It was the first Saturday of the month and we had planned to visit the HortPark, billed as the Gardening Hub, with our neighbours.
The weather was beautiful and the boys were looking forward to the little day out with their friends.
Friendly Guides at HortPark’s Visitor Services Centre
Upon arriving, our first stop was the Visitor Services Centre where we could pick up some leaflets and gather more information about HortPark.
Two guides were exchanging information with some guests. When they saw the children, they were happy to show them a collection of plant seeds and even a beetle that they picked up in the park.
Free Plant Cuttings
We were also directed to a table where there was a small pot of plant cuttings as giveaways.
The HortPark distributes free plant cuttings on the first Saturday of each month and they had the Mexican Terragon on the day of our visit. According to our neighbour, it is used for salads. It would make a great plant for those who love fresh vegetables from their home garden.
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While walking into the park, Zach excitedly pointed out the colour of some trees to me. I stared hard but could not see what he was trying to tell me until someone mentioned that the front lawn is also known as the “Silver Garden”.
The trees around that area were specially planted because of the colour of their leaves. Under the moonlight, these leaves have a silvery glow, creating a magical atmosphere for those dining at the restaurant located nearby. I would have missed them if not for my son. Children really do view the world around them with wonder and awe.
Fun at HortPark’s Children’s Playground
We stopped by the children’s playground and Asher had fun playing inside a container which housed different instruments made of bamboo.
Along the way, a guide warned the children to keep an eye out for red ants and not to stray onto the grass or pick up leaves. It was hard not to let the children roam around in the park so instead, we just kept a look out for ants wherever we went.
Scarecrows Play Their Role in the Gardens
Asher was also thrilled to see a friendly scarecrow in a Chinese suit and Phua Chu Kang boots. It was also an opportunity for me to share with him why farmers and gardeners place scarecrows in their fields.
I would have loved to stop and admire the plants and smell the flowers but the children were moving too fast!
Kapok Tree at the Gardening Hub
I spotted a clump of white fluff on the grass and when I picked it up; I found that it was very much like cotton. My suspicion was confirmed when a guide came over and said that it came from the Kapok tree in the park. There are not many of these trees left in Singapore with another prominent one being at the Botanic Gardens.
She pointed out the tall tree behind the Butterfly Garden. I saw a few brown seeds among the cotton and explained to the boys that the seeds of the Kapok tree are wind-borne and that it relies on the wind to help scatter them.
Before heading back to the entrance, we entered the Butterfly Garden, which is open only on the first Saturday of each month. (Editor’s note: According to NParks, the Butterfly Garden is currently closed for maintenance till further notice.)
I have not visited the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom at Sentosa so it was quite an experience for me to see so many of these lovely creatures fluttering around me. Some even attempted to land on my head and arm.
It was a very hot day and I was perspiring. Apparently, butterflies are attracted to sodium, which is found in salt and sweat. They cause no harm but suck in the small amounts of sodium on our skin.
Some of the butterflies were quite big and the children had a good time getting up-close to admire them.
We had a great time at Hort Park and look forward to visiting again!
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