Singapore has come a long way since our independence — from the inception of the Garden City Vision in 1967 to our transformation into a City in Nature with an impressive array of 4 nature reserves, over 350 parks and an extensive 300 km network of park connectors.
Today, we stand as one of the greenest and happiest cities in the region, and we are surrounded by green spaces that contribute positively to our physical and mental well-being. 93% of Singaporean households now enjoy the convenience of residing within a 10-minute walk to our nearest park, offering an easily accessible haven for solace and rejuvenation.
Beyond our extensive greenery, the National Parks Board (NParks) has also intricately designed nine Therapeutic Gardens that are made up of serene restorative spaces, as well as invigorating spaces that are equipped with amenities for therapeutic horticulture programmes.
Unlike regular parks, these outdoor gardens are developed with evidence-based design principles, proven to improve our interactions with nature through passive exposure that can enhance mental resilience and induce positive changes in our moods.
In commemoration of Singapore’s journey as a City in Nature, let’s delve into the captivation of these Therapeutic Gardens beyond their picturesque landscapes.
Introducing the 9 Therapeutic Gardens
1. Bedok Reservoir Park
The first Therapeutic Garden to be built over a sand quarry, Bedok Reservoir Park is a gem that celebrates the town’s rich heritage. Amongst many attractions, this garden overlooks the reservoir and has an interactive rock feature assembled from stones and boulders to provide visitors with the experience of engaging in rock balancing therapy.
As you stack pebbles upon pebbles and create a unique rock sculpture of your own, you’ll get to enjoy quality me-time in this shaded enclave and feel your worries take a backseat as you focus on the present.
Other nature-based activities you can do here include taking a walk through the Biodiversity Garden, where you’ll find a variety of fragrant plants including the Mock Orange, Cape Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, and Bread Flower — carefully selected to offer a relaxing experience for your senses.
2. Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
Designed in collaboration with the NUS Mind-Science Centre, the 900 square metre Therapeutic Garden here encompasses four distinct zones that correlate to our individual senses.
Fragrance Zone: Utilises flowering plants to engage our sense of smell
Edibles and Medicinal Zone: Evokes strong cultural memories through the use of familiar herbs
Colours and Textures Zone: Engages our sense of sight and touch with eye-catching plants
Biodiversity Zone: Attracts birds and butterflies that paint a visual delight for all
Arranged in a straightforward figure-of-eight layout, the park offers an endless loop of greenery, inviting you to take in the sights and smells of the different plants at your own pace. Moreover, it’s designed to be accessible for wheelchairs, ensuring that everyone can discover their own tranquil haven, far removed from the vibrant cityscape.
3. Choa Chu Kang Park
For locals residing in the West, Choa Chu Kang Park is the go-to neighbourhood space for the community to congregate and socialise. However, for those seeking a little peace and quiet, the Therapeutic Garden here features a semi-private seating area where you can lounge and relax, uninterrupted by the ebbs and flows of the larger park.
You can shift your focus towards the cascading water fountain, and lose yourself to the trickling sounds that echo through the space. Surrounded by luscious plants, you’ll feel an immediate sense of relief from the expanse of lush surroundings.
As you wander further, you’ll even find yourself in the company of avid gardeners tending to their crops in the Allotment Garden nearby. Abundant with herbs and vegetables, this garden welcomes all visitors to nurture their green fingers by leasing an allotment plot to grow plants of your liking.
Launched in 2016, HortPark featured the first inaugural Therapeutic Garden by NParks. Catered to visitors of all ages, the space hosts ample seating in a countryside gazebo, and moveable planters that encourage interaction and activities among all park users.
The garden also pays close attention to the use of colours and smells to evoke feelings and memories of a simpler past. For instance, bright-coloured flowers create an uplifting impact, while cool-coloured decor is restorative because of their calming nature to the eyes.
Enjoy sunny mornings as you stroll through the garden, greeting the day with a healthy dose of Vitamin D before you set off for errands in the city.
5. Jurong Lake Gardens
Expanding across an impressive 3,100 square meters, Jurong Lake Gardens now boasts the largest Therapeutic Garden to date, featuring two distinct segments – one tailored for adults and another thoughtfully designed for young ones.
