The Christmas weekend kicked off on a high note at Gardens by the Bay, with the harmonious voices of 766 carollers filling the Golden Garden earlier this evening.
With Asia’s tallest luminarie Christmas tree as the backdrop, Singapore’s new record for the largest street carolling session was achieved by individual carollers and representatives from four community groups – Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre, Kreta Ayer Community Club, Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club and Pasir Ris Zone 10 Residents’ Committee.
This one-of-a-kind mass carolling event added to the festive atmosphere at Gardens by the Bay. As part of its mission to be a garden for the community and a place where Singaporeans can gather and connect with their family and friends amidst nature, Gardens by the Bay will be spreading the Christmas cheer with a myriad of free programmes leading up to 25 December 2018. Visitors can look forward to jubilant music performances outside Flower Dome and meet-and-greet sessions with the lovable Gardens Mascot, Wise-Wee.
Christmas Programmes at Gardens by the Bay
|Mass Carolling||21 December||8.00pm||Golden Garden|
|Live Performances||22 & 23 December||2.30pm, 4.00pm & 5.00pm||The Canopy (beside Flower Dome entrance)|
|24 December||3.00pm & 4.00pm|
|Christmas Wise-Wee Mascot Appearance||22 - 25 December||12.00pm & 3.00pm||Golden Garden & The Canopy|
Enjoy music performances featuring festive tunes by Angklung Sayang Group, The Salvation Army Group, KAYNA (Ecuador) and more.
Christmas Wise-Wee Mascot Appearance
Our lovable Gardens Mascot, Wise-Wee, returns to meet and greet visitors this Christmas.
Other year-end festivities happening at Gardens by the Bay include “Poinsettia Wishes Featuring Disney Tsum Tsum” floral display which runs until 6 January 2019 in Flower Dome and “Christmas Wonderland” which runs until 26 December 2018 at Supertree Grove.
More information on the festive celebrations at Gardens by the Bay are available at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/whatson.
The Labour Movement Thanks Gardens by the Bay For Its Generosity
The Labour Movement and its 59 affiliated unions and three affiliated associations announced a partnership with Gardens by the Bay today to allow less affluent union members to redeem admission tickets to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome conservatories. These less affluent union members are across all affiliated unions and associations, including those from the Attractions, Resorts & Entertainment Union (AREU), which has a union branch at Gardens by the Bay.
This arrangement arises from a collaboration between NTUC Membership and Gardens by the Bay, under the latter’s Gift of Gardens community outreach initiative. The partnership will give even more access to Gardens by the Bay for 25 per cent of union members who are less affluent. The Gift of Gardens community outreach initiative, which started in 2012 when Gardens by the Bay opened, provides complimentary access to the Gardens to local residents who may not otherwise have the opportunity to visit, such as the needy or individuals with disabilities.
Each eligible union member can receive four admission tickets to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest so that they can visit the conservatories with their families. Union members can redeem the admission tickets at their own leisure. Admission tickets will be made available for redemption in several batches in 2019 and eligible union members will be informed via SMS, Electronic Direct Mailers (EDMs) and NTUC’s MyNTUC mobile app. The tickets will be valid for six months from the date of issue.
NTUC Membership is collaborating with strategic partners to consistently and continuously create more value, by offering more benefits, ranging from privileges to progression, for union members. NTUC welcomes more like-minded partners, like Gardens by the Bay, to come onboard and bring benefits to help our workers earn a better living and live a better life. More details will be announced next year.
NTUC Family Festive Celebration
Earlier today, some 350 less affluent union members and their families as well as union leaders gathered at Gardens by the Bay for a heart-warming family festive celebration. There was a line-up of engaging carnival activities, including performances by NTUC communities such as nEbO and U Live, to enable families to bask in the festive atmosphere. Families were also invited to a guided tour of Flower Dome and its Christmas floral display, “Poinsettia Wishes Featuring Disney Tsum Tsum”.
At the family festive celebration today, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, together with other NTUC Central Committee Members, bonded with union members over fun-filled family games, delectable dessert and an uplifting sing-along session of Christmas carols. SG Ng Chee Meng shared about NTUC’s partnership with Gardens by the Bay that aims to benefit the less affluent members within the Labour Movement family during his welcome remarks.
SG Ng Chee Meng said, “Gardens by the Bay has been a supportive partner of the Labour Movement. In July this year, they voluntarily raised the retirement age of their older workers to 65, beyond the mandatory age of 62. This time, we are heartened by Gardens’ generosity to provide our less affluent union members the valuable opportunity to visit Gardens by the Bay and have a wonderful time at the beautiful Gardens with their families.”
NTUC Assistant Director-General and Director of NTUC Membership, Mr Vivek Kumar, added, “We are grateful to Gardens by the Bay for being such a supportive partner. This new initiative helps our members and their families come together to strengthen family bonds and collect new memories together. The Labour Movement will continue to do more for our members in 2019 and we look forward to forging new partnerships with friends of the Labour Movement. As one of the largest membership communities in Singapore, we strive to look out for each other, especially our less affluent union members.”
CEO of Gardens by the Bay Mr Felix Loh said, “As a People’s Garden, we are socially committed in ensuring that all segments of our local community can access and share in the joy of visiting our horticultural attractions. We thank NTUC for this partnership to serve their less affluent union members through our Gift of Gardens programme.”
Visitorship to Gardens by the Bay hit 50 million in October this year, about six years since the Gardens opened in June 2012. Muhammad Khairi Bin Bedin, who was on one of his regular family outings to Gardens by the Bay, was named the 50 millionth visitor.
By the end of 2012, Gardens by the Bay’s visitorship was 2 million. By the end of this year, yearly visitorship is expected to hit 12 million. Half of these visits are by local residents. To cater to the rising visitorship, and to continue to be a place that Singaporeans like Muhammad Khairi and his family can enjoy, Gardens by the Bay is expanding and diversifying its offerings.
The publicly accessible Serene Garden and the revamped Bayfront precinct, which will house floral-themed exhibit Floral Fantasy, are two of the newest attractions that will be opening. Serene Garden will open to public from today, while the revamped Bayfront precinct will open on April 14 next year.
Floral Fantasy at the revamped Bayfront precinct will showcase floral artistry, and promises to be another thematic attraction like Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, but on a more whimsical and intimate scale. In contrast to Floral Fantasy is Serene Garden, which is designed to be a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Gardens by the Bay.
Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, said, “Many of our visitors have given feedback that Gardens by the Bay is getting crowded because of our popularity, especially during weekends. We are grateful for the love and support shown by Singaporeans through our formative years, and hope that these new thematic spaces help to spread out our offerings, as well as provide even more interesting experiences for our visitors.”
