Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest cooled conservatory recently completed a series of enhancements, where several exhibits were revamped to create a more engaging experience for visitors. This is the first time since the Gardens opened in 2012 that Cloud Forest has undergone significant changes.
In this cool-moist conservatory, which houses more than 72,000 plants, visitors can experience the unique diversity and ecology of cloud forests, which are generally found on misty mountains throughout the tropics of Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas.
The exhibits that were enhanced are Secret Garden, Cloud Forest Gallery and Cloud Forest Theatre. A biannual changing orchid display was also introduced recently in September.
Today, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Mr Desmond Lee was guest of honour at the launch of the enhanced Cloud Forest, where he experienced the new features.
Mr Felix Loh, Chief Operating Officer of Gardens by the Bay, said, “Cloud Forest is a place where hidden treasures are waiting to be discovered, be it plants with ancestry that can be traced back to prehistoric times, or orchids so tiny that you need to appreciate their beauty through a magnifying glass. The enhancements are part of our ethos to consistently offer something new, so that our visitors will come back again and again to re-discover the wonders of the Plant Kingdom.”
A transformed landscape at Secret Garden
Secret Garden, nestled at the foot of the mountain, is a representation of limestone forests and caves. These areas are endangered habitats due to climate change.
As part of the new landscaping enhancements, more than 7,000 plants of more than 135 species and hybrids have been added to the plant collection here. Many of these plants belong to the gesneriads, begonias, orchids and ferns families, as these plants are commonly found in these habitats.
Other new elements include limestone and rock structures, as well as lighting features.
A showcase of miniature orchids was also installed recently. These orchids are so small that magnifying glasses have been put in place for visitors to view their blooms.
The revamped Secret Garden gives visitors a more immersive experience as they walk through the space. The hope is that by experiencing the beauty of limestone forests and caves, visitors gain a greater awareness and appreciation for the biodiversity in these places.
Mr Tan Jiew Hoe, Board Director at Gardens by the Bay and President of the Singapore Gardening Society, sponsored the enhancement of the Secret Garden and worked closely with the Gardens by the Bay team on the project.
He said, “For the new Secret Garden, we chose plants that can be found in the special environment of limestone forests and caves. In time to come, we hope to slowly introduce species that are either endangered or close to extinction, and nurture a refugium for plants.”
A new Cloud Forest Gallery and Cloud Forest Theatre
Cloud Forest Gallery and Cloud Forest Theatre were previously known as Earth Check and +5 Degrees respectively.
The changes to these two multimedia-centric zones of Cloud Forest broaden the focus on climate change into a more thematic journey for visitors.
In these two zones, visitors are given an insight into the Anthropocene, the current geological period mankind is living in, where for the first time in history a single species has a dominating influence on the climate and environment.
Visitors are also shown how human actions are causing a loss in biodiversity, and why the world is moving towards what is colloquially called the “sixth extinction” by scientists.
The new Cloud Forest Gallery amplifies the multimedia elements of its previous incarnation Earth Check with graphics, colourful dioramas, short video clips and interesting artifacts to explain – through the strong use of visuals – the possible sixth extinction caused by humans.
From Cloud Forest Gallery, visitors move on to Cloud Forest Theatre, where the message of the sixth extinction culminates in a hopeful ending – how people can do their part to help nature, in order to veer away from potential disaster and towards a more sustainable future.
Visitors are greeted by a hologram that illustrates the ecologically-sensitive approach in building Gardens by the Bay. Following this, they enter a revamped mini-auditorium space where they can watch two videos, the ever-popular “+5 Degrees” as well as a new video, “Green World”.
“+5 Degrees” is a video presentation on the negative effects on the planet if the temperature increases by five degrees while “Green World” explores the positive changes people can make to positively impact our environment.
Cloud Forest Gallery and Cloud Forest Theatre are supported by ST Engineering.
Biannual changing orchid displays
Visitors to Cloud Forest can also look forward to biannual changing displays of one of the world’s most diverse botanical families – orchids.
