botanic gardens


Bird watchers rush down to Botanic Gardens to catch glimpse of rarely sighted great slaty woodpecker

  • April 26, 2023

Chin Hui Shan
bird-watchers”The Straits Times
March 14, 2023

A rarely sighted woodpecker made an appearance on Sunday and led to a frenzy of bird watchers around the Botanic Gardens.

It was so rare that a couple left their wedding solemnisation nearby to take pictures of it right after their wedding speeches.

With a bald head and grey clock of feather and size of up to 51cm, the great slaty woodpecker is listed as “vulnerable” globally on the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

While it was not the first time Mr Hong Yijun has seen this bird species, the great slaty woodpecker perched itself so close to his wedding venue on Sunday that he could not resist taking photos of it. Both he and his wife are avid bird watchers and bird photographers.

This is the fourth time the bird, known to be the largest woodpecker in the world, was spotted in Singapore.

The last time it was spotted was in 2018 near the summit of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Before that, it was spotted in 1899 and 1904, according to the Singapore Birds Project, which documents wild birds here.

“I had seen this bird in Thailand and Malaysia but seeing it in our homeland was something special,” said the 28-year-old process engineer. “The fact that it graced us with its presence on our wedding day was extremely special to us.”

His wife, Ms Zoey Chua, said that they had booked the Villa, an event venue in the Botanic Gardens, because of its beauty as well as its said ability to attract interesting bird species.

Together, the newly-weds had seen birds like Himalayan griffon vultures and orange-headed thrushes at the Botanic Gardens.

Said the 26-year-old chemist: “The appearance of this rare bird on a special day

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Rare Woodpecker Spotted At S’pore Botanic Gardens, Birdwatchers Chiong To Catch A Glimpse

  • April 19, 2023

Rare Slaty Woodpecker Spotted At Botanic Gardens on 12 Mar

It’s not unusual to see birdwatchers pointing their camera lenses toward the canopies at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

But things were seemingly different on Sunday (12 Mar) as there were more birdwatchers than usual, and excitement was palpable in the air.

It turns out an elusive woodpecker had decided to grace the venue, drawing hordes of bird lovers who wanted to catch a glimpse of the rare bird.

Source: Instagram

One of the birdwatchers was, in fact, a groom who was holding his wedding solemnisation nearby — he left the ceremony briefly to catch shots of the woodpecker.

Rare woodpecker likely came from Johor

On Sunday (12 Mar), a slaty woodpecker was spotted at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Source: Facebook

With its bald head, large beak, and grey feathers, the rare woodpecker certainly bore a resemblance to the pterodactyl from the Jurassic period and also Aerodectyl from Pokémon.

Source: Facebook

BirdLife International classified the slaty woodpecker as “Vulnerable”, attributing the population decline to “loss of primary forest cover”.

Speaking to The Straits Times (ST), a committee member of the Nature Society’s (Singapore) Bird Group shared that the slaty woodpecker was one of eight species that vanished from Singapore’s forest since the 1950s.

The chairman of the same group speculated that the bird came to Singapore due to habitat loss in Johor, and served as a reminder of the importance of preserving nature here:

Its visit reminds us of the importance of our forests for biodiversity.

According to Singapore Birds Project, a slaty woodpecker was last seen in Singapore in May 2018 at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Before that, the feathered creature was spotted over 100 years ago in 1904 and 1899, respectively.

Groom rushed

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Balfour Beatty goes all electric on its Edinburgh Biomes project at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

  • April 16, 2023

Jo Gilroy, Group Sustainability Director at Balfour Beatty, shares an update on the company’s ongoing journey towards the Zero Carbon Construction Site of the future at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

We have some exciting news to share. For the first time on a live Balfour Beatty site, we’ve gone all electric.

For a duration of six weeks, our team working to deliver our Edinburgh Biomes project at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh recently trialled a fleet of all electric plant, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and familiarising ourselves with the next generation of telehandlers, excavators, dumpers and wackers.

One of the key challenges that we have faced revolves around electric vehicle charging infrastructure and availability of viable charging stations.

As you can imagine, most battery-powered plant is considerably smaller than diesel plant and therefore only offers enough power for around four-to-six hours of work before it needs recharging.

In addition, as with electric cars and vans, electric plant is far more expensive to hire or purchase than traditional diesel machinery. However, reduced fuel costs and maintenance requirements can make it considerably more cost-effective in the long run. We must also consider that upfront costs are only going to reduce as the industry climbs aboard the electric bandwagon!

There is no doubt that the switch to electric will require changes to the way in which we plan and manage our sites on day-to-day basis. We’ll need to take action and ensure that we’re charging our electric plant overnight and utilising our Power Profiler tool – which recommends the most cost and carbon efficient site compound set up, wherever possible.

