Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tropical rooftop garden reviewed

The Secret Garden of One Utama, situated on the roof of a seven-floor shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur and occupying one quarter of a hectare, has received rave reviews in the Malaysian press. It got one full page in the Star, one full page in Sin Chew News, and a half page in Guang Ming News. The New Straits Times feature will appear shortly and a video will also be made available in the New Straits Times website.

We found that different visitors had different interests, so our strategy of providing a variety of themes turned out to be correct. The themes are (1)temperate plants (2)desert plant (3)tropical climbers (4)food plants (5)flowers (6)colourful foliage and (7)iconic plants.

The garden is different from Eden in Cornwall in that it is not covered. The whole garden is exposed to tropical temperature and rain.

With this experience and our experience in growing a tropical rain forest within a shopping mall, we are now ready to design a roofed structure that will house an integrated combination of forest, garden, shopping and dining. The vegetation can be fully tropical but the temperature and light can be maintained at more comfortable levels.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Francis,

I have read with great interest an article on the subject reported in the Sin Chew Jit Poh newspaper.

I am a keen gardener who is looking for some Papilionanthe hookeriana. Would you mind let me know where I can get these cheaply?

I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.



Dr Francis Ng said...

If you see any plants in the Secret Garden that you would like to obtain, try Fong Nursery, email:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dr Francis! :0)

So glad to hear from you on this blog. And thanks for your recommendation!

Could you please teach me how to grow Papilionanthe hookeriana? I heard it grows in a creeping habit and not upright as most terete vandas are trained to grow.

My other question is how do these plants actually grow in the wild when their roots are dangling in the air? Do they just survive on air, or is there something special that encourages their growth eg. microbs, etc...

Hear from you soon. Thanks!



Dr Francis Ng said...

Hi Stanley. I am no expert on Papilionanthe hookeriana. In nature it grows on floating mats of Hanguana malayana and is erect, supported by its own roots and the leaves of the Hanguana. In the Secret Garden the plants are supportd partly by wooden stakes and partly by the leaves of Sansevieria trifasciata.

What we have in the Secret Garden is an experiment. The whole garden is a collection of experiments and the public is welcome to see what happens from week to week or month to month.