ponds


Wildlife in the gardens