So undoubtedly, there are compromises and hurdles to overcome. However, clearly, one of the main advantages of electric over diesel plant is that they produce zero emissions. This is

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Sri Lanka’s botanic gardens: Playing a crucial role in conserving country’s unique flora

  • March 28, 2023

Department of National Botanic Gardens DG Dr. Shelomi Krishnarajah 


Peradeniya Botanic Gardens

A botanic illustration by Haramanis de Alwis

By Chandani Kirinde 

Dried plant specimens

The country’s botanic gardens attract thousands of both local and foreign visitors each year with the Peradeniya Botanic Gardens taking pride of place as the best and most visited garden. Last year, when the Gardens celebrated its bicentenary, many activities were undertaken to draw public attention to the need to conserve nature and the Island’s unique flora which is coming under growing strain with the increase in population and large-scale development projects that leads to clearing of vast tracts of forests and jungles.

The Department of National Botanic Gardens, which comes under the Ministry of Tourism, plays an essential role in both preserving vast extents of natural habitat in areas demarcated as botanic gardens and also educating the public on how everyone can start in their own gardens to learn more about the country’s unique flora. The Director General of the Department Dr. Shelomi Krishnarajah in an interview with the Daily FT spoke on the importance of botanic gardens and future plans to extend its activities. Here are excerpts of the interview:

Q: What are the botanic gardens that come under the purview of your department?

 There are five botanical gardens of which the gardens at Peradeniya, Hakgala, Henarathgoda (Gampaha) were started during the early part of 19th century by the British to conduct experiments on exotic plants and explore plant wealth in the island. Two new botanic gardens were established in Mirijjawela, Hambantota for conservation of dry zone plants and in Avissawella for conservation of wet zone plants. In addition to these a National Medicinal Plant Garden was established in 1950s at Ganewatta to promote conservation, sustainable use and management of medicinal plants

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Put a spring in your step and stroll though Australia’s most beautiful botanic gardens

  • October 9, 2022

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9.30 am – 4.30 pm

The Blue Mountains is arguably one of Australia’s most breathtaking ranges, but if you drive past these great mountains you’ll reach the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.

This garden is open to the public and boasts over 40,000 native, rare and exotic plants and flowers. The area itself is a whopping 252 hectares and is 1,000 metres above sea level. As per their website, “the Garden is divided into four distinct precincts, interlaced with pathways designed for wandering, exploring and engaging with the natural environment.”

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9 am – 5.30 pm

Situated at the heart of Sydney’s bustling CBD, is the floral oasis that is The Royal Botanic Gardens.

Covering 30 hectares, this precinct offers a handful of themed gardens like the Oriental Garden, Australian native rockery, and the Bicentenary Garden which was planted back in 2016 to celebrate the ground’s 200th birthday.

The Royal Botanic Gardens also offer a range of classes and workshops in a great way to truly immerse yourself in this garden.


Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 8 am – 5 pm

The Brisbane Botanic Gardens is a 56-hectare garden and is Brisbane City’s premiere subtropical botanic garden.

It boasts Australia’s largest collection of native rainforest trees in the world and also has a Tropical Dome and Japanese Garden for guests to visit. Those who are a fan of the night sky and astronomy can stop by the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium also located on the grounds.

Maleny Botanic Gardens

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9 am – 4.30 pm

Maleny Botanic Gardens is a privately owned garden that overlooks the iconic Glass House Mountains.

The grounds have

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The History of Cheyenne’s Botanic Gardens: A World Class Oasis In A High-Altitude Desert

  • October 3, 2022

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

A dry climate, at high altitude, with little winter snow, frequent high winds and semi-regular hailstorms don’t mix to make Cheyenne the ideal location for a 9-acre collection of specialty landscapes and a three-story grand conservatory.

Nor would any logical person bet that a group of senior citizens, at-risk youth and handicapped volunteers would make up a stable volunteer workforce that provides most the labor required to maintain and grow such a monumental facility.

“I kind of jokingly say you’d have to be an idiot to put a botanic garden in Cheyenne, and I was that idiot,” said horticulturist Shane Smith said. “But I sure had a good time.”

And so have countless others who’ve enjoyed the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens over the last 45 years.

From Our Archives: Interview With Shane Smith From 2019

Innovative Workforce

Smith, who in 1976 was a horticulture research assistant at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, had become fascinated by solar greenhouses, which no one in the region had developed to that point.

But in Cheyenne, the nonprofit Community Action of Laramie County had seen some success with small 10-by-12-foot solar greenhouses. When the organization began construction on a 5,000-square-foot building, Smith volunteered his time and was ultimately asked to head up the facility, which was named the Cheyenne Botanic Garden.

“Originally, the main idea was to give senior citizens meaningful activities that produced food,” Smith said. “So under my tenure, we planted the first seed. I paid for the seed out of my own pocket because there was no budget for seed.”

Two or three months after the garden opened in 1977, Smith was approached by the local Goodwill organization, which asked if there would be a

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Sean Kenney’s ‘Nature Connects Made with LEGO Bricks’ exhibit is coming to Houston Botanic Garden

  • September 21, 2022

Sean Kenney’s award-winning exhibition “Nature Connects Made with LEGO Bricks” will be brought to the Houston Botanic Gardens this month.

The exhibit is set to run from Saturday, Sept. 24, to Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, making for six months of enjoyment for nature lovers and LEGO enthusiasts alike.

