Singapore

NParks' garden plots a big hit with Singaporeans

The plan to get Singaporeans gardening and harvesting is off to a flying start.

Two days after the National Parks Board (NParks) announced it was making available 330 allotment garden plots, all have been snapped up.

Gardening enthusiasts formed long snaking queues around the Allotment Garden Booth at the second Community Garden Festival in HortPark at the weekend.

By the end of Sunday, all 110 plots in Punggol Park, 60 in Clementi Woods Park, and 160 in HortPark were taken up.

The 2.5 sq m plots allow gardeners of any skill level to grow their own plants, with soil and water provided by NParks.

Individuals simply need their own seeds and tools.

One household is entitled to a plot each.

The plots cost $57 a year and leases are for three years.

Housewife Kelly Orozco is eagerly awaiting the upcoming opening of allotment garden plots in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

NParks plans to open 70 plots there by mid-December, which members of the public can sign up for on their website or at the park's site office.

The 53-year-old, who lives in Toa Payoh, has a garden at the back of her first-storey HDB flat.

But her plants, especially the edibles, sometimes get stolen or are eaten by pests.

"I want to have the freedom to plant what I want without it getting stolen," she said.

The allotment gardens are considered "a novelty" in land-scarce Singapore.

"Gardening helps me de-stress, so the individual lots will be useful to me. I really hope I manage to apply for one in Bishan," she said.

The allotment gardening scheme aims to increase spaces provided to garden and promote edible gardening, in line with NParks' Edible Horticulture Masterplan.

The plan banks on the hot trend of planting edibles: a whopping 80 per cent of over 1,300 NParks' public estate community gardens grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Members of the public can expect more than 1,000 allotment garden plots in 11 parks across the island by 2019.

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