Enjoy the beauty of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s 15 acres of lush greenery with Garden Ambassador, Mr Mohd Kassim Bin Abdulla. Having been with the hotel for 40 years, his wealth of experience on the botany landscape and passion for gardening will be shared with guests through the garden tour held every Friday and Saturday morning.
Mohd Kassim Bin Abdulla or “Kassim”, as he is commonly known, hails from a family of gardeners. It started from his grandfather to his father, uncle and cousin. Kassim joined Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore on 12 May 1973 and spent the rest of his 40 years with the hotel taking care of the gardens whole-heartedly. He is part of the pioneer team of 10 gardeners led by then Head Gardener, Uncle Charlie, when the tropical paradise of Garden Wing was first launched in 1978 featuring 44, 819 plants, the iconic Garden Atrium and Waterfall. Through the years, Kassim has witnessed the important milestones in the hotel’s history including renovations of Tower Wing, Garden Wing and the launch of The Valley Wing.
Having worked in the gardens of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore for a long time under Uncle Charlie’s guidance, Kassim is the perfect person to share the rich history of the gardens with guests. His warm demeanour and passion for gardening have touched the hearts of many guests, some of whom referred their friends to look for him specifically.
Kassim has been the main caretaker of the garden beside the free-form swimming pool. He maintains it with pride for the past 40 years, shovelling and pruning leaves to showcase the beauty of nature. Kassim is generous with his gardening knowledge and mentors new gardeners in the correct way to plant. He said, “A gardener must keep learning; learn the correct techniques of planting various plant species, learn how to spray the correct amount of fertiliser for different types of plants, and even the right time to spray the fertiliser.”
Kassim has dedicated his life to gardening. Even though he reached the legal retirement age of 62 years old last year, he requested to continue working by doing what he loves most – taking care of the gardens in Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. During his time with the hotel, Kassim has met many celebrities including John Travolta, Sir Elton John, the late Sir Edmund Hillary whom he took a photograph with and the late Country Singer John Denver who planted a tree in the Pavilion garden of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.
“We are privileged to have someone like Kassim who enjoys his work so much. His commitment to gardening is truly inspiring. The hotel is happy that we can support him in his new role as Garden Ambassador and share his story with our guests,” said Manfred Weber, general manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.
Since 1971, the hotel has been renowned as Singapore’s second botanic garden and endorsed by environmentalist such as the late Sir Edmund Hilary. It houses more than 110 varieties of 133,000 plants, flowers and trees - from ornamental flowering trees to aquatic plants and from vibrant tropical flowers to shady fruit trees. The new herb garden at the Garden Wing further strengthens this position by adding 82 different types of plants with healing properties. Potted palms, ferns and flowers are nurtured by a team of resident gardeners including Kassim who create landscaping designs for the public areas and client events. After use, these plants are returned to the gardens.
The garden tour with Kassim takes guests through the Tower Wing main lobby, car park, Garden Atrium, koi pond, swimming pool, garden and Pavilion. It starts at
10 a.m. and ranges from an hour to two and a half hours. Besides showing and explaining to guests the diverse herbs, plants and trees in the hotel, Kassim adds a personal touch with the snippets of stories about the gardens. He recounts with a tinge of nostalgia several plants such as Arrow Flame and Traveller’s Palm which have been around in the hotel as long as him.
To join the tour with Garden Ambassador, Kassim, please contact Garden Wing Reception at (65) 6213 4675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Director of Communications
Tel: (65) 6213 4769
Yap Yeong Min
Tel: (65) 6213 4882
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
Fax: (65) 6737 2693
For digitised pictures of the group's hotels, please go to http://www.shangri-la.com/imagelibrary.