Orchids in the newly minted UNESCO World Heritage Site (i.e. Singapore Botanic Gardens)

Hey Meimei,

Your conversation with the Boobook in the National Orchid Garden is hilarious! I gotta say that our National Orchid Garden is a wonderful place to bring friends who are visiting Singapore for the first time. Not only does it have a gorgeous collection of orchids which are rotated regularly, it is beautifully landscaped so it is a joy to stroll through. It is no wonder that one of my friends (who is a Martha Stewart perfectionist type with an eye for beauty and design) chose Burkill Hall, the huge black-and-white house at the top of the hull, as the location for her wedding dinner!

The VIP Orchid Garden is located just behind Burkill Hall and is styled as a traditional English backyard garden. This is where all the finest orchids from the Botanic Gardens orchid hybrid breeding labs are located, as part of Singapore’s longstanding Orchid Diplomacy programme.

I do have a few favourite flowers in this little garden that I like to point out to visitors.

The delicate white blooms of the Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana are one of my favourites. This orchid was actually bred in honour of Princess Diana, but sadly, she died just before her scheduled visit to Singapore, so the flower had ‘Memoria’ added to its name.

Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana (Picture Credit: Bugs & Buds)

Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana (Picture Credit: Bugs & Buds)

Although Princess Diana never got to see her orchids, during the royal couple Will and Kate’s visit to Singapore a few years back, the flowers were specially planted in a large pot so that they could view them.

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Thoughtfully considering the Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana (Picture Credit: BBC)

I also like the star-shaped Paravanda Nelson Mandela, which has green and yellow petals speckled with rusty red which reflect the colours of the South African national flag.

Paravanda Nelson Mandela (Picture Credit: Shiny Things)

Paravanda Nelson Mandela (Picture Credit: Shiny Things)

One of the most appropriately named flowers in the garden are the Doritaenopsis Sir Elton John which has very large and fancy blossoms that are white and gold with an eye-catching splash of purple! Loud and showy, just like the entertainer himself.

Doritaenopsis Sir Elton John (Picture Credit: Kiss 92.5)

Doritaenopsis Sir Elton John (Picture Credit: Kiss 92.5)

I have no doubt that if Tony Abbott sees fit to visit our tin pot little Asian country, he might have an orchid named after him, just like Julia Gillard did when she visited Singapore. Maybe a little orchid diplomacy is needed to get him to feel more kindly towards Southeast Asia!

Dendrobium Julia Gillard (Picture credit: ABC News)

Dendrobium Julia Gillard (Picture credit: ABC News)

I think they gave her these bright flowers because of her bright hair.

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