Today, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, Muhammad Khairi and his family and friends, as well as members of the media, were invited to a preview of Serene Garden and the revamped Bayfront precinct.
Mr Wong also presented Muhammad Khairi with a congratulatory gift comprising a night’s stay at a two-bedroom suite at Pan Pacific Singapore, a Razer Phone and Gardens by the Bay’s Friends of the Gardens membership.
Muhammad Khairi said, “My family comes quite often to Gardens by the Bay as my kids like to play at the waterplay area of The Far East Organization Children’s Garden. We’re happy to hear that there will be new attractions at Gardens by the Bay, which would mean more things for us to do when we visit, as well as encourage more Singaporeans to come and enjoy themselves amidst nature.”
The 20,000 sq m ungated Serene Garden is located just a stone’s throw from The Meadow, the popular venue space for outdoor events like the recent Aviva Superfundae and Beerfest Asia. It is a 10-minute walk from Bayfront MRT station and a 5-minute walk from The Meadow carpark.
Serene Garden is designed by renowned Japanese landscape designer Jun-ichi Inada, and is inspired by minimalism. A calm and peaceful green space just a brief stroll away from the crowds at Supertree Grove, it offers an unobstructed view of Singapore’s city skyline. At night, Serene Garden will be lit up to frame the glowing cityscape for a beautiful photo opportunity.
As part of the simple and clean aesthetic, the landscape is dotted with plants appreciated for their foliage such as Podocarpus, Junipers, silver Bismarckia palms and bamboos, which are planted alongside tropical shade trees.
To augment the feeling of calm, a central water feature lies at the heart of Serene Garden, while steps away is a mini waterfall. Serene Garden also features 160 rocks with interesting textures that are sourced from the town of Niyodogawa on the island of Shikoku in Japan.
Works are ongoing to build a tea house in front of a pond, which is intended for visitors to rest and reflect in the shade.
A New Bayfront Precinct
The Bayfront precinct is a 5,000 sq m site outside Bayfront MRT station. It is a major entry point for visitors to Gardens by the Bay, and the enhancements were undertaken to create a greater sense of arrival for these visitors, as well as introduce more visitor amenities.
The revamped Bayfront precinct houses a new community event space called Bayfront Pavilion, floral-themed exhibit Floral Fantasy, the waterfront Café Aster run by Far East Flora, and an additional visitor centre and ticketing hub.
The award-winning lattice framework, designed by students from Singapore University of Technology and Design for The Future of Us exhibition that took place at the site as part of SG50 celebrations in 2015, has been retained and integrated with Bayfront Pavilion.
At the preview, guests got a first look at Bayfront Pavilion, which has indoor and outdoor community event spaces. In line with Gardens by the Bay’s objective to be a garden for one and all, there are plans for the 1,850 sq m space to host a regular weekend pop-up market with involvement from social enterprises, while groups looking to organise community-focused activities can use the space at nominal rates.
Guests also got a sneak peek of the Gardens’ latest thematic attraction Floral Fantasy, which has four diverse garden landscapes, each showcasing a different concept, as well as a 4D multi-sensorial ride. At Floral Fantasy, flowers, artistry and technology come together to create a dream-like, fantastical experience for visitors.
At Dance, the first of the four garden landscapes of Floral Fantasy, they were greeted by a lush, colourful tableau of flowering plants suspended from the ceiling, which moved sinuously in mesmerising fashion.
Then, they experienced the 4D multi-sensorial ride, Flight of the Dragonfly, where they were taken on an exhilarating journey of a dragonfly’s flight path through Gardens by the Bay. The dragonfly has a special place in nature as its presence is regarded as a sign of thriving ecology.
The other three garden landscapes, which are yet to be completed, are Float, Waltz and Drift. When fully complete, the four garden landscapes will segue seamlessly into each other, allowing visitors to experience changing scenes of floral artistry as they walk through the meandering space of Floral Fantasy.
Brace yourself for cuteness overload this holidays as Gardens by the Bay presents Singapore’s first Disney Tsum Tsum floral display.
“Poinsettia Wishes Featuring Disney Tsum Tsum” sees over 40 Tsum Tsums making their appearance alongside more than 8,000 multi-coloured poinsettias. This is the first time Disney Tsum Tsum – whose name originates from the Japanese verb “tsumu” which means “to stack” – is taking centre stage in Gardens by the Bay’s signature floral display in Flower Dome.
Visitors can have a fun time spotting the adorable stackable characters preparing for Christmas, including Minnie Mouse and her friends decorating the Christmas tree, Mickey Mouse painting the ornamental baubles, Tigger sliding down ribbons while gift wrapping, and Dumbo lifting presents into the air.
Each delightful scene is brought to life amidst a field of winter blooms. Providing a contrast against the traditional red poinsettias are cultivars of other colours such as the rich yellow ‘Autumn Leaves’, pristine ‘Princettia Pure White’, and pink and cream variegated ‘Mars Marble’. In all, the floral display will feature close to 20 varieties of poinsettias. These are complemented by other plants also synonymous with the season such as Christmas berries, holly, and coniferous trees, including the Korean Fir whose green needles with silvery white undersides give the appearance that it has just been dusted with snow.
“Poinsettia Wishes Featuring Disney Tsum Tsum” opens today and runs till 6 January 2019.
Poinsettia Wishes Featuring Disney Tsum Tsum
Date: 2 November 2018 – 6 January 2019
Time: 9.00am – 9.00pm
Location: Flower Dome
Details: Admission charge to Flower Dome applies.
Social Media: #GardensbytheBay #PoinsettiaWishes #DisneyTsumTsum
Disney Tsum Tsum Wrapping Paper Giveaway
From 16 to 29 November 2018, visitors stand to receive a set of two Disney Tsum Tsum wrapping paper with a minimum spend of S$40 on conservatory tickets in a single receipt. Available on a first-come, first-served basis. Terms and conditions apply.
Disney Tsum Tsum Merchandise
Visitors wanting to bring home their favourite Tsum Tsum characters can choose from a range of Disney Tsum Tsum merchandise – including apparel, stationery, lifestyle products and even special-edition Disney Tsum Tsum x Udders ice cream – at the Gardens’ Conservatory Gift Shop.
“Poinsettia Wishes Featuring Disney Tsum Tsum” is one of the festive highlights at Gardens by the Bay this year, along with “Christmas Wonderland” which takes place from 30 November 2018 to 26 December 2018 at Supertree Grove. Both events at the Gardens are held in conjunction with Marina Bay’s “Celebrate in the City”.
