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Year 2022

In a first event of its kind in Southeast Asia, Gardens by the Bay has partnered world-renowned breeder companies to host a flower trial for the horticultural industry.

The aim of such trials, which are highly-anticipated events within the horticultural industry in USA and Europe, is to allow the industry to preview new cultivars by breeder companies, before they are introduced to the market. For example, the two biggest flower trial events are the annual California Spring Trials and the European FlowerTrials. However, there is no equivalent in this part of the world. Gardens by the Bay hopes to step into this gap, with an event that focuses on showcasing flowering plant cultivars that perform well in the sunny tropics.

A total of 150 flowering plant cultivars were showcased at Gardens by the Bay’s inaugural flower trial today. About five per cent of the cultivars are being introduced, and will eventually be commercially available internationally, for the first time.

The “patents” of these cultivars belong to five major breeder companies from all over the world - Syngenta from Switzerland, Pan-American Seed from the USA, Dümmen Orange from the Netherlands, and Sakata and Takii from Japan. In addition to providing their seeds, these five companies are also funding Gardens by the Bay’s flower trial. Leading substrate company Klasmann-Deilmann from Germany is also a sponsor in the flower trial.

Most flower trials are carried out in temperate countries, hence a flower trial event here would mean the results are more relevant to the tropical climate. These plants were grown in Singapore by Gardens by the Bay’s’ horticulturists, and the results of the flower trial are relatable to regional growers, and have the potential to increase the range and quality of the potted plant industry. Gardens by the Bay’s event garnered sign-ups not only from local nurseries, but also those from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Gardens by the Bay’s Deputy CEO Lee Kok Fatt said, “Gardens by the Bay not only has the facilities, but the expertise to grow many types of plants. We also have experience with the international industry, especially having attended flower trials overseas over the years, and seeing what such events can do for industry players. With this understanding, we initiated working with major international breeder companies to hold the first flower trial in Southeast Asia. Beyond giving our horticulturists opportunities to learn and grow by working with these breeder companies, such an event is also a potential platform for industry players to cultivate new relationships and develop business opportunities.”

Flower trials bring wider benefits to the horticultural industry as a whole. Spearheading a flower trial for the region allows Gardens by the Bay’s horticulturists to build up their expertise in floriculture with hands-on experience growing new plants, as well as acquiring knowledge on the latest horticultural techniques and methods from international breeder companies. It is also a way for the Gardens’ horticulturists to get new ideas for landscape displays and build relationships with suppliers in order to diversify its sources of plants, which was an important lesson learnt during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the breeder companies get an opportunity for product development as well as a foot in the regional horticultural industry. As for players both locally and in the region, such events let them preview new cultivars they could potentially procure, as well as to network with other industry stakeholders for business opportunities. Even the ordinary plant enthusiast in the region benefits, when new cultivars become commercially available for them to add to their personal collection.

Gardens by the Bay will evaluate the results and feedback from key stakeholders of this first flower trial in assessing its potential for a larger scale mainstay event in the future. As the event grows, there is even the potential to have a public day, where anyone among the plant-loving public can visit to experience for themselves the excitement of previewing the latest cultivars before they hit the market, or even make it to a floral display at Gardens by the Bay.

From left: Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to Singapore His Excellency Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development Sim Ann taking a closer look at the orchids in the Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty display From left: Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to Singapore His Excellency Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development Sim Ann taking a closer look at the orchids in the Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty display

For a limited period of two weeks, Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest will showcase over 30 interesting Costa Rican orchid species in its first orchid display themed around the country’s orchids.

Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty (哥斯达黎加之幽兰美人) is presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Costa Rica in Singapore and the country’s prestigious Lankester Botanical Garden, whose mission includes studying orchids and other epiphytes for their conservation.

The orchid display also commemorates 35 years of diplomatic relations between Costa Rica and Singapore.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development Sim Ann officially opened Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty today. It will run till Jul 11.

