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A self-guided walk through the Central Core in the Singapore Botanic Gardens images featuring a photo essay of sculpture and nature

The Central Core walk is a continuation of the Singapore Botanic Gardens Tanglin Core or can be separate walks starting from the Burkill Gate on Tyresall Avenue. Either way a visit to the Ginger Garden is the first port of call, then to Orchid Plaza for an optional tour of the National Orchid Garden, then into palm valley.

It’s worth wandering through the valley, rather than walking along the Upper or Lower Palm Valley Roads. At the bottom of the valley is Symphony Lake, one image, taken in 1984, shows the lake before they built the Shaw Foundation – Symphony Stage on the island. I guess the valley forms a natural bowl for audiences, but I preferred it before the stage was built.

Symphony Lake has a footpath running around it, so it’s agreeable to do a clockwise circuit, stopping at the shelter to take some shade, drinks from the vending machine and watch the bird life. The lake attracts several species of birds, such as, Kingfishers, Bee Eaters, Herons and Bitterns. On one occasion, there was a very large catfish swimming on the surface.

Complete the circuit and climb up to Heliconia Walk to see the Chopin sculpture by Karol Badyna, which the latest added to the gardens in 2008. Sunbirds frequent the Heliconia flowerbeds near the Chopin sculpture.

I have occasionally photographed orchids in the National Orchid Garden but this is not high on my agenda, nor is the Rain Forest area or the Evolution Garden, which I do not find particularly photogenic.

Central Core photo essay of sculpture and nature images

Images are either digitally scanned colour negatives, infrared monochrome – lith post-processed print or digital originals, captured between 1984 and 2011 and processed using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. Refer to Image Processing for a list of film stock and digital cameras used in this period.