Please refer to the Annex for highlights of “Poinsettia Wishes Featuring Disney Tsum Tsum".
The Andes may be almost 20,000km away from Singapore, but you need not travel that vast distance to see beautiful orchids from the region. From today to March 24 next year, Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest holds its Orchids of the Andes display, which was launched by Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee.
Spanning more than 5,000km across seven South American countries – Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina – the Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world.
Orchids of the Andes showcases orchids from the Tropical Andes, an area within the Andes mountain range that is renowned for its wealth of biodiversity.
Across the duration of the display, visitors will get to see 3,000 orchids of 85 types. These will dot a landscape featuring elements of the famous mountain range, such as Inca ruins, a volcano, a cavern, waterfalls and even “llamas”.
Gardens by the Bay’s Deputy Director of Research and Horticulture Andrea Kee, said, “Orchids of the Andes is how Gardens by the Bay strives to surprise and delight our visitors, because there is nowhere else in this region that visitors can see such a concentration of unusual and eye-catching South American orchids.”
The orchids on show are a rare sight in Singapore. Highlights include Epidendrum medusae, an orchid named after the mythological Greek monster Medusa because its fringed lip resembles her head of snakes; Cyrtochilum macranthum, whose showy yellow flowers are the largest in the genus Cyrtochilum; and Masdevallia Machu Picchu, which is often acknowledged as one of the most attractive hybrids produced because of the outstanding shape and colour of the blooms.
To add to the South American flavour of the orchid display, Sangre Criolla, an Ecuadorian band playing traditional folk music, travelled to Singapore to perform at the launch. They will also be performing for the public at Gardens by the Bay this weekend.
Since September 2017, Cloud Forest has been holding biannual changing orchid displays. These displays focus on different orchids twice a year, and aim to educate visitors on the various genera of orchids, as well as showcase their fascinatingly myriad forms and colours. Orchids of the Andes is the third orchid display at Cloud Forest to date.
Orchids of the Andes
Date: 5 October 2018 – 24 March 2019
Time: 9am – 9pm
Location: Cloud Forest
Details: Admission charge to the Cloud Forest applies.
Please refer to the Annex for orchid highlights, more information about the Andes and Sangre Criolla's performance schedule this weekend.
This year’s Mid-Autumn @ Gardens by the Bay was officially launched today by Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong when he lit up the archway that welcomes visitors to the event.
The 44m-long archway is decorated with lanterns shaped like jade rabbits and Sandersonia flowers, which are also known as Chinese lantern lilies.
The theme of this year’s festival is Autumn of Fantasies, and Minister Wong was taken on a tour of larger-than-life lantern sets that bring together imaginary worlds and natural wonders. He also wished upon a lotus-shaped lantern and set it afloat on Dragonfly Lake.
At the Traditional Village, where for the first time craftsmen have been brought in from China to showcase traditional handicrafts like sugar art, dough figurine sculpting and stone engraving, Minister Wong received a dough figurine of himself.
Gardens by the Bay’s Senior Director of Programming, Ms Ong Chui Leng, said, “Mid-Autumn is a time for families and friends to get together, and we welcome the community to join us at Gardens by the Bay to enjoy the many free activities we have lined up for everyone, especially the unique lantern sets that beautifully blend the traditional with the fantastical.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF MID-AUTUMN @ GARDENS BY THE BAY 2018
Spectacular Lantern Sets Inspired by the Fantastical
Visitors can look forward to large-scale Lantern Displays (巨型灯展) with the theme, Autumn of Fantasies (奇幻之秋). Making its debut this year is Leaping over the Dragon’s Gate (鱼跃龙门), the widest lantern set to date at Gardens by the Bay measuring 70m across, which floats on Dragonfly Lake and depicts the legend of the carp transforming into a dragon.
Other lanterns include the elegant pairing of The Phoenix and the Peony (凤凰戏牡丹); the Sandersonia Arch (宫灯百合), which is lined with Sandersonia-shaped lanterns; and Sky Lantern Dreams (巨型天灯), a series of 8m-tall sky lanterns that create the longest lantern-lined pathway at the Gardens to date.
Also on display are 1,000 lanterns at Colonnade of Lights (灯廊). These lanterns are hand-painted by beneficiaries from various social service organisations, residents from Limbang and individuals from the Gardens’ Friends of the Gardens membership programme.
For the first time, visitors can also make a wish at Golden Wishing Tree (许愿树) or Wish upon a Floating Lotus (许愿灯).
Cultural Performances, Traditional Handicrafts, Games and Food
Curated by co-organiser, National Arts Council, free nightly Cultural Performances (传说传艺庆中秋) present opportunities for visitors to enjoy and be inspired by Singapore’s rich heritage. Appreciate vibrant and diverse traditional arts performances by home-grown arts groups of different genres, cultures and ages, and bond over the creative interpretations of the theme Fantastic Traditions.
At the Traditional Village (传统市集), Chinese artisans showcase the delicate skills of stone engraving, dough figurine sculpting and sugar art. Visitors can try their hand at the Fun Zone (互动区) featuring nostalgic childhood games, or have a go at solving Lantern Riddles (猜灯谜). The ever-popular Food Street (美食街) offers a delectable spread of local and Asian delights.
This year’s Mid-Autumn celebration is jointly organised by Gardens by the Bay and National Arts Council, in partnership with Chinese Media Group of Singapore Press Holdings, and People's Association.
MID-AUTUMN @ GARDENS BY THE BAY 2018
Date:Thursday, 6 September - Monday, 24 September
Time: 6.00pm - 10.00pm (Mon to Thu), 6.00pm - 11.00pm (Fri to Sun)
Location: Gardens by the Bay
Details: Programmes are free unless otherwise indicated. For information and updates, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/midautumn/.
Please refer to:
• Annex A for Mid-Autumn festivities at Gardens by the Bay
• Annex B for description of lantern sets
• Annex C for bios of arts groups
Say "Hello, sunshine" to Gardens by the Bay’s first-ever "Sunflower Surprise" floral display which brings together the largest variety of sunflowers in Singapore! More than 50 varieties will be on display, from the fluffy ‘Teddy Bear’ to the enormous ‘Russian Mammoth’ with blooms as large as a human face!
In all, over 16,000 sunflowers of various shapes, shades and sizes are being grown for the display, of which more than half are of unusual varieties grown from seeds specially sourced from the United States.