Among the orchids of note in the display are Acianthera decipiens, which has flowers that gradually change colour over time, from dark purple in the initial days of blooming, to red, and finally orangey-yellow, and Ornithocephalus inflexus, which produces spikes of dainty, crystalline green to white flowers that resemble birds in flight. Lankester Botanical Garden has also donated orchids for the display, such as Specklinia pfavii, an endangered orchid bearing striking yellow flowers covered in nectar-secreting warts, which feed the fruit flies that pollinate them, and Scaphyglottis micrantha, which is commonly called Small Flowered Scaphyglottis because of the tiny white flowers that measure just 4mm in size.

Costa Rica boasts about 6 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and such richness is reflected in their orchid diversity, with over 1,600 orchid species found in the country. It is also among the countries in the world with the largest orchid density.

Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “This year is Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary, and our goal to bring the world of plants to Singapore, and present Singapore to the world, has not changed. Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty is one example of how we can do this. In cloud forests around the world, including in Costa Rica, orchids are among the endemic plants vulnerable to the threat of climate change. This display of Costa Rican orchids is a valuable opportunity to amplify this message, especially when Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest cooled conservatory has a purpose to educate the public on the beauty and diversity found in cloud forests of the world, and in turn, why conservation efforts are so crucial.”

Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to Singapore His Excellency Victor Hugo Rojas Gonzalez said, “Both Singapore and Costa Rica share the orchid as the national flower, perhaps because we find beauty and resilience in them. They are so resilient that when the Spanish settled in Costa Rica 500 years ago, they crossed with species of orchids that are found today in our forests.  And today, that same resilience can be found in the profound relations between Costa Rica and Singapore.”

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was also signed today between Gardens by the Bay and Lankester Botanical Garden, to deepen research efforts and contribute to the global conservation efforts of Costa Rican orchids by covering the following areas:

  • Collaborative long-term research projects
  • Exchange of plant germplasm
  • Exchange in technical expertise and research interest
  • Knowledge sharing and collaborative scientific publications

 

Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty

Date: Tuesday, 28 June to Monday, 11 July
Time: 9.00am - 9.00pm
Location: Cloud Forest

Details:

Please refer to the Annex for information on some of the interesting orchids in the Orchids of Costa Rica – Resilient Beauty display.

Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development, Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (fourth from left) launches Hydrangea Holidays by activating the sails of a 7m-tall windmill. Joining him were Gardens by the Bay Board Members Jeannie Lim, Susan Chong, and John Tan; as well as Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei Her Excellency Margriet Vonno, TOUCH Community Services CEO James Tan, and Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh. Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development, Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (fourth from left) launches Hydrangea Holidays by activating the sails of a 7m-tall windmill. Joining him were Gardens by the Bay Board Members Jeannie Lim, Susan Chong, and John Tan; as well as Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei Her Excellency Margriet Vonno, TOUCH Community Services CEO James Tan, and Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh.

The new Hydrangea Holidays (绣球花假期) floral display in Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome, which opens today, features 50 artworks by 27 intellectually disabled artists from JOURNEY by TOUCH Community Services woven into the landscape. It is the first time the Gardens is collaborating with special needs artists for the design of a floral display.

Hydrangea Holidays is also the first time Gardens by the Bay is making hydrangeas the theme of a floral display. There are over 20 varieties of hydrangeas in shades that are close to the colours of the Dutch flag – red, white and blue – planted against a backdrop inspired by the traditional Dutch countryside in summer. There are Dutch icons like a windmill, canal, Amsterdam townhouses, and a lighthouse inspired by the red-and-white West Schouwen, which is one of the largest and tallest lighthouses in the Netherlands.

The artworks feature hydrangeas and other blooms, and are also inspired by both the Dutch landscape and Gardens by the Bay.

Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development launched the floral display today, together with Ambassador of the Netherlands to Singapore and Brunei Her Excellency Margriet Vonno, and Chief Executive Officer of TOUCH Community Services James Tan.

Hydrangea Holidays will run until August 14.


Artworks available for sale via silent auction
TOUCH Community Services is one of the beneficiaries of Gardens by the Bay’s Gift of Gardens community outreach initiative, which provides the underprivileged community complimentary access to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.