Nature Connects is an exhibit designed to highlight and illustrate the delicate balance of nature. Kenney’s exhibit seeks to convey that balance of nature and the greater ecosystem through life-size statues of various plants and animals.

Produced by Imagine Exhibitions, an Atlanta-based company, Nature Connects has depicted important topics that Kenney, a New York-based artist, holds dear, from protecting animal habitats, to planting a garden, to using a bike instead of a car, since 2012.

For the Houston Botanic Gardens, this exhibit serves as an opportunity to help people around the city get involved and get in touch with their inner green thumbs, while providing a thorough educational experience.

“I think this is a really exciting exhibition for us to help continue to introduce the garden to families and others that don’t know how much they’re gonna fall in love with this place,” said Houston Botanic Gardens President Claudia Gee Vassar. “The sculptures are really beautiful and whimsical for all of us who love legos, except for when we step on them!.”

Coincidentally, the Botanic Gardens are also celebrating their second anniversary alongside this exhibit, with a very special Family Festival occurring on the exhibit’s opening day, featuring food, games, and various nature activities throughout the garden.

“It’s really fun to be able to celebrate two years,” Vassar said. “I know that we’re all experiencing pandemic time, so it’s on the one hand surprising that it’s been two years, and yet at the same time it feels as though it’s been a

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Corpse flower Little Stinker blooms at Denver Botanic Gardens

  • June 21, 2022

Little Stinker was already closing up its bloom by Friday afternoon, much sooner than expected.

DENVER — Denver Botanic Gardens had a stinky visitor Friday, but it didn’t stay for long.

One of the Garden’s two corpse flowers, Little Stinker, started blooming for the first time since 2016. The flower was expected to bloom for 24 to 36 hours, but it had already started to close up and lose its stink by Friday afternoon.

The plant will remain on display in the Tropical Conservatory, off the Boettcher Memorial Center and Marnie’s Pavilion, throughout the weekend, the Botanic Gardens said.

Little Stinker is the little sibling of Stinky, which drew huge crowds of visitors who wanted to catch a whiff when it bloomed in 2018.

> The video above shows the crowd that came to see Stinky in 2018.

Anyone who wants to check out Little Stinker needs to purchase advance, time-entry tickets. The Botanic Gardens, located at 1007 York St., will not extend its hours.

This is the second bloom for Little Stinker and the fourth corpse flower to bloom at the Botanic Gardens since Stinky first bloomed in 2015.

Native to the rainforests of western Sumatra, corpse flowers have a foul odor similar to decaying flesh. The aroma is most potent from late evening to the middle of the night, before tapering off in the morning.

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The smell attracts flies and carrion beetles for pollination.

A corpse flower‘s bloom is a rare occurrence. The plant’s first bloom occurs after eight to 20 years of vegetative growth. The second bloom can happen every three to five years.



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Lightscape festival to mesmerise at Botanic Gardens

  • June 21, 2022

“The journey takes you past the National Herbarium of Victoria, which is a building in the gardens that isn’t open to the public, and is where all of our amazing science team [work].”

Experts were employed to ensure the gardens’ wildlife and plants will not be disturbed during the event.

Kathy Holowko, one of three local artists who have created installations especially for the Melbourne festival, constructed a giant plant press to build four pyramid-shaped lanterns.

Melbourne artist Kathy Holowko in front of her one of her lanterns showcasing the work of the <a href=herbarium. ” loading=”lazy” src=”$zoom_0.186%2C$multiply_0.3541%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C$x_0%2C$y_55/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/a1450b99c0d75de710eada9ac943db2cbcb58b30″ height=”212″ width=”375″ srcset=”$zoom_0.186%2C$multiply_0.3541%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C$x_0%2C$y_55/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/a1450b99c0d75de710eada9ac943db2cbcb58b30,$zoom_0.186%2C$multiply_0.7082%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C$x_0%2C$y_55/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/a1450b99c0d75de710eada9ac943db2cbcb58b30 2x”/

Melbourne artist Kathy Holowko in front of her one of her lanterns showcasing the work of the herbarium. Credit:Eddie Jim

She used the herbarium’s botanical plant library, which holds dried and pressed botanical specimens – some from the 19th century – to select plants for her installation.

“At night, when the lights go in it, they are illuminated from the inside, and you can see some of the details of the veins and the leaves,” Holowko said.

“[I hope it inspires viewers] to dive a bit deeper, and become more curious about this mysterious building that sits within the Royal Botanic Gardens.”

Detailed illustrations by First Nations artist Mandy Nicholson, which tell the story of country, family, and Aboriginal spirituality, will be projected in different locations around the gardens.

“One of her works that I’m really personally excited about is a projection on the separation tree which is one of the remnant trees that was here pre-colonisation,” Ward said.

“She has illustrated these really beautiful gum flowers that will be projected onto that tree, so it’s somewhat of a reclaiming [it].”

Another installation features images of Victoria’s little-known emblem, epacris impressa, or the common heath.

The event was first held in Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens in the UK a decade ago, before

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