Saturday, April 4, 2009

Singapore Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens in Singapore is a lovely way to spend an evening (it's open late). The lights, which are hard to photograph and thus not represented here, make the place even look attractive at twilight and after dark. But beware the mosquitoes. We've been in winter so long we forgot about those guys!

I once read a romance novel that described the evening air in Hawaii as smelling of "frangipani." I became obsessed with this word. It doesn't even sound real. I mean, "frangipani?" Say it a few times fast - frangipani, frangipani, frangipani. It's sort of got a My Fair Lady vibe to it: "Fran from Japan stands grandly by her man."


Right. So. The Botanical Gardens has an entire section devoted to frangipani, which meant I had to smell all of them. Verdict: Varies by flower. Some are a bit peachy, some smell just like gardenia. Most are very pleasant.

Bonus Wikipedia research note: "The scent of the Plumeria [scientific name for frangipani] has been associated with a vampire in Malay folklore." This is really just an excuse for me to get the word "vampire" in the same post as the word "twilight" (did you catch it up top there?) and thereby attact scads of Googling Edward Cullen fans to boost our web traffic.

(P.S. As far as I know, Edward Cullen does not smell like frangipani. Based on pictures of Robert Pattinson, I'd say he probably smells a bit more like stank. And if anybody ended up here trying to figure out what Edward Cullen smells like, I'd actually prefer it if you didn't stick around.)

A handful of blooms:

The Singapore $5 bill has this tree on it. Why? I don't know. I didn't ask. It's over 100 years old, and it's called a Tembusu tree. This would ordinarily be the best word I've heard in a while, but in a post with "frangipani" in it, it will get sadly shuffled to the side.

Hey, Mister! Your tree has a hole in it!

And that's all from the Botanical Gardens. Tune in next time for some museum nerdiness!

PS. Frangipani!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Great post - it definitely brightened my otherwise dull CNIC morning! Matt and I checked out the botanical gardens in Albuquerque, NM last month and I must say, your Singapore botanical gardens definitely trump it for the mere fact that we had no frangipani to speak of. Such a shame.