In April this year, Her Excellency Margriet Vonno and the Gardens by the Bay team visited the TOUCH Centre of Independent Living (TCIL), where Her Excellency conducted a sharing session with the special needs artists. The artists learnt about hydrangeas and other cultural icons of the Netherlands, and these newfound inspirations were channelled into their artworks.

One of these artists is Chen Zhiyu. To him, hydrangeas flowers are colourful, and the petals are exquisite. He loved the purple hydrangeas that were shown to him during the sharing session at TCIL so much that he featured them in his painting along with Dutch icons like the lighthouse.

All 50 artworks are available for sale in a silent auction. Visitors who are keen to purchase the artworks can scan the corresponding QR codes next to each artwork to place a bid. Proceeds from the silent auction will go to TOUCH and the artists, enabling them to be more self-reliant and to live in dignity. Bidding closes on 14 August and successful bidders will be contacted by TOUCH Community Services.

Senior Director of Horticultural Operations at Gardens by the Bay Gary Chua said, “Gardens by the Bay is honoured to provide a platform for these special needs artists to showcase their talent. Their colourful artworks are a unique depiction of hydrangeas and the Netherlands, and complement Hydrangea Holidays beautifully. We hope to leverage on the popularity of Flower Dome’s floral displays to garner more visibility for these artists, and in turn generate more income for them via the silent auction. This is also a good opportunity to bring together the special needs community and the general public.”

Chief Executive Officer of TOUCH Community Services James Tan said, “At TOUCH, we believe in empowerment – to provide every client with opportunities to contribute based on their individual abilities and to build their independence. We are honoured to be partnering with Gardens by the Bay to showcase the talents of people with intellectual disabilities alongside the beautiful floral display. We hope the exhibition will allow more to see the potential of every individual to contribute to society and understand the importance of support as a community.”

Hydrangea Holidays is supported by Bloomberg, and held in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Singapore and JOURNEY by TOUCH Community Services. It is the fifth of eight full-scale floral displays that Gardens by the Bay is bringing back to Flower Dome in the year of its tenth anniversary.

For more details on Hydrangea Holidays as well as the silent auction, visit https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/hydrangea.

 Minister for National Development Desmond Lee plants mangroves at Kingfisher Wetlands with students from Institute of Technical Education and Republic Polytechnic as part of the launch of Gardens by the Bay’s Wonderful Wetlands series. Minister for National Development Desmond Lee plants mangroves at Kingfisher Wetlands with students from Institute of Technical Education and Republic Polytechnic as part of the launch of Gardens by the Bay’s Wonderful Wetlands series.

On its tenth anniversary, Gardens by the Bay is expanding its sustainability focus by broadening its partnerships and outreach efforts to tertiary institutions. This includes the new Wonderful Wetlands series of community engagement activities, and an MOU signing with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and Republic Polytechnic (RP) to give both students and educators learning and development opportunities with sustainability as a theme.

A ‘Wonderful Wetlands’ to learn about nature-based climate solutions
Gardens by the Bay’s new Wonderful Wetlands series of community engagement activities was launched today by Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration Desmond Lee. Through Wonderful Wetlands, the community can gain a deeper understanding on nature-based solutions to combat climate change, for example through public lectures or citizen science activities leveraging on the mangroves planted at the Gardens’ nature sanctuary Kingfisher Wetlands.

As part of the launch, Minister Desmond Lee, together with students from NUS, ITE and RP, as well as representatives from SG Eco Fund and Temasek, planted mangroves at Kingfisher Wetlands.

Wonderful Wetlands is sponsored by Temasek and SG Eco Fund.

Since last year, Gardens by the Bay has been working with NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions and DHI Water and Environment to use Kingfisher Wetlands as a living laboratory to support blue carbon science research. Mangroves take in carbon, and are regarded as a natural way of reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They can sequester more carbon than rainforests, with most of this carbon stored in their sediments. This is what is known as “blue” carbon – the carbon captured by coastal and marine ecosystems.

There are more than 200 mangroves and mangrove associates at the 15,000 sq m Kingfisher Wetlands, urban wetlands and hotspot for wildlife watching that opened in November last year.