The inaugural orchid display, which focused on Cattleya orchids and their relatives, launched on September 10 this year. The next orchid display, which will showcase orchids from the genus Dendrobium, will begin in March next year.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on plant highlights at the enhanced Secret Garden here.
Thirty-three children from Hope Centre (Singapore) enjoyed an early Yuletide treat at Gardens by the Bay today when they met Santa Claus, who has travelled here all the way from Lapland.
Chaperoned by Gardens by the Bay staff, the children met Santa inside Flower Dome, which has been transformed for the “Poinsettia Wishes” floral display, complete with Santa’s cabin, post office, toy workshop and candy store amidst brightly-coloured poinsettias and other holiday season blooms.
The meet-and-greet with Santa Claus was organised by Gardens by the Bay for seven voluntary welfare organisations, as part of the Gardens’ community outreach efforts.
In the month of December, more than 300 children aged between seven and 12 years old from Hope Centre (Singapore), Life Community Services Society (Yishun and Pasir Ris), Infant Jesus Homes & Children's Centres, Rainbow Center – Yishun Park School, Children's Aid Society, and En Community Services Society – TriLOVE Student Care Centre, will get to meet Santa.
“This is the first time that Santa Claus from Lapland is visiting Gardens by the Bay to be part of our yuletide festivities, and we thought it would make Christmas very special for the children if they got to meet him amidst the beauty of Flower Dome, which has been transformed into a wintry landscape,” said Ms Ong Chui Leng, Senior Director of Programming at Gardens by the Bay.
“The chance to meet Santa Claus in Flower Dome is a wonderful early Christmas present for the children. It was such a delight to see the smiles on their faces when they met Santa in person. It’s a special experience that’s hard to forget,” said Ms Jen Lim, Head of Corporate Communications and Fundraising at Hope Centre (Singapore).
Members of the public can also meet Santa Claus in person in Flower Dome on selected days in December, as he is also here for Gardens by the Bay’s “Poinsettia Wishes” Christmas Programmes.
Other activities in the “Poinsettia Wishes” Christmas Programmes include storytelling by Santa’s elves, pantomime performances, festive dances, meet-and-greet with Gardens by the Bay’s mascot Wise Wee, and a unique holiday season performance by Chinese chamber music ensemble Ding Yi Music Company. To complete the experience of a magical yuletide, a projection of the Northern Lights plays in Flower Dome every evening from 7pm.
“Poinsettia Wishes” Floral Display
Date: 10 Nov 2017 to 8 Jan 2018
Time: 9am to 9pm (9am – 10pm from 1 Dec 2017 to 1 Jan 2018)
Location: Flower Dome
Details: Admission charges to the Flower Dome apply.
“Poinsettia Wishes” Christmas Programmes
Date: 7 Dec to 10 Dec 2017 & 14 Dec to 17 Dec 2017
Time: Selected timings – please click here for details
Location: Flower Dome and Canopy
Details: Admission charges to the Flower Dome apply. Programmes at Canopy are free.
Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/poinsettiawishes for more information on the “Poinsettia Wishes” floral display and Christmas Programmes, as well as ticketing promotions.
After six years helming the Gardens by the Bay Board, Mrs Theresa Foo will be stepping down as Chairman on
1 December 2017.
Under her stewardship, the Gardens has grown into an internationally acclaimed horticultural attraction that is also embraced by Singaporeans as a garden of their own. Visitorship hit one million less than two months after the Gardens opened, and to date, the Gardens has welcomed more than 39 million visitors. Today, it has established itself as one of Singapore’s most popular leisure destinations and recreational spaces.
Building strong stakeholder engagement and confidence
Mrs Foo has been instrumental in steering the Gardens’ vision to be a world of gardens for all to own, enjoy and cherish. A champion in reinforcing the “people’s garden” identity, she supported several initiatives to promote greater visitation and involvement of Singaporeans. The introduction of the “Gift of Gardens” community outreach programme has enabled more to enjoy the Gardens, while the “Friends of the Gardens” network of members and volunteers reflect the growing affinity between the community and the Gardens. A concerted effort was also made to present quality floral displays alongside wide-ranging events and activities that cater to people from all walks of life.
