Singapore's Garden Heritage
Established in 1859 by the Agri-Horticultural Society, the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) is an example of the English Landscape Movement’s design style, with many of its historic buildings such as Burkill Hall (1868), Ridley Hall (1882), EJH Corner House (1910) and Holttum Hall (1921) remaining almost entirely intact till today. In the early years, the Gardens played an important role in fostering agricultural development in the region through collecting, growing, experimenting and distributing potentially useful plants, most notably the Hevea brasiliensis (Pará Rubber) which became a major crop that transformed the region. Since its establishment, the Gardens has continued to be a leading centre for plant science, research and conservation in Southeast Asia. Today, it is recognised internationally as a leading institution of tropical botany and horticulture, and its library and herbarium collections (comprising over 750,000 specimens) serve as an important reference centre for research on the region's flora for botanists around the world.
SBG was and continues to be instrumental in the greening and transformation of Singapore into a Garden City, successfully implementing then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's vision and greening programme that started in the 1960s. The gardens provided the expertise, skills and resources needed to implement the vision and continues to contribute through its plant research, education and conservation work. SBG has always been an integral part of Singapore's social and cultural heritage. Today, SBG is also an important tourist attraction and a much-loved civic space, welcoming over four million visits annually. The Gardens is Singapore's first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Highlights of this Learning Journey include the Gardens' majestic Heritage Trees, the iconic Bandstand, and the newly opened Heritage Museum.