As part of Wonderful Wetlands, members of the community will get to be involved in:

  • Citizen science activities, where people can work with NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions and DHI Water and Environment to collect data for mangrove monitoring.
  • Public lectures, where people can learn more about blue carbon and coastal ecosystems, and have the opportunity to trial a pilot Augmented Reality tour of Kingfisher Wetlands.

Mangrove monitoring sessions are planned for the rest of the year, and the next session will be in July. There will also be upcoming lectures. Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/wonderfulwetlands for more details.

Nurturing a culture of sustainability in the next generation
Gardens by the Bay also signed MOUs with ITE and RP today, where students can learn by playing an active role in contributing towards sustainability efforts at the Gardens, and both students and staff will have more opportunities for professional attachments in areas such as biodiversity conservation, sustainable development and landscape management. Key areas of collaboration include the adoption of the Kingfisher Wetlands in horticultural maintenance by ITE, and mangrove monitoring with RP.

In addition, the Gardens will be offering six book prizes annually to ITE students pursuing their Nitec studies in Urban Greenery and Landscape, and Higher Nitec in Landscape Management and Design.

Gardens by the Bay will offer RP students hands-on opportunities to participate in citizen science monitoring sessions, such as measuring the height and girth of mangroves to determine their health. With part of the collaboration being multidisciplinary, the Gardens will work with RP’s School of Management and Communication to co-develop digital marketing platforms to promote and cultivate a sustainability mindset among youth.

Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “As the world bounces back from the pandemic and looks toward a brighter future, it is more important than ever to bring the community together to focus on sustainable solutions. This year is Gardens by the Bay’s tenth anniversary, and education is a key platform for us to achieve this aim, by expanding our partnerships and outreach efforts with tertiary institutions. We hope to achieve this objective in two ways: curate interesting ground-up activities leveraging on the rich environment of Gardens by the Bay, and encourage a culture of sustainability among the younger generation.”

In February this year, Gardens by the Bay launched its flagship education outreach programme Green Guardians, which focuses on biodiversity, conservation, and sustainability for pre-schools, primary and secondary schools. Green Guardians is a unique hybrid programme with both online and on-site elements, such that educators can customise the learning journey for their students.

(From left) Deputy CEO of Gardens by the Bay Lee Kok Fatt; Co-founder and Senior Consultant  of Fei Yue Community Services Leng Chin Fai; CEO of Gardens by the Bay Felix Loh;  Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development Sim Ann; Gardens by the Bay Board Member Sam Liew; together with children from Fei Yue Community Services officially open Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia. (From left) Deputy CEO of Gardens by the Bay Lee Kok Fatt; Co-founder and Senior Consultant of Fei Yue Community Services Leng Chin Fai; CEO of Gardens by the Bay Felix Loh; Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development Sim Ann; Gardens by the Bay Board Member Sam Liew; together with children from Fei Yue Community Services officially open Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia.

With this being the first June school holidays since the lifting of pandemic restrictions, there is plenty that families with children can look forward to doing at Gardens by the Bay. The Gardens’ flagship Children’s Festival opens today at Supertree Grove with an expanded line-up of activities ranging from sports, to arts and crafts, to reading and storytelling. In addition, the Far East Organization Children’s Garden, which is well-loved for its water play area, reopened yesterday after being closed since May last year.

Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of National Development officially opened Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia today, together with beneficiaries from Fei Yue Community Services, by completing a giant jigsaw puzzle to “launch” a balloon up into the air. She also joined members of the public and over 300 beneficiaries from Campus Impact, Care Corner Singapore, Fei Yue Community Services, and The Salvation Army, to participate in some of the activities.

The highlight of Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia is eight brightly-coloured giant inflatables – the largest measures 12.5m tall – featuring the animal characters of Kiztopia Friends. Each inflatable represents an iconic landmark of a country, such as Mount Fuji in Japan, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Kids can “board” two of the inflatables to take photos. They can also pick up an activity booklet and complete activities centring on the eight inflatables to redeem an exclusive sticker sheet – all at no cost.