With her illustrious career spanning over 40 years in the banking industry and chairmanship on several Boards, Mrs Foo has provided valuable guidance in corporate governance. At the Charity Transparency and Governance Awards 2017 organised by the Charity Council yesterday, the Gardens not only received the Charity Transparency Award for exemplary disclosure practices, but was conferred the Charity Governance Award – the top honours for achieving the highest standards of governance – in the large charity category.
Nurturing a garden of wonder
“While Gardens by the Bay is relatively young, having just celebrated its fifth anniversary this year, it has been a rewarding experience for me to be part of the Board, pioneering key milestones. Not many would have the opportunity to witness the evolution of an architectural marvel into a place of wonder for all ages and an icon of Singapore. I am heartened to work alongside passionate individuals who share in the vision for the Gardens. We have shown to the world that Singapore is capable of creating a masterpiece that combines nature, technology and community elements within a bustling cosmopolitan city-nation,” said Mrs Theresa Foo.
Mrs Foo will be succeeded by Mr Niam Chiang Meng, who is currently Deputy Chairman of Gardens by the Bay.
“Gardens by the Bay has placed Singapore on the world map with its remarkable achievements and accolades under Mrs Foo’s leadership. I am looking forward to further contribute as its Chairman in driving the Gardens’ vision and mission in the exciting years ahead,” said Mr Niam Chiang Meng.
Dr Kiat W. Tan, CEO, Gardens by the Bay, added, “We would like to thank Mrs Theresa Foo for her commitment and contribution since the inception of Gardens by the Bay. The Gardens’ first five years were filled with many firsts, which were also milestones for Singapore as a City in a Garden. Mrs Foo’s guidance has seen us through a crucial stage, and her dedication to the Board has set a strong foundation for the Gardens in its efforts to create wonder for all. We also welcome Mr Niam as he assumes chairmanship and believe the Gardens will enthral and delight visitors for years to come.”
Gardens by the Bay won gold at the 22nd World Orchid Conference (WOC 22) held in Ecuador with its orchid display, “In a cavern, in a canyon”. The winning display also went on to garner the Best of Show award. In all, Gardens by the Bay took home 10 top accolades and 32 awards for individual plants.
This is the first year Gardens by the Bay is participating in the prestigious international event, which is held every three years and is also known as the “Olympics of Orchids”. It opened yesterday in Ecuador’s Guayaquil Convention Center, and will run until November 12.
In 2011, the 20th World Orchid Conference was held in Singapore, and Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome showcased a display of orchids to mark the occasion. That was the first time the public had the opportunity to preview Flower Dome, as the Gardens only officially opened in 2012.
Gardens by the Bay’s win at WOC 22 is a significant achievement. The Gardens celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, and this is the first display that it is putting up outside of Singapore and on a world stage. The display was in competition with more than 30 stunning orchid displays from countries such as Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Barbados, Guatemala, Italy, Thailand, China, Taiwan and Canada.
Accolades on a world stage
Chief Operating Officer of Gardens by the Bay Mr Felix Loh, said, “Competition standards are high with the many beautiful exhibits and we are proud that our orchid display shone at our first international outing. Competing on a world stage not only gives our staff the opportunity to hone their horticultural skills, but this achievement also raises the international standing of Gardens by the Bay as one of Asia’s foremost garden destinations.”
President of the World Orchid Conference Trust Ms Sandra Tillisch Svoboda, said: “Gardens by the Bay is young at only five years old, but its team has demonstrated an impressive level of creativity and knowledge of orchids. By combining floral artistry with an innovative interpretation of the space within a cavern, they presented a stunning, unique environment for our visitors to explore. In recognition of their beautiful and educational display, they have been awarded the gold medal.”
