Day 4: I Must Have Flowers, Always, And Always

by cedhausen

Some of you might recognise that quote in the title by Claude Monet. I didn’t. I found out about it when I was shopping for bookmarks at the National Orchid Garden and I came across this quote behind a postcard which I thought was apt considering the location. And this brings me to the Photo of the Day:

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A departure from the more flamboyant usual, and for good reason too because everything else taken at the National Orchid Garden is incredibly vibrant. I like the above picture because it’s so unostentatious, and it’s also something that tickles the imagination. What lies beyond the window? Well… I know the answer, but not everybody else, and onto which the mystery adds to the fantasy of a sealed world.

But anyway, if I had to choose an alternative Photo of the Day that better represents the National Orchid Garden, it would be this one:

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Okay, so it isn’t an orchid but a spider lily I like to call the White Widow. In my defence, this was taken within the orchid garden. Plus, the rest of this post will be incredibly colourful, so I may as well begin with something more pleasant to the eye.

The day started sunny with blue skies and a few puffs of clouds just lazing in the sky, which to me was perfect since I intended to snap lots and lots of flowers. Flowers were one of my first subjects when I started taking photographs as a habit just because I had a camera with me. Nowadays, I can’t travel anywhere without my iPhone. I learnt my lesson the hard way when I passed by a Muslim family staring vacantly at a lake at dusk and thought, “hey, this would make a good family portrait”. Obviously, I had forgotten to take my phone with me and was left miserable the whole evening after. It’s always distressing when you know you have a good shot but your camera isn’t with you. I feel frustrated just thinking about it now.

Well, I came prepared for the National Orchid Garden. I even brought my laptop with me just in case I needed to charge my iPhone after a few hundred shots or so. The receptionist thought I was a student and only charged me S$1 (regular price for adults is S$5 per entry) even though I told him I was 24 and jokingly said “how I wished I had my student ID with me”. I guess he took it to mean I forgot to bring my student ID and so charged me the lower fee… Oh well, that’s one extra hawker meal for me (Cedric you pig…).

Here are some shots I took upon entering:

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Fifteen minutes later, as I was editing some Instagram shots, it started raining. It didn’t bother me at first, so I continued snapping, and made my way towards Burkill Hall where the VIP Orchid Garden area was (so named after the number of orchids there dedicated to international politicians and monarchs who have visited the area). The goal was to try and capture William and Kate’s orchid (Vanda William Catherine) that looks brilliant with its purple dots flecking the petals. Along the way, I spotted more beautiful hybrids:

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And yet, still no sign of the elusive Vanda. By this time, it started pouring heavily and I found myself stuck inside a gazebo… for two hours. I got so bored that I started taking pictures of the leaves behind me…:

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You’d think a year and a half in the UK would’ve taught me to just weather it through but I had a lot of electronic equipment with me so I couldn’t just run out. After a while, the storm subsided a little and I ran about the garden, cursing under my breath and stopping only for flowers that really stood out, like the famous Vanda “Miss Joaquim”:

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Or this red menace (Torch Ginger, or bunga kantan as it is known to Malaysians):

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Vanda William Catherine was still nowhere to be found. I came upon the Mist House (a must visit at the Orchid Garden!) where there were more exotic looking blooms:

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I think Bambi was added due to Christmas but he sure does fit in pretty nicely (where’s Thumper?!).

So despite getting drenched and being unable to locate Vanda William Catherine, the visit had been a good one. Sure the rain derailed my plans of visiting Holland Village in the evening, but it was a day well spent just admiring the plants and a refreshing change too from being surrounded with skyscrapers. Anyway, this has been a terribly long post with way-hay-hay too many pictures (I need to plan these and space them out a little lest I have nothing to provide for future posts!) and it’s freaking 5:15AM now omg okay goodnight people see you tomorrow thanks for reading but before I go have one last photo of a random flower I took on my way out towards Tanglin Gate.

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