The sunflower display is further enlivened by characters and scenes inspired by the classic tale "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". Amidst a field of vibrant blooms, visitors can try to spot Dorothy and her friends Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion as they make their way to the magical Land of Oz.
"Sunflower Surprise" opens today and runs till 21 October in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay.
“Sunflower Surprise” Floral Display
Date: Friday, 31 August – Sunday, 21 October
Time: 9am – 9pm
Location: Flower Dome
Details: Admission charge to the Flower Dome applies. For more information on the floral display and related programmes, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sunflower.
For the first time, Peranakan culture will be celebrated in Flower Dome as part of Gardens by the Bay’s National Day festivities.
From August 4 to August 22, visitors will get to experience a special line-up of Peranakan-themed activities – organised in collaboration with cultural organisation Gunong Sayang Association – amidst the beauty of orchids in Orchid Extravaganza, the current floral display in Flower Dome.
Orchid Extravaganza was designed under the creative direction of award-winning filmmaker Royston Tan, and celebrates Singapore’s melting pot of cultures. The floral display is infused with strong Peranakan influences, from the recreation of colourful shophouses adorned with iconic Peranakan tiles, to the display of quintessential items like the intricate kasut manek (beaded slippers), traditional tea set and tingkat carrier.
Highlights of the activities that will take place against this vibrant cultural backdrop include a fashion show that showcases the evolution of various Peranakan dress. Models aged between nine and 70 years old will don both vintage and modern Peranakan dress such as the samfoo, baju lokchuan, sarong kebaya and more.
There will be a live demonstration of the rare and intricate art of Nyonya beading by Mrs Jackie Sam, who has been practicing the craft for 25 years. Kasut manek and ceremonial wedding collars, where such beadwork is used, will be on display inside Flower Dome.
Visitors can also experience the enactment of a traditional Peranakan birthday celebration, hear the melodic voices of the Suara Sayang singing group, who will be performing adaptations of well-loved songs such as Bunga Sayang and Gunong Payong, as well as enjoy Dondang Sayang, an art form where poetic verses are recited to music.
Hands-on activities are also part of the line-up. Visitors can see how Bunga Rampay, or Peranakan-style potpourri made with scented flowers and culinary herbs, is created, while children aged seven and above can try painting their own Peranakan tile at a workshop.
Local residents get to enjoy $5 off tickets to Flower Dome, Cloud Forest or both conservatories, during this period.
Other National Day Activities at Gardens by the Bay
Beyond Flower Dome, visitors can look forward to a series of free National Day activities held at Supertree Grove on August 9.
Experience a throwback to the Physical Education (P.E.) lessons of yesteryear with ActiveSG’s Athletic try-outs, as well as a mash-up of retro and modern dance and fitness moves with We are Singapore (Dance Fitness).
Relax at Pop-Up Cinema, a series of movie screenings held throughout the day. The line-up includes a selection of uniquely Singapore films such as the P.Ramlee classic Seniman Bujang Lapok, Two Sides of the Bridge, Money No Enough, In Time to Come and Royston Tan’s Bunga Sayang.
Other activities on the day include personalised poetry by Proletariat Poetry Factory and Cantonese storytelling by Madam Lee Swee Har, a student of famous Cantonese storyteller Lee Dai Sor. End off National Day at Gardens by the Bay with the “Silent Disco” party, and dance under the twinkling lights of the Supertrees.
In addition, various F&B outlets at Gardens by the Bay will offer unique dishes with a strong local flavour on their menus during the National Day period.
Refer to Annex A for the full schedule of activities, ticketing promotions and dining specials that are part of National Day celebrations at Gardens by the Bay.
Refer to Annex B for highlights of the Orchid Extravaganza floral display.
The Singapore Orchid Growers’ Association (SOGA) Orchid Show 2018 saw a record 800 entries vie for the 25 challenge trophies. This is the first time the SOGA Orchid Show is held at Gardens by the Bay, in conjunction with Singapore Garden Festival.
The top three accolades went to Neo Cheng Soon Farm, Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay. Visitors can catch these colourful blooms and more, on display in the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, till 29 July.
Dendrobium Asian Youth Games Singapore
09 x Dendrobium sutiknoi
Exhibitor: Neo Cheng Soon Farm
Awarded Gardens by the Bay Challenge Trophy for Grand Champion
Exhibitor: Singapore Botanic Gardens
Awarded Singapore Gardening Society Challenge Trophy for the Best Species
Exhibitor: Gardens by the Bay
Awarded SOGA Challenge Trophy for the Best Hybrid
The SOGA Orchid Show features prized orchids submitted by local orchid growers and hobbyists, and has been incorporated into the Orchid Extravaganza display held in the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay. The nine-day event is organised by the Singapore Orchid Growers’ Association, which was founded by a group of commercial orchid growers in Singapore.
In April, the inaugural SGF Orchid Show was held where hobbyists and orchid growers alike submitted their prized orchids for competition. With the introduction of the SOGA Orchid Show, orchid lovers have yet another opportunity to view unusual and prized blooms.
For more information about SGF, please visit www.singaporegardenfestival.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/SGGardenFest
Singapore Garden Festival (SGF) returns this year to awe and inspire. The seventh edition of the premier tropical garden and flower show commences tomorrow at Gardens by the Bay and will run until 3 August 2018. Organised by the National Parks Board (NParks) and Gardens by the Bay, the main Festival returns with 73 tastefully -curated displays by local and international professional and amateur talents, spread across 10.1 hectares, including new horticultural displays with interesting plants and unique blooms. SGF 2018 is conceptualised as a tropical rainforest garden with pockets of gardens and displays filled with plants and flowers of varied colours in line with the Festival’s overall theme, “World of Colours!”.
A tropical rainforest garden exposition with new horticultural displays
A tropical rainforest garden is sculpted out of The Meadow, bringing the visitor through rainforest cladded mountains, valleys and open plains all the way to the Supertree Grove. Within this rainforest matrix featuring over 6,500 trees and 100,000 plants of 1,200 species, SGF 2018 promises visual surprises with garden displays carefully curated by NParks staff that feature plants and flowers of a multitude of colours and hues. The design of the displays leveraged on the existing plants, features and terrain in Gardens by the Bay, creating an interesting contrast between natural elements and man-made features like the Supertrees. Visitors will experience walking through a tropical rainforest garden punctuated with open spaces and explore gardens that showcase various habitats such as freshwater swamps and sub-tropical meadows.