The Gardens’ team, which has been in Ecuador since November 3 to set up “In a cavern, in a canyon”, wanted to portray through a fantastical display the unexpected wonder of orchids thriving amidst a rocky landscape. “In a cavern, in a canyon” features 3,600 orchids of 76 different varieties, including many tropical orchids from the Southeast Asian region.
These include well-known orchids that put Singapore’s orchid industry on the map, such as Papilionanda Tan Hoon Siang, as well as orchids that have special meaning to our country, such as our national flower Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim (popularly known as Vanda Miss Joaquim) and Renanthera Singaporeans
Also used in the display are hybrids created by Gardens by the Bay, such as Aranda Gardens by the Bay, Rhyncholaeliocattleya Gardens by the Bay and Dendrobium Kiat Tan.
Gardens by the Bay’s CEO recognised as Guest of Honour of Guayaquil
Gardens by the Bay received another accolade when its CEO Dr Kiat W. Tan was conferred the status of Guest of Honour of Guayaquil – the largest city of Ecuador – by its mayor Mr Jaime Nebot Saadi, at the opening ceremony of WOC 22 on November 7.
Dr Tan was honoured for his life’s work in the stewardship of nature, such as his pioneering role in the dramatic transformation of Singapore’s landscape to achieve the country’s “City in a Garden” vision, and his important contributions to the field of botany and horticulture through the years.
Presentation on inter-zonal orchid hybrids
At WOC 22, staff from Gardens by the Bay’s Research & Horticulture department will also share their expertise in hybridising highland and lowland orchids with their international peers. The team will present their research paper on their successful efforts in cross-breeding orchids from divergent temperature zones.
Crossing orchids from two disparate climactic regions is rarely done in the industry. Since 2015, the Gardens’ Research & Horticulture department has been working on an orchid hybridisation programme that focuses on crossing highland with lowland orchids to produce one-of-a-kind hybrids.
The programme recently produced its first successful highland-lowland hybrid, Dendrobium Kiat Tan, which has been registered with Royal Horticultural Society in the UK. It possesses the rare characteristic of being able to thrive in both highland and lowland climates. The Gardens’ Research & Horticulture department is in various stages of cultivating six other highland-lowland hybrids.
The team also presented a poster display on temperature effects on flowering in various orchid genera.
Families and friends came together at Gardens by the Bay earlier this evening to witness the launch of Mid-Autumn @ Gardens by the Bay, by Guest of Honour, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee.
Following the lighting up of the "Arrival of the Phoenix" lantern set, Minister Lee took a tour of the large-scale lantern displays that dotted the ground of Gardens by the Bay, including the "Waters of Prosperity" lantern set – the largest to date at Gardens by the Bay, spanning 1,250 sqm over water.
Ms Ong Chui Leng, Senior Director of Programming at Gardens by the Bay, said, “Autumn is a time for harvests and to celebrate nature’s bounty. This year, we are bringing the abundance of the autumn season to visitors, with lantern displays depicting scenes of bountiful harvests and good fortune. Many of these lantern sets have been designed to bring out the Gardens’ landscape and accentuate our iconic features. Together with the myriad of festivities, we hope to welcome everyone to celebrate Mid-Autumn with family and friends at the Gardens.”
Highlights of Mid-Autumn @ Gardens by the Bay
Around the Gardens, spectacular lantern sets adorn popular outdoor and indoor spots – from a paddy field of glowing rice stalks by the edge of the Dragonfly Lake, to a plethora of fruit and vegetable lanterns complementing the "Autumn Harvest" floral display in the Flower Dome.
The Silver Garden also comes aglow with some 1,000 light installations created by beneficiaries from 30 social service organisations in Singapore. Entitled "Illuminations of Joy", this community project spearheaded by Rangoli artist Vijaya Mohan and eco-designer Didier Ng celebrates a bicultural festival of lights with a display that will run from Mid-Autumn to Deepavali.
