Monday, 22 July 2013

Gardens by the Bay Singapore

In January 2006 a design competition was launched for the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. It drew 70 entries from 24 countries. There were 2 winners announced in Sept 2006 - Grant Associates for Bay South and Gustafson Porter for Bay East both companies are from the UK. The designs are absolutely fantastic and the creativity and attention to detail is just outstanding and a true credit to Singapore for being so progressive in this development.

Bay South Gardens were commenced in November 2007 and subsequently development of Bay East Gardens commenced. Bay East was developed as an interim garden to be used as a staging site for some of the rowing and canoeing events of the Youth Olympic Games held in August 2010. Following the games Bay East underwent reinstatement works and opened to the public in October 2011.

A special preview of parts of Bay South Gardens, including the Flower Dome was held in November 2011 in conjunction with the World Orchid Conference. Over 300,000 people visited both the World Orchid Conference and Bay South Gardens at that time.

One of Neil Puddey's Vireya Rhododrendrons

Neil Puddey's Vireyas are housed in the Cloud Forest conservatory where the environment (all under glass) replicates the cloud forests that develop in the highlands of Southeast Asia, Tropical America, Australia and Africa. Only 1% of the global woodland is covered by cloud forests.

The Waterfall in the Cloud Forest conservatory

The Cloud Forest has a man-made 35 metre mountain and waterfall. There are far too many plants for me to mention but Neil's Vireyas were just lovely with many in flower at this time. 

The Flower Dome

The Flower Dome (also under glass) is 38 metres high and stands on 1.2 hectares of land!  The air in the Flower Dome is dehumidified and cooled to an average of 22oC recreating an atmosphere of perpetual spring. Plants are watered sparingly using underground irrigation. 

Overlooking the flower field

The Olive Tree Grove is home to some Olive trees nearing 1,000 years of age!!

A wonderful kalanchoe drift

Apart from the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome conservatories, Gardens by the Bay is 101 hectares of reclaimed land. One area is the Heritage Gardens - where Singapore's main ethnic groups and their historical significance are showcased by using different plants. There are four areas - Indian, Chinese, Malay and Colonial gardens. I especially enjoyed the British Colonial Garden with it's theme of white flowers - the frangipani was just breathtaking.

white frangipani in Colonial Garden

Supertree - vertical display

Eighteen of these 'trees' are scattered throughout the gardens - one of which is 16 storeys high. These Supertrees have a reinforced concrete core with panels attached for more than 200 species and varieties of bromeliads, orchids, ferns and tropical climbers and an open canopy representing the form of a tree.

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