Featuring : Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West
This urban park, developed on a hillock, is the bigger of two town parks at Ang Mo Kio Town. Flanked on two sides by roads - Ang Mo Kio Ave 5 and Ave 6, and on the other two sides by residential estates, this park boasts a total area of about 21 Hectares.
Rows of majestic Livistonia palms rising a few stories high, line the steep slope, creating a formal colonnade of natural columns, drawing the eye upwards and towards the plaza at the top of the hill. At the entrance to the park from AMK Ave 6, there is a small pergola adorned with the pink flowers of the Honolulu creeper (Antigonon leptopus). To the right of this pergola is a large pond covered with water lilies.
A small patch of Lantana surrounded by tall Dracaena marginata shrubs and other palms, greet visitors to the park. The Lantana flowers attract several species of butterflies, like the Peacock Pansy, Lemon Emigrant and the Leopard.
Along the foot of the slope the landscaping changes to patches of Snakeweed (Stachytarpeta indica) and another larger related species, the Pink Snakeweed (Stachytarpeta mutabilis) interspersed with lower ground cover of various other flowering plants.
Moving up the slope the planting changes further with patches of Singapore Rhododendron and the Powderpuff Flower (Calliandra haematocephala) and various other leafy plants. Past the shelter (which comes in handy if it rains) one moves further up and the planting along the slope changes again, but this time of the green leafy varieties.
At the final flight of steps up to the small plaza right at the top of the slope is a diamond-shaped kerbed planter that is filled with more Snakeweed, Peacock Flower and a rather lush growth of Bidens sp. It was interesting to note that the Bidens sp. sport exceptionally tall and leafy green leaves and not too many flowers. At the location, there were many skippers like the Small Branded Swift, Formosan Swift, Grass Demon as well as the fast-flying Pierids like the Striped Albatross and Lemon Emigrant.
A Common Mormon flies past, as I was trying to shoot a sun-bathing Formosan Swift, as several individuals of Common Grass Yellow flutter around the flowers and leaves of the Peacock Flower - some ovipositing on the leaves. A couple of Chocolate Pansies frolick in the warm morning sunshine.. A solitary Common Mime makes a hurried pit-stop at the purple flowers of the Snakeweed, taking a quick sip of nectar, before flying off quickly.
The Yellow Palm Dart, Cycad Blue, Common Dartlet and a Bamboo Paintbrush Swift
This waterbody is a dragonfly enthusiast's haven, with at least 10 or more species flying around the edges of the pond and resting on their favourite perches, returning time and again, even when disturbed.
Along the fringe of the pond, a number of Saraca cauliflora trees were in full bloom, with their attractive orange-yellow flowers busy with Lemon Emigrants and Painted Jezebels.
Location Map of Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West
Text & Photos by Khew SK
Ms Chong Siew Chuen, Parks Officer, Community Parks, National Parks Board, who was a key person who helped to create the butterfly-attracting landscaping at AMK Town Garden West.
Further Reading :
NParks Website - AMK Town Garden West