At the Supertree Grove, free nightly cultural performances curated by co-organiser National Arts Council present opportunities for visitors to appreciate traditional arts performances by home-grown arts groups of different genres, and bond over the creative interpretations of "Blossoming Harvest".
Visitors can also try their hand at lantern decorating, umbrella painting and Chinese knotting at the interactive craft booths, or have a go at solving lantern riddles. The ever-popular Food Street offers a delectable spread of Asian delights.
Adding to the festive ambience is a special Mid-Autumn edition of the nightly "Garden Rhapsody" light and sound show. "Garden Rhapsody: Tales of the Moon" features a medley of tunes that revolve around the moon, such as the Chinese classic "The Moon Represents My Heart" (月亮代表我的心) and jazz favourite "Fly Me to the Moon".
Visitors are encouraged to download the new “Mid-Autumn @ Gardens by the Bay” mobile app from the App Store or Google Play, before exploring the festival. Developed by students from Singapore University of Technology and Design, the app allows visitors to uncover fun facts and quiz themselves on the different lantern sets while strolling through the Gardens.
This year’s Mid-Autumn celebrations is jointly organised by Gardens by the Bay and National Arts Council, in partnership with Chinese Media Group of Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore University of Technology and Design, and People's Association. The event is supported by Tote Board and Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.
MID-AUTUMN @ GARDENS BY THE BAY
Date: Friday, 22 September – Sunday, 8 October 2017
Time: 6pm – 11pm
Location: Gardens by the Bay
Details: Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/midautumn for information and updates.
Please refer to annexes for more information:
The first biannual orchid display of Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest cooled conservatory launched this week, and will run until December 10. These displays will showcase different orchids twice a year. The Gardens opened in 2012, and this year marks its fifth anniversary.
The orchid display in Cloud Forest is one part of Gardens by the Bay’s expanded focus on orchids. In addition to the Cloud Forest orchid display, Gardens by the Bay’s research staff have also been working on an orchid hybrisation programme since 2015, where their efforts revolve around the hybridisation of highland and lowland orchids. Crossing orchids from two disparate regions is rarely done in the botanical field.
Felix Loh, Chief Operating Officer of Gardens by the Bay said, “In these five years, Gardens by the Bay has showcased tulips, dahlias and cherry blossoms, which our visitors thoroughly enjoy. Many of our visitors shared with us they love orchids, which have the same universal appeal. It’s a natural next step for us to explore how we can go further with orchids.”
He added, “We are in the tropics, yet we also have cooled conservatories, which makes Gardens by the Bay one of the few gardens in the world to have two unique and contrasting habitats to grow a broader range of orchids. This gives our research staff the exciting opportunity to cross-breed tropical lowland orchids with cooler highland ones, to produce one-of-a-kind hybrids to surprise and delight visitors in a way few other places can.”
Biannual orchid displays in Cloud Forest
The biannual orchid displays in Cloud Forest not only educate visitors on the various genera of orchids, but also showcase their fascinatingly myriad forms and colours.
The first display focuses on orchids from the genus Cattleya. Throughout the duration of the display, visitors will see 29 different types of Cattleya and their relatives. In total, there will be more than 400 orchids on display. Regarded as the “Queen of Orchids”, the Cattleya is also called “Corsage Orchid” due to the significant size of its blooms, which come in a broad spectrum of colours, and look lovely worn as corsages.
Visitors can look forward to seeing Cattleya orchids and their relatives from less commonly seen genera such as Guaritonia, Rhyncholaeliocattleya, Myrmecophila and Brassocattleya. Some of the highlights include the various Rhyncholaeliocattleya on show, which have large-sized and brightly-coloured flowers that are scented, for example Rhyncholaeliocattleya Duh’s Fantasy ‘Mellow’, an award-winning orchid with deep red blooms and a ruffled dark fuchsia lip marked with yellow grooves.
The next orchid display in Cloud Forest, which will take place in March 2018, will put the spotlight on another popular orchid genus, Dendrobium.
