1 Utama is the largest shopping mall in Malaysia and the 4th biggest in the world, with around five million sq. ft. of retail and entertainment space.
On the rooftop of this seven storey mall is a very attractive garden covering an area of 30,000 sq. ft.
It is called The Secret Garden of 1 Utama because it was developed in secret for five years before being unveiled in 2009. It has since become a popular attraction for residents of the Greater Kuala Lumpur area and foreign tourists although when we visited last weekend we were the only people there so perhaps it has become a secret again.
It is quite impressive how they have created such a lush garden on a scorching concrete rooftop and this has been achieved though experimental techniques such as the use of granulated horticultural charcoal to form a lightweight, well drained and fertile soil medium.
This mini-botanical garden displays 500 species of plants including some rare types seldom seen in Malaysia including:
- Cacti, succulents and dry climate plants such as the Kinta violet and Queen Victoria agave.
- Climbers like the purple allamanda, elephant vine and Rangoon creeper.
- Herbs, spices and food plants, including paddy rice grown in plastic buckets.
- Temperate and highland plants such as magnolias, roses, tea and azaleas.
- Accent plants like palms, cycads, giant aroids, century plants, conifers and bananas.
The garden is open to the public at weekends and on public holidays only, from 10am – 10pm. Admission is free.
The address, for anyone who is not familiar with KL, is:
1 Utama Shopping Centre, 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama City Centre, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.