At The Meadow, The Mountains provide a stunning entrance to the Festival with lush greenery with autumn colours. Here, visitors can enjoy exploring the Vanda Valley, a plethora of unique vandaceous orchids, and the Flower Field, which recreates a sub-tropical meadow with colourful flowering plants. To commemorate Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship this year, the ASEAN Garden at The Meadow will display a collection of vibrant blooms amongst a grove of figs comprising the majestic Banyan Fig (Ficus benghalensis) chosen as the centrepiece for the display and the Shaggy-leafed Fig (Ficus villosa), a remarkable species of hairy climbing figs native throughout the ASEAN region including Singapore. These figs symbolise resilience which mirrors that of ASEAN.
Visitors entering from the Supertree Grove will experience meandering through a Lost Forest with towering trees and discover rare plants native to Singapore. As they continue along the path, they will pass through the Floral Canopy, a hanging exhibit featuring Bromeliads and other epiphytes, which leads to the Therapeutic Garden, a sanctuary for rest and relaxation. Plants in this display were chosen for their visually cool colours and pleasant fragrance. Amongst these are Mount Lemmon Marigold (Tagetes lemmonii), whose leaves that have a delightful fruity scent and can be harvested and steeped in hot water to make tea; and the Green Pepper Basil (Ocimum carnosum), a rare edible basil with a scent and flavour reminiscent of green bell peppers. Next to the Therapeutic Garden, visitors can learn about the journey of how a flower transforms into a fruit at the Learning Garden.
Crossing over to The Meadow, visitors will be greeted by the Gothic Gate, inspired by the ornate architectural style of the great gothic cathedrals of Europe, with a rich tapestry of plant displays of roses, Angelonia angustifolia and Wrightia antidysenterica which permeate the structure. Located next to it is the Pond Garden which showcases tranquil water features adorned with pink, purple and white water lilies.
Commenting on the non-competitive displays, Mr Jim Gardiner, Former Wisley Curator and UK Royal Horticultural Society Vice-President said, “The stunning garden displays curated by the NParks staff are on par with the show gardens that won gold awards at the Festival."
Adding on, renowned French garden designer Mr Pascal Garbe said, “These tastefully curated displays testify of the enthusiasm by the NParks staff in creating a world-class tropical garden and flower show, as well as to the top-notch horticultural standards upheld by the Festival.”
Mr Gardiner and Mr Garbe are Head Judges for the Landscape and Fantasy Gardens competitive categories at the Festival.
Additionally, this year’s Orchid Extravaganza in the Flower Dome is set to inspire festival-goers, especially since homegrown award-winning filmmaker Royston Tan headlines as its creative director. The orchid, which has always been closely entwined with Singapore’s heritage, will be showcased in a stunning arrangement conceptualised by the renowned Singaporean film director. More than 14,000 orchids of over 120 varieties will be featured in the floral display, alongside an exquisite showcase of prized orchids competing in the SOGA (Singapore Orchid Growers' Association) Orchid Show.
Best of show designer gardens at The Meadow
As a world-class premier international horticultural show, SGF continues to attract strong interest and participation from award-winning garden and landscape designers worldwide. This year, SGF will host 40 of the best designers from across the globe competing in the Landscape Gardens, Fantasy Gardens, Floral Windows to the World and Balcony Gardens categories at The Meadow.
Among designers for the five fantasy and eight landscape show gardens are 2016 Best of Show (Landscape Garden category) winner, Inch Lim from Malaysia, as well as 2016 gold winners Koga Katsuhiko and Kagae Kazuhiro (Japan; Landscape Garden), and Leon Kluge (South Africa; Fantasy Garden). Singapore designers include Landscape Garden competitors John Tan, and Chang Huai-yan & Ng Sze Oun.
This year, Inch Lim clinched the Gold award and Best of Show title once again, as well as the Horticulture Excellence award, in the Landscape Garden category. His garden is titled “The Wild and the Restless”, with reference to native and naturalised plants that have either existed in the Southeast Asian wild, or that have travelled vast distances – such as from the Americas – to get to the region.
Leon Kluge was another repeat winner – this time in the Fantasy Garden category. His garden titled “African Thunder” scored the highest amongst the Gold recipients to secure Best of Show. The display, which depicts rain bringing life to the dry landscape of Africa, also received the Horticulture Excellence award.
A special non-competitive Floral Windows to the World Installation will feature returning Best of Show (Floral Windows to the World) designers from SGF 2016 — Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz from the United States. Titled “Cascade”, the display is a celebration of water. Like the grand fountain in a civic plaza, this six-metre tall sculptural centrepiece is a cascade of flowers that draws focus and commands immediate attention from all entrances of the tent.
Visitors will also be treated to Balcony Garden displays at The Meadow, where eight local designers contend to transform 3m-by-3m standard balcony-sized spaces into the most delightful and soothing retreats. This category promises to inspire local home owners in the beautification of their own apartment spaces.
Professional and amateur designers will also be showcasing their skill at the 11th International FDSS Cup Floral Designing Competition, while students will compete at primary, secondary and tertiary levels at the Floral Harmony @ Nanyang and Landscape Design Challenge.
Gardening displays and more at Supertree Grove
This year, the Festival will extend tothe Supertree Grove, with highlights such as the Learning Garden, Therapeutic Garden and Penjing & Artistic Stone Exhibition & Competition.
Displays by the Floral Designers Society (Singapore), Singapore Penjing & Stone Appreciation Society, Singapore Gardening Society, students and community gardeners will also be showcased at the Supertree Grove.
The ever-popular MarketPlace returns to Bayfront Plaza, occupying the non-ticketed space outside Bayfront MRT with over 100 booths selling food and beverages, plants, gardening and botanical resources, and arts and crafts.
More opportunities for the public to participate in SGF
In addition to talks and demonstrations, the Festival introduced a new “Floral Jamming” event led by professional floral designers, where participants can hone their floral artistry skills. SGF visitors can register to take part in a free floral arrangement “jam session” between 24 and 26 July, or between 30 July and 2 August, and afterward take their floral creations home with them.
Photography enthusiasts heading down to the Festival can also participate in the Singapore Garden Photographer of the Year (SGPY) Photo Competition by NParks. Keen shutterbugs can submit photos via Instagram with the hashtags #sgpy_people #SGGardenFest and stand a chance to win cash and Nikon School Vouchers. The closing date for the theme of “People and Nature” is 19 September 2018 and there is no limit on the number of entries that can be submitted on Instagram. For more information about SGPY, please visit www.nparks.gov.sg/sgpy.
