Assistant Manager (Conservatory Operations)
School of Study
The University of Queensland
Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture)
A Different World, A Different Experience
Studying overseas has been an eye-opening experience for me, as the teaching styles and methods are vastly different from those in Singapore. I feel that it is very enriching as we are allowed to experience first-hand horticultural practices and methodologies which are not found in Singapore. The school is also robustly equipped with horticulture materials, journals and archives for reference and study, so this allows for comprehensive research for students.
This course had allowed me to gain a more holistic and in-depth insight on various aspects of horticulture, from plant genetics to plant production. The advantage of a specialized horticulture course is that students are exposed to field trips and practical lessons, where they can translate theories into practice for subject mastery. Lifestyle Horticulture is one such module which I find very interesting, where the lecturer brought us around Brisbane and showcased the various green wall technologies that were used in Australia. This led to my greater appreciation of the importance of greenery in urban landscapes, which I feel can greatly impact the larger environmental landscape, and help shape horticultural technologies and methods for the future as well.
Greening Singapore and the Gardens
I am a Senior Horticulturist working in Bay South. My daily work includes liaising with contractors for the regular maintenance of Scented Walk and Fragile Forest site developments and upgrading, tree inspection records, plant tagging and identification. I am also in charge of ensuring the decoration and displays of the outdoor gardens during special events (eg. Singapore Garden Festival) or during festive seasons (eg. Christmas Wonderland, Chinese New Year). I also help out during the changing of displays in the Flower Dome during festive peaks with the team, which often stretches overnight.
My primary passion for plants had spurred me to pursue the Diploma in Horticulture and Landscape Management from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, which allowed me a generic overview of the subject and gave me a head-start in my horticulture career. Working in GB has given me the opportunity to truly understand first-hand, the nuts and bolts of a horticulturist’s job, and appreciate what is required of a horticulturist. It is often not a cushy job, but I feel immensely grateful to be a part of improving the urban greenery landscape of the gardens as well as the larger part of Singapore, to fulfil Singapore's vision of creating a City in a Garden.
Our line of work is very specialized, so do not hesitate when there is the opportunity to upgrade your knowledge in this niche field. Grab every opportunity to learn and expand, especially if you have a true interest and passion in horticulture. No matter how tough the period you are going through, never give up. You will eventually come to taste the sweet fruit of success and accomplishment after all your hard work, and it is indeed a true joy to be doing something which you love, everyday.