As you step inside, you’ll be drawn to an enchanting glow-in-the-dark labyrinth, with pathways adorned with animal imprints to engage and educate young learners of our natural wildlife. Beyond these cool features, labyrinths are recognised as tools for walking meditation, offering a serene stroll that fosters relaxation while reducing the stress triggers associated with our fast-paced lives.
Nostalgic elements are also strategically placed throughout the garden, including stone chess tables, traditional swings, and musical instruments, designed to encourage interaction among fellow members of the community.
6. Pasir Ris Park
Perched just 67 metres from the ocean, Pasir Ris Park is the go-to spot for magnificent sea views, as it is the only Therapeutic Garden in close proximity to the Straits.
From here, you can catch glimpses of traditional wooden “kelongs” on the horizon, and soak in the cooling sea breeze that brings immediate relief from the tropical heat.
Find a serene spot beneath the sheltered pavilion and immerse yourself in a meditative atmosphere within this beachside garden. Abundant with wild flora and fauna, alongside verdant labyrinths designed to enrich and rejuvenate your mind and body, you can enjoy a truly meaningful experience when you seek respite here.
7. Punggol Waterway Park
Nestled in the heart of the North-East region, this Therapeutic Garden ingeniously incorporates the natural Punggol Waterway as a calming centrepiece to facilitate relaxation among its visitors.
Find solace on thoughtfully positioned benches as you embrace the serenity that surrounds you. Here, you can focus on the gentle rustling of leaves and the tranquil flow of water as it creates a melodic symphony that further enhances the zen-like atmosphere in the park.
You’ll also find a delightful array of aromatic plants that infuse the air with their pleasant fragrances, promoting relaxation and stress reduction for a one-of-a-kind wellness experience for all.
8. Telok Blangah Hill Park
Tucked away in the lush greenery of Southern Singapore, the Therapeutic Garden at Telok Blangah Hill Park is a horticultural haven that allows visitors to experience the forest from new heights.
Discover mid-canopy views from an expansive 40-metre-long viewing deck, and be greeted with direct access to our island’s natural wildlife and biodiversity.
Furthermore, the park encompasses an allotment garden, a nurturing ground for cultivating your green thumb. Here, horizontal espaliers are ingeniously employed to foster the growth of indigenous produce like starfruit, lime, and coffee.
This thoughtful design not only adds an element of horticultural artistry but also serves the purposeful function to allow everyone to interact with these bountiful plants, fostering a deeper connection between man and nature.
9. Tiong Bahru Park
As one of the oldest parks in Singapore, Tiong Bahru Park has undergone its share of enhancements. Now, with the addition of a Therapeutic Garden 50 years after its first opening, the garden is a harmonious blend of old and new as colourful floras take root among native plants in this vast sea of green.
Beyond its collection of plants, this sanctuary offers a haven of natural healing, enveloping you in the familiar fragrances of botanical wonders like Ylang Ylang and edible Thai basil. These scents, renowned for their potent effects on health and well-being, provide an immersive healing experience.
From the chirping of birds, and the occasional breeze wafting through the garden, you can experience tranquility like no other in this heritage park.
And there you have it — all nine Therapeutic Gardens throughout our nation, with more to come as NParks continues its efforts to operate 30 Therapeutic Gardens by 2030.
58th National Day #MySecretGarden Giveaway
With this in mind, we hope you’ll be inspired to visit any of the Therapeutic Gardens and immerse in the benefits of these hidden gems in your day-to-day life. We’re also excited to enhance your experience with a special National Day giveaway!
In collaboration with REFASH, we’ll be giving away 5,800 limited edition Geneco X Daryl Aiden tote bags with any purchase made in-store at any of their 16 outlets. The unique bags will feature one of the top 3 most voted images of the Therapeutic Gardens shot by photographer Daryl Aiden as part of the #MySecretGarden initiative – Geneco’s National Day Campaign.
You can also stand to be one of 20 lucky winners to receive a $58 eCapitaVoucher, a microgreen kit plus a limited edition Geneco X Daryl Aiden tote bag when you participate in our Facebook and Instagram giveaway. Simply comment on our giveaway post by answering the following question: “Name one of the nine Therapeutic Gardens featured in our latest blogpost.” The contest ends on 31 August 2023, T&Cs apply.
Let’s continue to #PowerTheChange starting from within and we hope you can find your haven of happiness.