HortPark Facebook/Shelly Ng

The National Parks Board (NParks) has announced that it will offer gardens for rent to interested citizens, who want a space to grow their choice of crops. This follows the popularity of the garden scheme at HortPark, which is hosting the second three-day Community Garden Festival (CGF) and is scheduled to end on Sunday, November 5.

Last year, 80 garden plots were put up for allotment at HortPark. All the plots were quickly taken up by interested candidates. This year, new plots will be available in 10 more parks, including Punggol, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio and Clementi Woods parks. NParks has promised to offer more than 1,000 new garden plots by 2019.

The plots will be registered on first-come-first-serve basis, until November 5, 2017, at the Allotment Garden Booth at HortPark's Community Garden Festival. Each piece of land will have a 2.5 x 1 metre raised planter bed and comes for three years with a rent of S$57 per year, excluding GST. Basically, NParks is giving the soil base and water to start your gardening. The leasee can take the pick of plants to grow, be it ornamental or vegetable plants.

Allotment gardens
Alottment Gardens Screengrab from NParks website

At the launch of the Community Garden Festival, Second Minister in the Ministry of National Development Desmond Lee stated that gardening has become immensely popular in Singapore, even indoors and in schools. Residents also love to do organic farming and grow the vegetables they eat, as proven by the fact that 80 percent of gardeners under the Community in Bloom programme grow edible plants.

The theme of this year's CGF is also based on edible plants, where local and international designers have grown landscaped displays. The festival also features a large MarketPlace, having over 60 booths and stalls. The centrepiece was a three-metre edible Crimson Sunbird display by award-winning designer Harijanto Setiawan.

If residents want to participate in the experience of community gardening, they are invited to contact the HortPark Visitor Services Centre at the number 64715601 or at the NParks website.