Gardens by the Bay’s orchid hybridisation programme
Gardens by the Bay has a vast collection of both highland and lowland orchids. In Cloud Forest, more than 28,000 highland orchids are grown. There are more than 29,000 lowland orchids in the Gardens, bringing the total collection to more than 57,000.
Lowland orchids grow in areas up to 800m above sea level, while highland orchids are found in regions between 1,300m and 2,500m above sea level.
The orchid hybridisation programme takes advantage of the Gardens’ unusually diverse collection of orchids, and will look into crossing highland with lowland orchids. As most hybridisation is done between orchids from similar climates, this is an uncommon practice in the industry. The programme also aims to produce hybrids that are able to thrive both in the outdoors in Singapore’s weather, and indoors in the cooled conservatories.
Orchid hybridisation is a long process, as the time taken between the formation of a seed pod after the pollination process, and the plant reaching maturity, can take between three to nine years. Selection of plants to produce a hybrid that expresses the desirable traits of its parent plants is a challenging process, and it takes extensive knowledge and experience in the field to achieve the right match.
The first successful highland-lowland hybrid by the Gardens’ research staff is Dendrobium Kiat Tan, which has been registered with Royal Horticultural Society in UK. It possesses the rare characteristic of being able to thrive in both highland and lowland climates. The Gardens’ research staff is in various stages of cultivating six other highland-lowland hybrids.
The 22nd World Orchid Conference
In November, a team from Gardens by the Bay will represent Singapore at the 22nd World Orchid Conference in Ecuador, where they will put together an orchid-themed display in competition.
The Gardens’ research staff will also be sharing their expertise in hybridising highland and lowland orchids with their international peers when they present a paper on the potential of species breeding from divergent temperature zones.
Please refer to the Annexes here for more information on highlights of the inaugural Cloud Forest orchid display, 10 facts about Cattleya, hybridisation of orchids at Gardens by the Bay, and Dendrobium Kiat Tan.
This year marks a milestone for Gardens by the Bay, as it celebrates five years since its beginnings as a bold idea to build a national garden on reclaimed land. Five years on, Gardens by the Bay has grown to become a world-renowned attraction that is also embraced by Singaporeans as a garden to call their own.
Breaking away from botanical conventions and filling each year’s calendar with a diverse spectrum of events and activities has encouraged an enduring interest among the public, as evident by the steady increase in visitorship through the years. Gardens by the Bay received its first millionth visitor in August 2012, less than two months after it opened. To date, the Gardens has welcomed more than 33 million visitors.
Felix Loh, Chief Operating Officer of Gardens by the Bay, said, “Gardens by the Bay had a clear purpose from the beginning – to become a space for the community to gather and appreciate the beauty of nature. Five years old is young in botanical terms, so we are heartened that Gardens by the Bay has found a place in the hearts of Singaporeans as well as our friends overseas. Our vision to be a place where wonders bloom for one and all will continue to drive all that we do.”
In celebration of the year the Gardens turns five, visitors can look forward to the Supertree Grove coming alive with an exciting lineup of activities, including the show-stopping Gardens Extravaganza Special. There is also a unique floral display, Blue Beauties, in Flower Dome.
The Gardens Extravaganza Special, the highlight of the festivities, is a two-night-only evening showcase happening on June 3 and June 4. The Supertree Grove will become the stage for a multimedia show featuring dancers, aerial performers, dramatic video mapping and special effects on a scale that visitors have never seen before at the Gardens.
Blue Beauties, which opened last Friday, puts the spotlight on blue flowers like agapanthus, hydrangeas and delphiniums, as true spectrum blue is one of the most uncommon colours in the Plant Kingdom.
Pushing the Boundaries of Botanical Possibilities
There are close to 1.5 million plants in Gardens by the Bay, which remains unique in the region as the only garden to combine nature with cutting-edge engineering and green technology to create an environment to showcase plants from all over the world.
The two Cooled Conservatories, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, reverse the concept of the typical greenhouse by providing a cool environment for plants. There are more than 72,000 plants from Tropical Montane regions in the cool-moist Cloud Forest. In the cool-dry Flower Dome, there are more than 28,000 plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid regions.
