Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Rain Tree

With a population of 5.3 million people in an area of 716 square kilometres, Singapore has one of the highest population densities in the world. However, the emphasis on urban greening as a cornerstone of urban development has resulted in Singapore now being called The Garden City. 

The city is dotted with magnificent old trees and one of my favourites is the Rain Tree (Samanea saman). When it blooms, the crown of this tree is covered in clusters of pinky white flowers. Interestingly, the leaves fold up just before sunset and before rain. This is why it is called the Rain Tree.

I sketched this Rain Tree which was just a stone's throw from our apartment on the campus of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. It came with it's own resident woodpecker. The little blighter made a din with it's drumming.  

The public can now nominate trees to be part of The Heritage Trees Scheme with the objective of conserving mature trees. For me the Rain Tree figures large in my childhood memories of the city. Rain Trees are part of *my* heritage. 

This sketch (including colour) of a grove of majestic Rain Trees  was done while I was waiting to have lunch with my niece at The National University of Singapore. I was trying out my (then) new Daler-Rowney travel watercolour sketch set. 

Just can't get enough of them! This photo was taken on the campus of Nanyang Technological University where we used to wait for the bus.

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