Expanded SGF show format
Since its launch in 2006, SGF has been bringing together international and local designers, community gardeners and plant enthusiasts to showcase the best of tropical horticulture and floral artistry in one location – first at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, then Gardens by the Bay. Today, SGF has grown into three complementary flower and horticultural shows. Offshoots of the anchor Festival, SGF Orchid Show and SGF Horticulture Show will comprise various popular SGF elements, allowing them to entertain visitors at individual platforms. With this expansion, Singaporeans will have more opportunities to appreciate tropical horticulture and floral artistry every year. The inaugural SGF Orchid Show was held at the National Orchid Garden and other parts of the Singapore Botanic Gardens from 21 to 29 April 2018. The SGF Horticulture Show will take place at Singapore’s upcoming national gardens in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens, in early 2019.
For more information about SGF, please visit www.singaporegardenfestival.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/SGGardenFest
At Gardens by the Bay’s first-ever “Begonia Brilliance” floral display, visitors enter a specially-constructed dome brimming with more than 600 baskets of flowering begonias in shades of red, pink, orange and yellow.
Among these begonia flowers are unusually large ones grown in-house by Gardens by the Bay’s Research and Horticulture team. Most flowering begonias produce blooms about 5cm in diameter, but the ones cultivated by the Gardens have blooms that measure between 13cm and 16cm across.
Andrea Kee, Deputy Director of Research and Horticulture at Gardens by the Bay, said, “Supersized begonias take an enormous amount of care and effort to cultivate. As such, they’re generally not easily available and are a rare sight for the public. The ‘Begonia Brilliance’ floral display is a wonderful opportunity for people to enjoy stunning flowers, and marvel at how nature can be encouraged to blossom to wonderful depths under the careful nurturing of expert horticulturists.”
Gardens by the Bay is growing about 5,000 of these large begonias to showcase throughout the floral display. Visitors can see 14 flowering begonia varieties cultivated to have supersized blooms, such as Begonia Prima Donna Blush, which produces flowers with pale pink petals that are rimmed with a darker pink, and Begonia Trumpet Orange, which boasts of bright orange flowers.
These gorgeous begonia blooms are complemented by other varieties of flowering begonias from Europe and Malaysia. In all, more than 20,000 begonia plants of more than 50 varieties have been brought in for the floral display.
“Begonia Brilliance” Floral Display
Date: Friday, 25 May – Sunday, 1 July
Time: 9am – 9pm
Location: Flower Dome
Details: Admission charge to the Flower Dome applies. For more information, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/begonia.
This June school holidays, Moon-Face, Saucepan Man and Silky will bring to life The Magic Faraway Tree, one of beloved children’s author Enid Blyton’s most popular books, and entertain children at Gardens by the Bay’s Supertree Grove.
It is all part of the annual Children’s Festival @ Gardens by the Bay, which will run from May 26 to June 10. This year’s edition of the festival centres on The Magic Faraway Tree and will recreate four lands from the series – Land of Enchantments, Land of Tea Parties, Land of Toys, and Land of Nursery Rhymes.
Organised with the permission of the literary estate of Enid Blyton (Enid Blyton Entertainment), this is the first large-scale Enid Blyton-themed event in Asia.
Senior Director of Programming at Gardens by the Bay Ong Chui Leng said, “What’s special about this year’s Children’s Festival @ Gardens by the Bay is that both children and their parents will be in for an enchanting experience. Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree is a wonderful classic that continues to charm new generations of children, who will enjoy visiting the magical lands, while parents who grew up reading the books can revisit their childhood as they join their kids to explore these lands that once captured their imaginations.”
In a nod to the event being held at Gardens by the Bay, new character mascots the Magic Leaf Fairies Tilly (named after tillandsias) and Fernie (named after ferns) will appear at Children’s Festival, joining storybook characters Moon-Face, Saucepan Man and Silky.
Admission to Children’s Festival @ Gardens by the Bay is free and visitors can look forward to a variety of free activities in the four lands. They can also purchase a Magic Pass to enjoy additional activities. What’s more, each Magic Pass grants a child free entry into either Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome or Cloud Forest (applicable to Singapore Residents aged 3 to 12 years old).
The activities in the four lands are:
Land of Enchantments
• Venture into The Strange Woods and see your body disappear before your eyes.
• Be mesmerised by the shimmering, kaleidoscopic magic of a globin.
• Find your way through the Enchanter’s marvellous mirror maze.
Land of Tea Parties
• Take a photo with giant sweet-treat floats at the lawn.
• Take a dip in a confetti-filled giant donut inflatable to earn a yummy treat.
Land of Toys
• Wind up the toy soldiers to hear them play their cymbal and drum, or try your hand at making the toy soldier pop out of his box.
• Rescue Saucepan Man from a jail guarded by toy soldiers in this shooting game.
Land of Nursery Rhymes
• Reel in spiders that would otherwise frighten Miss Muffet away.
Complementing the four lands are free programmes such as storytelling, magic shows, science demonstrations, an original musical production Follow the Leaves by I Theatre, and more. In addition, kids can also sign up for fun-filled workshops like Magical Lemonade and Clay Magnet Making (charges apply).
Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/childrensfestival for more details.
CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL @ GARDENS BY THE BAY: THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE
Date: Saturday, 26 May – Sunday, 10 June
Time: 10am – 9pm
Location: Supertree Grove
Details: Admission to the event is free. Charges apply to selected programmes.
Please refer to:
Set foot in a quaint little town and walk among friendly giants as Gardens by the Bay’s well-loved Tulipmania takes a whimsical spin for its sixth edition.
Tulipmania is an annual highlight on the Gardens’ calendar of changing floral displays, which delight visitors with flowers not commonly seen in Singapore. This year, over 90,000 tulips of more than 40 varieties in a myriad of colours are being brought in from the Netherlands for the duration of the display, including the classic-looking Yellow Flight, the two-tone Holland Queen in vivid yellow and red, and the flamboyant Irene Parrot with its feather-like curled petals. The vibrant display, which opens today and runs till 13 May in Flower Dome, is set in a whimsical town where tulips grow everywhere (even on roofs!) and a common love for tulips brings its inhabitants and a family of giants together.
In conjunction with Tulipmania, visitors can enjoy free guided tours of the tulip display, sign up for a tulip-themed floral cupcake workshop, and stand a chance to win air tickets to Amsterdam or Bali by participating in an Instagram contest organised by Gardens by the Bay and official airline partner KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Seniors residing in Singapore enjoy 50% discount on admission tickets (terms and conditions apply).
“Tulipmania” Floral Display
Date: Thursday, 13 April – Sunday, 13 May
Time: 9.00am – 9.00pm
Location: Flower Dome
Details: Admission charge to the Flower Dome applies. For more information on the floral display and related programmes and promotions, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/tulipmania.