The ever-changing flower field in Flower Dome has showcased 35 floral displays to date. These floral displays are an example of how green technology combined with horticultural ingenuity makes possible what is otherwise unimaginable in the botanical world – making temperate plants bloom in a tropical climate. Be it dahlias, tulips or cherry blossoms, these flowers have bloomed in Singapore, thanks to the climate-controlled Flower Dome, where it is perpetually spring.
The Supertrees, a lauded example of innovative vertical greening in a dense urban landscape, are home to more than 158,000 plants.
New Attractions through the Years
The Supertrees and Cooled Conservatories, along with the Outdoor Gardens, have been the highlights of Gardens by the Bay since Day One, but new attractions have also opened in the last five years. In line with Gardens by the Bay’s objective to be a garden for all, these attractions are free for the public to enjoy.
In 2014, the Far East Organization Children’s Garden opened to the public. The Sun Pavilion, a display of cacti in the outdoors, also opened in the same year with the support of Woh Hup (Private) Limited. With the Sun Pavilion, Gardens by the Bay owns the largest collection of cacti and succulents in Southeast Asia.
In 2015, Singapore’s largest and only Floral Clock was launched in collaboration with watchmaker Audemars Piguet.
The newest attraction at Gardens by the Bay is rock garden The Canyon, which opened last year and features more than 60 unique rock forms amidst plants from arid regions.
Diverse Events for a Broad Audience
To date, there have been more than 1,000 events held at Gardens by the Bay. These events are varied in nature, and one of the ways the Gardens broadens its engagement with the community.
The lineup to date this year includes indie music festival St. Jerome Laneway Festival, Asia’s largest night run the Sundown Marathon and Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be With You.
Gardens by the Bay also organises its own flagship events, and many of them are free for the public. In March this year, life-sized dinosaur sculptures were brought into the Supertree Grove for the annual Children’s Festival, while come September, visitors can look forward to seeing lanterns dotting the landscape as part of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.
The Garden Rhapsody sound and light show, where lights on the 12 Supertrees at the Supertree Grove dance according to music twice every evening, is refreshed constantly. There have been 20 different renditions of the Garden Rhapsody so far, which range from a nostalgic medley of well-loved Asian songs, to popular Broadway tunes, to the recent Star Wars-themed edition, which attracted international attention.
Reaching out to the Community
In an effort to enable more people to enjoy Gardens by the Bay, the Gift of Gardens scheme was started in 2012 to reach out to the less privileged in society.
Under the Gift of Gardens scheme, voluntary welfare organisations providing direct social services to beneficiaries enjoy complimentary admission to the Cooled Conservatories. The scheme also extends to holders of the ComCare Long Term Assistance Scheme (also known as Public Assistance Scheme) card and Developmental Disability Registry card. Last year, more than 20,000 people benefitted from Gift of Gardens.
Gardens by the Bay also runs a series of education programmes to nurture an appreciation of nature among the younger generation, ranging from children of pre-school age to secondary school students. Some of these signature programmes include the Garden Troopers workshops and the Youths Celebrate Sustainability! festival.
Please refer to the Annex for more information on fifth anniversary celebrations, and facts and figures about the Gardens here.
See art blossom before your eyes in this year’s Tulipmania, as Gardens by the Bay draws inspiration from one of the Netherlands’ most celebrated artists, Vincent van Gogh.
Tulipmania is an annual highlight on the Gardens’ calendar of changing floral displays, which seek to delight visitors with flowers not commonly seen in Singapore. Now in its fifth edition, the well-loved tulip festival has transformed the Flower Dome into a floral art gallery with two of Van Gogh’s masterpieces – his self-portrait and The Starry Night – recreated with tulips and hyacinths. Visitors can also look forward to admiring the beautiful blooms in a palette of colours inspired by Van Gogh’s many artworks.