Now that restrictions have eased, there are two interactive zones, Happy’s Craft World and Tiger’s Sports Arena, for kids to participate in either craft or sports activities respectively. Kids can take up clay art painting, scratch painting and 3D puzzle assembling of animals and iconic landmarks, or have fun in the sun with basketball, ring toss, football and more. The crafts are priced at $8 per activity, while admission into Tiger’s Sports Arena is at $18 per pax.

Held since 2014, Gardens by the Bay’s Children’s Festival has come to be a regular feature on the events calendar that many Singaporean families look forward to during the school holidays. Leveraging on the high footfall to the Gardens, the festival has become an additional platform for key public partners to reach out to families. This year, the Gardens has partnered with National Gallery Singapore and National Library Board to bring their pop-up museums and mobile library to the Gardens. Making their first public appearance beyond the museum and schools are National Gallery Singapore’s Roving Art Truck and Travelling Art Carts, to foster a deeper appreciation for Singapore and Southeast Asian art among the young. The National Library Board’s MOLLY the Mobile Library is also making a pit stop in the Gardens for the first time, with a wide range of children’s books and storytelling sessions for the little ones.

Gardens by the Bay Director of Programming Dinesh Naidu said, “Gardens by the Bay is excited to pack the June school holidays with a variety of fun-filled activities for children now that restrictions have eased. The giant, colourful inflatables of Children’s Festival are back, along with a richer line-up of things to do, including sports carnival games and craft activities, as well as new collaborations with National Library Board to encourage reading and National Gallery Singapore to foster art appreciation. The Far East Organization Children’s Garden has also reopened, and we think parents will be spoilt for choice at Gardens by the Bay when it comes to opportunities to bond with their children over play.”

Kiztopia Founder and CEO Heidi Tian said, “Kiztopia is excited to be a part of this year’s Children’s Festival, for the first time, and bring our well-loved Kiztopia Friends, in the form of eight colourful, giant inflatables, to Gardens by the Bay. Besides being a delightful sight to behold, due to their sheer enormous size, each inflatable aims to bring smiles to faces and joy to the hearts. With the school holidays in full swing, we welcome all kids and their families to join us to ‘travel the world’; embark on an exciting activity-filled adventure and create lasting photo memories, right here at the Gardens by the Bay.”

Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia is presented by Gardens by the Bay in collaboration with Kiztopia, supported by Tote Board, and in partnership with National Library Board and National Gallery Singapore.

For more information, visit www.gardensbythebay.com/childrensfestival.

 

Gardens by the Bay presents Children’s Festival - Around the World with Kiztopia

Date: Saturday, 28 May to Sunday, 19 June

Time: 10.00am - 7.00pm

Location: Supertree Grove

Details: Free access. Fees apply for “Happy’s Craft World” and “Tiger’s Sports Arena”.

Please refer to the Annex for more information on the giant inflatables and the line-up of activities at Gardens by the Bay’s Children’s Festival.

From left: Ambassador of Italy to Singapore His Excellency Mario Andrea Vattani; the wife of the Italian Ambassador to Singapore Yumiko Vattani; and Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah toss rose petals from a representation of Verona's famous Juliet balcony to mark the opening of Rose Romance at Gardens by the Bay. From left: Ambassador of Italy to Singapore His Excellency Mario Andrea Vattani; the wife of the Italian Ambassador to Singapore Yumiko Vattani; and Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah toss rose petals from a representation of Verona's famous Juliet balcony to mark the opening of Rose Romance at Gardens by the Bay.

More than 70 varieties of roses – some of which are uncommon in Singapore – are showcased in Gardens by the Bay’s Rose Romance (玫瑰之恋) floral display, which opens today. Some of the varieties brought in for first time include Rosa ‘Friedenslicht’, which translates into ‘Light of Peace’ – a rose named for 70 years of peace after World War II, and Rosa 'Broceliande', a two-tone rose with flowers that are cherry red and ivory or yellow, inspired by the Arthurian legend of how the wizard Merlin fell for the fairy Viviane.