The Japanese Association Singapore’s Minyo Club and popular Japanese anime theme song singer May’n performed against a beautiful backdrop of cherry blossoms at Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome today, in a special preview of what visitors can expect from Sakura Matsuri.
The inaugural Sakura Matsuri, or Cherry Blossom Festival, begins today and will run until April 8. It is the first time that Gardens by the Bay is holding a Japanese-themed festival to complement Flower Dome’s annual cherry blossom floral display.
Peggy Chong, Deputy CEO of Gardens by the Bay said, “With this being the third year of our ever-popular cherry blossom floral display, we wanted to scale things up. Seeing sakura bloom in the tropics always inspires a sense of wonder, and this year, that one-of-a-kind experience will be enhanced with many Japanese-themed events and activities that we have planned for one and all.”
The cherry blossom floral display this year features 23 varieties brought in from Japan and Europe. Returning are crowd-pleasers such as Prunus ‘Accolade’ with its robust pink blooms, and Prunus ‘Snow Fountain’ with its romantic weeping form.
The cherry blossoms are showcased against a Japanese-inspired landscape, and making a debut in this year’s display are charming sakura bonsai and lifelike dolls – an element of Japanese sub-culture and on loan from speciality collectors – dressed in elaborate kimonos posing against miniature scenes.
Aside from the spectacle of pink and white in the floral display, visitors can look forward to Flower Dome programmes organised in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in Singapore’s Japan Creative Centre, such as Japanese tea ceremony demonstrations, performing arts and a kimono parade.
Fans of Japanese pop culture will enjoy Anime Garden, an anime-themed weekend with free anisong concerts featuring well-known performers from Japan such as May’n and GARNiDELiA, appearances by celebrity cosplayers like Korea’s SAIDA and Thailand’s Thames Malerose, and a Pikachu dance parade.
Rounding off the festivities at the end of the month is Sakura Japan Fair, which is organised in collaboration with JTB Pte Ltd, and features Japanese food and retail options, workshops and performances.
Please refer to the Annex for the line-up and schedule of activities in Sakura Matsuri.
Having achieved recognition at home and overseas for six editions, an expanded show format will be introduced for premier international garden and flower show Singapore Garden Festival (SGF). SGF will grow into three complementary flower and horticultural shows instead of only one main show. Offshoots of the anchor Festival, SGF Orchid Show and SGF Horticulture Show will comprise various popular SGF elements, allowing them to entertain visitors at individual platforms. With this expansion, Singaporeans will have more opportunities to appreciate tropical horticulture and floral artistry every year. The stable of three signature SGF shows was announced today at an event to launch the Festival, which returns in July this year.
The world’s largest flower basket is made from over 27,000 flowers. The 50 varieties of plants in the basket include perennial favourites like orchids that are popular as cut flowers (e.g. Dendrobium Lucian Pink, Dendrobium Sonia and Oncidium goldiana var. golden shower), heritage orchids (e.g. Aranthera Beatrice Ng and Aranda Noorah Alsagoff), Heliconias and Alpinias. More than 150 community gardeners, volunteers, and students, facilitated by National Parks Board (NParks) staff, gathered to set this new Guinness World Record over 12 days. Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, put the final touches to the display. The floral exhibit will be showcased at Takashimaya Square (Basement 2) until 11 March, and an ongoing series of free talks and demonstrations on orchids and floral design are being held from 9 to 11 March. Also on display through the weekend is an assortment of celebrity orchids including Dendrobium hybrids named after Amitabh Bachchan, Joseph Schooling, Stefanie Sun and Zhou Xun. This event was supported by Takashimaya Singapore Ltd as the venue sponsor, in conjunction with its 25th anniversary celebrations.
Shoppers also had the opportunity to watch local designers compete in the preliminary rounds of the Floral Windows to the World competition on 8 March. The top three finalists were announced this morning and will compete in SGF 2018 alongside international designers.
Following this weekend’s activities, SGF roadshows will be held at HDB Hub at Toa Payoh (5 to 6 May, 30 June to 1 July), Orchard Road pedestrian mall (25 May to 29 July) and Northpoint City (1 to 10 June).
Public can look forward to SGF shows every year
With the expansion of SGF into three signature shows, local residents and international visitors can look forward to at least one floral extravaganza in Singapore every year.
A new addition is the SGF Orchid Show, a spinoff from the main show, organised in partnership with the Orchid Society of South East Asia. Floral enthusiasts can look forward to the inaugural show from 21 to 29 April this year, where orchid landscape displays and award-winning orchid plants will be showcased at the National Orchid Garden and other parts of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Talks, demonstrations and guided tours will also further acquaint visitors with this flower that is closely linked to Singapore’s identity, while a marketplace will feature a myriad of plant, gardening and landscape-related products for sale.
And starting in early 2019 is the SGF Horticulture Show, which will take place at Singapore’s upcoming national gardens in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens. The nine-day biennial event will be an opportunity for local industry partners and students to showcase their expertise in areas like landscape design, horticulture skills such as growing and cultivating plants, and skyrise greenery.
Minister Lee said, “The Singapore Garden Festival, since its launch in 2006, has brought together gardening enthusiasts, industry professionals, local and international designers, and the community. Moving forward, we will grow the Festival into three signature shows. With this expanded format, there will be even more opportunities for the public to appreciate tropical horticulture and experience the wonders of plants through creative floral displays. We hope that this will inspire more individuals and organisations to join us in co-creating our biophilic City in a Garden.”
SGF 2018: A visual fiesta of the best in tropical horticulture and floral artistry by international and local talent.
This year, the mainstay SGF will return for its seventh edition from 21 July to 3 August. The 14-day show will bring together award-winning international designers and well-established local names, community gardeners and plant enthusiasts, to present the best of tropical horticulture and floral artistry spread across The Meadow, Supertree Grove and Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay.
Returning to defend his “Best of Show” title from SGF 2016 is Inch Lim (Malaysia) who will again be participating in the Landscape Garden competition. Other returning SGF 2016 Gold medallists include Kagae Kazuhiro and Koga Katsuhiko (Japan; participating in Landscape Garden but won Gold at SGF 2016 Fantasy Garden competition), as well as Leon Kluge (South Africa; participating in Fantasy Garden competition but won Gold at SGF 2016 Landscape Garden competition).
