Toa Payoh Vets Clinical
Making veterinary surgery alive
to a veterinary student studying in Australia
using real case studies and pictures
Does Size Matter?
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
July 25, 2009
never gave the plants along Orchard Road a second look
if I ever went to Orchard Road. They usually
jaded office workers, their surfaces blanketed with the
grey particles of vehicular exhaust smoke. If only
plants were head turners, I would enjoy my visit to
downtown Singapore. The youthful two-legged head turners may not appreciate me
taking photographs of them. So, if there are attractive
and diverse numbers of urban greenery, they would be
great for photography.
While walking along Somerset Road, part of downtown
Singapore, to meet a group to
network and talk about setting up a match-making agency
on this fine Saturday afternoon of July 25, 2009, I was
greatly surprised to see a lady pointing her camera
phone to take pictures of some short plants along
Somerset Road. These plants looked healthy and green, as if they were
recently planted. They had the vibrant youthfulness of
green chlorophyll as they were
well nourished in a nursery before
No brown edges and fungal spots in most of them.
I had never thought of taking plant pictures along
downtown Orchard Road in Singapore. Till this lady
opened my eyes to this theme. The evening sunlight was
great for taking pictures of plants but I had a meeting
to attend to.
I went to No. 5 Emerald Hill and waited.
The lady who arranged the meeting with prospective
shareholders did not
turn up nor phoned me that the meeting was cancelled at
the last minute. "It is OK," I did not expect
her not to phone me as she was the
mover and a marketing person.
No need to get angry. The golden
rays of the evening sun beckoned. I had the
opportunity to photograph the urban jungle. Downtown
Plants were a
new theme for me. I get tired of photographing the
same theme of shoppers and shopping malls every time I
go to downtown Singapore.
Emerald Hill, I walked towards
Singapore's second latest mall
opened in 2009.
I was greatly surprised that Orchard Central Mall which
I had not visited since its opening this month had so
plants outside its borders. Big ones. Green ones.
Vitality oozed out from
these plants as they were newly planted. There was
something different in the way the plants had been
positioned and selected. It was like a green symphony
from the Orchard Road end to the Killiney Road end. The
plants from the competitors across the road look ghostly
and withered. Half dead. Brown edges and dull leaves.
Withered like sick negative-thinking old men and women, waiting to die.
Such is the nature
of new competition. They bring in a fresh concept and
look to give themselves a unique selling proposition.
But do big-leaved and fresh green plants attract the
urban shoppers to come into Orchard Central? Does size
matter? I am talking about the size of plants. What have
you been thinking?
I think size does matter. The big leaves and tall plants
attract the attention of the urbanised young shoppers.
But there is more to size. The plants must be youthful.
Vitality. Freshness. Clean and green.
They will definitely attract the young people who are
nowadays visually attracted to things compared to the
older generation. The young prefers glitz to the
content. Singapore's shopping malls have the same
franchises and types of businesses and have become very
boring. You see one, you see all. So I was surprised to
see that Central Mall has a new
concept. No anchor tenant. New
types of franchisees. Maybe they
ought to have a veterinary clinic
for their targeted clientele's
small pets. This animal clinic is
not a new idea as some shopping
malls do have one.
Besides big and green plants, the
shops need to have a variety of
trades. That is the
which will ultimately win over the
sophisticated shopper and
tourists. Still, there must be
something outside to get them to
the door. And that will be tall,
green and youthful plants.
plants must be maintained very well
as traffic smoke adversely affect
their health. How to do it? Whose responsibility is it? Where
does the money come from? Who cares about plant health?
If plant maintenance is not done regularly, plants just
become dead wood. Like jaded old retirees who are waiting
to die. This concept of regular and frequent maintenance
and rejuvenation apply to all businesses and life.
I was stood up this Saturday. But
I had the bright rays of the golden evening sun that permitted me to
take some attractive pictures of downtown pavement plants to share
with readers. Every time I see the pictures, I get reminded of a
veterinary salesman whose favourite phase in the Hokkien dialect is:
"Singaporeans want things to be 'green' and 'cheap'". Well, the
plants in these pictures are definitely "green". I doubt they are
OK, the plants are not
head-turners. I have tried to include some people and cars inside
the picture to make them come alive and tell readers to live life to
the fullest. I hope that older readers enjoy appreciating
their youthfulness and green colours. And feel young and passionate
All rights reserved. Revised: July 28, 2009