The display features over 30,000 tulips and hyacinths, comprising some 90 different varieties, from the Netherlands. A highlight this year are the Darwin hybrid tulips, appreciated for their vibrant and large cup-shaped blooms. Visitors can join the complimentary guided tours to find out more fascinating facts and anecdotes about the display, and local senior citizens enjoy 50% discount on their admission tickets to the conservatories during this period.
“Tulipmania” Floral Display
Date: Saturday, 1 April 2017 – Sunday, 7 May 2017
Time: 9am to 9pm
Location: Flower Dome
Details: Admission charge to the Flower Dome applies. For more information on the floral display and related promotions and programmes,For more information on the floral display and related promotions and programmes, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/tulipmania.
Cherry blossoms take centre stage in Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome once more in the “Blossom Bliss” floral display.
“Blossom Bliss” is the second time that the Gardens is putting together a floral display of cherry blossoms. It continues the spirit of its predecessor last year, which explored the possibility of bringing cherry blossoms to the tropics – a challenging endeavour as blooming is sensitive to the weather. Gardens by the Bay staff have been closely monitoring the trees and their flowering patterns in Flower Dome conditions.
“Despite the challenges of bringing sakura to Singapore, we were encouraged by the positive response from the public last year to explore another floral display this year. We hope our visitors can once again experience the sense of wonder these beautiful, short-lived blooms evoke,” said Felix Loh, Chief Operating Officer of Gardens by the Bay.
In all, more than 20 varieties of cherry blossoms have been brought in and they are complemented by peach blossoms.
Crowd favourites from last year, such as Prunus Accolade, a quiet beauty with simple pale pink flowers, and Prunus Kikushidare, a variety with flowers reminiscent of chrysanthemums, are back again this year.
New varieties this year include Prunus Snow Fountain, which has a weeping shape that makes the masses of small white flowers on its branches look like cascading snow, and Prunus Fukubana, a small, showy tree that produces profuse clusters of rich pink flowers.
This year’s floral display features more cherry blossom trees, which are spread out around Flower Dome instead of only showcased within the flower field.
The trees are set amidst a Japanese-inspired landscape, with charming traditional elements such as a tea house and authentic Japanese rickshaws. A pathway flanked by cherry and peach blossom trees provides a particularly picturesque backdrop for photos.
Cherry blossom blooms last for about one to two weeks. Visitors can visit Gardens by the Bay’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gardensbythebay for updates on the state of blooming before they visit. Visitors are encouraged to come during weekdays, to avoid potential peak period crowds.
“Blossom Bliss” Floral Display
Date: Until 24 March 2017
Time: 9am to 9pm
Details: Admission charges to Flower Dome apply. Visitors may pre-book their tickets online.
For more information, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/blossombliss.
Regular updates on the blooming status are available on www.facebook.com/gardensbythebay.
Members of the public were treated to a sneak peek into the record-setting Phoenix Dance yesterday night as performers rehearsed alongside the stunning Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay.
Measuring 11.16m in length and 5.05m in width, this handcrafted LED Phoenix will be making its spectacular official debut in front of the crowds tomorrow as the “Largest Dancing Phoenix (最大，会舞动的凤凰)” in the Singapore Book of Records. Featuring more than a thousand LED lights and taking more than two months to craft, the LED Phoenix will be brought to life by an all-female troupe from the Tian Eng Dragon & Lion Dance Centre.
Visitors can catch the majestic performance “Rise of the Golden Phoenix (金凤飞舞，庆新春)” as the mystical creature illuminates the night sky at Gardens by the Bay over two weekends in February. Together with six smaller LED phoenixes, the performance also set a Singapore Record for the “Largest Phoenix Dance Display (最大规模的凤凰表演)”.
“Spring Surprise” is part of the Lunar New Year celebrations at Gardens by the Bay. Besides an exciting line-up of programmes, visitors can also enjoy a brand-new floral display, “Dahlia Dreams”, which features vibrant blooms of Dahlias and Begonias in auspicious hues of red, orange and yellow