Friday, February 12, 2016

Little One @ Pasir Panjang Nursery and Hort Park Tour

Did you know some of the roads/places  in Singapore are named after trees?  Did you know all the trees found on roads and parks actually comes from the one and only NParks nursery in Singapore? What to do if you have a space constraint to grow plants in Singapore? Why not visit the Hort Park for ideas? 

"Set up in the 1970s, the Pasir Panjang Nursery supplies close to 200,000 plants a year to green up Singapore’s roads and parks. Majority of the plants provided by the nursery are native to Singapore and not easily available in private nurseries. It is NParks’ major nursery and houses over 3,000 species of trees, palms, shrubs, groundcover, herbs, fruit trees and aquatic plants. Seeds, cuttings and saplings of native plants are collected weekly from across Singapore, including the forests. These are grown at the nursery until they are ready to be planted islandwide. The nursery also sources plants from the region such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to increase the variety of ornamental plants used in NParks’ planting programmes.

HortPark is a one-stop gardening resource centre that brings together gardening-related, recreational, educational, research and retail activities under one big canopy in a park setting. Popular with gardening enthusiasts, families, and community groups who wish to learn more about gardening or share tips with like-minded enthusiasts, HortPark is also frequently visited by visitors who enjoy taking nature walks along the Southern Ridges."

Recently, we signed up for a tour at SGfuture: Site Visit to Pasir Panjang Nursery and HortPark. This time I signed my hubby up as he had not been to the nursery (not open to public) before. 

The tour started from Hort Park and ends in Pasir Panjang Nursery. I must admit I had not been to Hort Park for almost 1 year! Quite a couple of things had changed. One of which is Community in Bloom Gardens which are actually 5 meaningful mini gardens/themes to commemorate SG 50. They are "Blk 50", "Play Mosaic", "Balik Kampung", "Talk Bird, Sing Song" and "2065". I particularly like Blk 50 and Balik Kampung. They contains a number of nostalgic items. We were also introduced to the various techniques on how Hort Park used various innovative ways to maintain their gardens. Examples are vertical gardening and Aquaponic garden. Although I have seen vertical gardens in various part of Singapore but I must admit, I do not know how these gardens were maintain. It was definitely an eye opener!

A pity the dragon head is not a replica of the dragon playground in Toa Payoh.
Blk 50 with its antique looking window grilles. There are some nostalgic furniture around too! 
Aquaponics Garden is a small scale aquaponic system in which vegetables and food fish are grown together whereby both organisms benefits mutually.
Aquaponics Garden
Sandpit in HortPark

Proceeding next to Pasir Panjang Nursery.
As mentioned earlier, many of the trees in our local parks, roadsides and even Istana were nurtured here before planted islandwide. One of the roles of the nursery is to propagate native plants. Some of these species are coming close to extinct on our island. Our group consists of many plant lovers who love to grow their own herbs and plants at home.They asked lots of questions on how to grow certain vegetables. The guides were patient to share with us their knowledge. We were also told how certain places got its name, such as Kranji, Sembawang and Kampong Glam.

Golden Papaya

Fruit of Signature Tree - ants are feeding on the seeds
This tree is also known as Signature tree because autographs can be scratched onto the stout, long-lasting leaves.
In case you wonder why there are plants in the canal : aquatic plants, including water lilies, help to purify water that runs through it. 
Purple Capsicum?

Purple chilli
Various salvage plants
Little One is particularly interested in the Asam Tree, Garcinia Atroviridis. Ever since she stepped in the nursery, she had been asking for it. The reason being she loves to eat the young leaves of this tree. She was introduced to this plant almost 1.5 years ago when she last visited and she still can remember how it tasted like. Only the orange young leaves can be eaten raw and it cannot be eaten with an empty stomach.

Garcinia Atroviridis

Although this trip to the nursery was shorter than the last, we still learnt quite a lot from the trip. Hopefully, next time NParks will open more slots for the public to go.

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