Local designers include Chang Huai-yan and Ng Sze Oun (Landscape), founders of Salad Dressing which won the President’s Design Award in 2016; as well as John Tan, recipient of the Gold award at the Landscape Industry Association of Singapore (LIAS) Awards of Excellence 2017. Another notable local participant is Keith Lin, who won a Gold Medal for his floral arrangement at the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show. He will compete in the Floral Windows to the World competition alongside other local and international floral designers at SGF 2018.
Local talent will also be a highlight at the Balcony Gardens competition, which will provide practical ideas for Singaporeans living in high-rise apartments keen to explore balcony gardening designs.
Visitors can also look forward to a brand-new Orchid Extravaganza floral display in the Flower Dome, conceptualised by award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Royston Tan, and newly added displays including the ASEAN Garden – a special feature to mark Singapore’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2018 – and the Secret Garden of Edibles, where they can explore and enjoy a sensory experience with fruits and vegetables from temperate climates.
SGF is jointly organised by NParks and Gardens by the Bay. For more information, please visit www.singaporegardenfestival.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/SGGardenFest
Visitors to Gardens by the Bay last night were treated to a sneak peek of the Ultraviolet (UV) Northern Lions and Lotus Dragon as performers rehearsed at the Supertree Grove in preparation for the premiere this Saturday.
The performance, entitled “Rise of the Guardians” (守护者联盟), will see the UV Northern Lions (夜光北狮) making their debut in Singapore alongside the well liked UV Lotus Dragon (夜光莲花龙). The UV element poses an added level of challenge as the team of 13 dancers from Tian Eng Dragon & Lion Dance Centre (新加坡天鷹龍狮学院) have to perform in dim light. Though adept at traditional lion and dragon dance, they have been rehearsing for the past two weeks to ensure that the stunning UV effect is brought out through specially tailored choreography.
“Rise of the Guardians” will take place over two weekends in February as part of Gardens by the Bay’s Lunar New Year programme “Spring Surprise” (春 ● 喜). Besides the UV lion and dragon dance, Spring Surprise will be celebrating the Year of the Dog with a variety of cultural performances and several dog-themed activities including yoga and parkour for canines.
Visitors can also enjoy the Gardens’ first floral display of the year, “Dahlia Dreams” (大丽花之梦), in Flower Dome. From 16 February to 4 March, Singapore residents can receive a free conservatory ticket for local seniors with every full-priced adult ticket purchased onsite.
19 January 2018, Singapore – Founding Chief Executive Officer of Gardens by the Bay, Dr Kiat W. Tan, who spearheaded the development of Gardens by the Bay and established it as a renowned international icon for Singapore, will step down from his role on 15 February 2018. Dr Tan will continue to serve as Corporate Advisor to Gardens by the Bay. Mr Felix Loh, currently Chief Operating Officer of Gardens by the Bay, will be appointed as Chief Executive Officer.
Envisioning a World of Gardens for Singaporeans
A passionate and visionary leader, Dr Tan was instrumental in the conceptualisation and development of Gardens by the Bay. Conceiving a “garden of the future” – one that breaks new ground in the Plant World and fuses nature, architecture and technology to capture the imagination of an urban generation – he led a multidisciplinary team to embark on the pioneering project of constructing a horticultural haven on reclaimed land.
In the five years since its opening in 2012, Gardens by the Bay has welcomed more than 40 million visitors and grown into a world renowned horticultural attraction that is embraced by Singaporeans as a national garden to call their own. Under Dr Tan’s leadership, it became the first garden in the world to receive the prestigious Thea Award, regarded as the Oscars of the international attractions industry. The Gardens also currently ranks top on TripAdvisor’s Things to do in Singapore. But beyond the iconic status, it remains firmly rooted as a people’s garden for present and future generations of Singaporeans to enjoy. Dr Tan’s commitment to creating a “Garden of Wonder” that Singaporeans can be proud of has seen 90% of the grounds freely accessible, with a year-round calendar of wide-ranging programmes catering to people from all walks of life. His efforts to make the Gardens an endearing place for the community are bearing fruit, with 1 in 2 local residents having visited the Gardens at least once over the last 12 months.
Growing a City in a Garden
Building his career around the stewardship of nature, Dr Tan has dedicated over 30 years to conserving the natural heritage in an increasingly urbanised Singapore.
He has held several senior appointments, including founding CEO of National Parks Board from 1990 to 2006. Envisioning Singapore as a “City in a Garden”, he sought to make it a liveable and sustainable home for Singaporeans. Dr Tan intensified Singapore’s green spaces through the development of more green lungs and corridors. He worked towards enhancing accessibility to nature areas, as well as strengthening biodiversity conservation efforts and encouraging greater ground-up ownership. He also laid out the master plan for the redevelopment of Singapore Botanic Gardens and spearheaded its transformation into a world-class botanical institution.
Dr Tan raised Singapore’s profile as a centre for horticultural excellence and reinforced its branding as a City in a Garden with the introduction of the Singapore Garden Festival in 2006. Leveraging on his expertise and reputation in the field of botany, he was instrumental in helping Singapore win the opportunity to host the 20th World Orchid Conference in 2011.
Dr Tan continues to devote his energies to Singapore’s City in a Garden vision as Advisor to National Parks Board.
After his retirement as CEO of Gardens by the Bay, he will continue to play an important role in the progress of the Gardens as Corporate Advisor. This will include providing landscape and horticultural advice for the upcoming development of the Founders’ Memorial at Bay East Garden.
“It has been a fulfilling journey to see Gardens by the Bay blossom from the seed of an idea into a world renowned horticultural attraction and national garden for Singaporeans. I am glad to have worked alongside an extremely capable and passionate team who rose to the challenge of creating one of the world’s great tropical gardens. Gardens by the Bay truly stands as a hallmark of wonder in our City in a Garden,” said Dr Tan.
Dr Tan will be succeeded by Mr Felix Loh, who is currently Chief Operating Officer of Gardens by the Bay. Mr Loh, a horticulturist by training, joined the Gardens four years ago and has more than 20 years of experience in parks management, horticulture and landscape industry development, and policy development. A former National Parks Board scholar, he had also served in the Ministry of National Development in various capacities, overseeing infrastructure policies, human resource, finance and corporate development functions.
Mr Niam Chiang Meng, Chairman of Gardens by the Bay, said, “Dr Tan has epitomised excellence in forging a greener Singapore with Gardens by the Bay, capturing a special place in the hearts of Singaporeans. We are grateful for his service to the Gardens and are confident that his new role as Corporate Advisor will continue to provide invaluable guidance even as the new management team seeks to further strengthen Gardens by the Bay as an international horticultural wonder.”