Thursday, August 28, 2008

Opening of Changi Airport Terminal 3 Butterfly Garden

The World's First Butterfly Garden in an airport was officially opened today at Changi T3 by Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Senior Ministor of State for Finance and Transport.

This is the 2nd butterfly garden which the Butterfly Interest Group of NSS has worked on, the first being the Alexandra Hospital Butterfly Trail which was setup in 2002.

BIG started collaborating with CAAS in May 2007 on the initial concept and feasibility of the garden and subsequently advice CAAS on the choice of butterfly species and plants for the garden. After a long 15 months and I am very pleased that we finally see the fruit of our labour. The butterfly garden is located at the Transit Mall of Changi Airport Terminal 3 and open 7x24 to transit passengers. It is designed as a tropical nature retreat to create a tropical butterfly habitat. At any one time there are about 2000 butterflies in the enclosure. As such, even during the opening where it was drizzling and cloudy, the garden was buzzing with butterflies fluttering around and feeding on flowers. As this is a new garden, the project team is continuously monitoring and refining the setup. New host plants, nectaring plants and butterfly species will be added over time to ensure the garden is attractive and lively year round.

As the T3 Butterfly Garden is located in the Transit mall, it is thus only accessible to transit passengers. However, BIG has been granted special permission by CAAS to conduct butterfly walks inside the garden. Do watch out for announcements on BIG website on upcoming walk in the T3 Butterfly garden. The walk is exclusively for NSS members and will be on first come first serve basis.

So NSS membership has its privileges ! Sign up as NSS member now if you would like to visit the T3 Butterfly Garden.

Below are some photos taken during the opening of the garden :

1. Gan and Simon with staff from Butterfly House Consultancy Sdn Bhd, the company that setup the T3 Butterfly Garden. (L-R Mr Lim, Joseph, Chin, Gan, Mrs Goh, Mr Goh and Simon)

2. Representatives from NSS at the opening - Adeline, Gan, Vilma and Simon

3. Simon and Gan with Mrs Lim Hwee Hua (Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport and Mr Foo Sek Min (Senior director of CAAS’ Airport Management Group)

4. Simon and Gan inside the T3 Butterfly Garden

5. Signage inside the garden

6. I only had my P&S camera with me so I only managed to photograph those not so active butterflies.
Clockwise from top left - mating pair of Papilio polytes (Common Mormon) with female above and male below, Junonia atlites (Grey Pansy) , Catopsilia scylla (Orange Emigrant) and Junonia ipitha (Chocolate soldier).

Like the Alexandra Hospital Butterfly Trail, the T3 Butterfly Garden is a great place for observing and photographing butterflies that are otherwise rare or not approachable in the wild - The Chocolate Soldier, Common Mormon form romulus, Common Sergeant, Great Mormon, Clipper just to name a few.

That's it for now. Watch this space for more photos of the garden.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hello where have you been ?

I moved into a new place in July and have been busy in the last one and a half months setting up my new 'garden'. My weekends have been spent shopping for plants and garden accessories, re potting plants and replacing the red clay soil in the planters. It is hard work but rewarding

Most people know me as the butterfly man but I am as much into plants as butterflies. In fact my interest in plants started before I was into butterflies and I have been doing 'gardening' for the last 40 yrs !

These are some of the plants which I have :

Air Plant (Tillandsia) requires very little maintenance and is perfect for apartment gardening. I have more than 100 airplants and these are just some of my favorite :
1. T araujei

2. T. capitata

Episcias are plants belonging to the Gesneraid family and they are grown for their colourful and interesting foliage.
1. Episcia 'Silver Skies', a lovely miniature variety

2. Episcia 'Pink Acajou'

and these are some of my Episcia collection

African violets (Saintpaulia sp) also belong to the Gesneriad family and require cooler temperature to do well. In Singapore, they do best in air-conditioned environment, e.g. office environment. Given the right condition, they requires very little care and flower non-stop. These are some AV I grow in my office.

That's it for now.

BTW, a Lime butterfly has found my Kaffir Lime (Limau Purut) plant and has laid a few eggs on it. I will post some pix of the egg and cat next time.