Rose Romance was launched in Flower Dome by Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah and Ambassador of Italy to Singapore His Excellency Mario Andrea Vattani. This is the first time that Gardens by the Bay is collaborating with the Embassy of Italy in Singapore to bring a touch of Italy to a floral display. Italy is a country known for beauty and romance, and the rose, which symbolises love and passion, is much-adored by Italians.

In the floral display, roses in delicate hues of pink, red, orange and yellow grow amidst an Italian-inspired landscape, such as the narrow, winding alleyways of its towns, and the rustic, arcadian feel of its countryside. A dreamy representation of Verona's famous Juliet balcony beckons, for couples to recreate the famous scene between lovers Romeo and Juliet right here in Singapore – after all, the origins of the story is Italian. Adding to the Italian flavour are Vespa scooters that bring to mind the romantic comedy Roman Holiday, and an exhibit of miniaturised paintings by craftsmen from the Italian art studio Bottega Tifernate.

Visitors can admire roses of myriad colours, shapes, and sizes growing in shrubs, trellises, and on rose arches that took three years to cultivate. To complement the display, the Gardens is also collaborating with local florists to present a special rose-themed floral installation each week.

Ambassador of Italy to Singapore His Excellency Mario Andrea Vattani said, “We are delighted to partner with Gardens by the Bay to bring Italian culture to a beautiful setting which is so significant for all Singaporeans, and iconic to the rest of the world. For the first time, the notes of Italian opera will fill Flower Dome, together with the striking natural colours and scents of the Rose Romance floral display. We share the vision of the Gardens as a place to connect with nature and each other, to develop an even stronger relationship between our countries and our people. This is why we look forward to more of such fruitful collaborations in future years, with participation from Italian cities and regions.”

Gardens by the Bay Senior Director of Horticultural Operations Gary Chua said, “Rose Romance is the fourth of eight floral displays that Gardens by the Bay is bringing back to Flower Dome for our 10th anniversary. In one of the most charming of our floral displays, not only do we bring the idyllic Italian landscape to the tropics, but many of the roses on the show are not commonly seen in Singapore too. We hope this will be pleasing to both the local community, as well as to overseas visitors whom we have been welcoming back.”

The Italian theme carries on with free opera performances by Italian soprano Marcella di Garbo and baritone Lorenzo Barbieri, who will be specially flying in from Italy in June, as well as workshops conducted by the Italian community such as crepe paper flower making and postcard colouring, for the public to enjoy.     

Rose Romance runs till Jun 12 in Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay.

Please refer to the Annex for more information on the roses of note and the line-up of programmes in conjunction with Rose Romance.

Up, up and away! This June school holidays, kids and their families are set to be blown away as eight specially-designed giant inflatables, measuring up to 12.5metres tall, take centrestage at Gardens by the Bay. Brought to you by Gardens by the Bay in partnership with Kiztopia, Singapore’s leading mega-indoor kids’ edutainment playground centre, and featuring Kiztopia Friends, this larger-than-life inflatables installation is part of this year’s Children’s Festival, which runs from 28 May to 19 June at the Supertree Grove.

As travel opens up and we can, once again, see the world, this timely installation brings the world to our hood, without the need to board a plane! Each inflatable features the iconic landmarks of the different countries, such as Mount Fuji in Japan, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Two of the inflatables allow visitors to “board” the hot air balloon to take photos.

Festival-goers will be greeted at the entrance by their favourite cast of Kiztopia Friends, in the form of an inflatable welcome arch, before they enter to discover the various countries that the characters have “flown” in from. With the lush and picturesque landscape of Gardens by the Bay as the backdrop for the giant, colourful inflatables, they make for amazing instagrammable moments for the whole family.

Gardens by the Bay's Director of Programming Mr Dinesh Naidu said, “Our team is excited to organise this year’s Children's Festival as pandemic restrictions ease. As we progress towards normality, this year's Children's Festival will also be a richer experience for families, with more activities for children to enjoy. Not only will there be more giant, colourful inflatables at Supertree Grove, kids can also indulge in exciting sports carnival games and have some much needed fun under the sun."

Founder and CEO of Kiztopia Ms Heidi Tian said, “Kiztopia is excited to partner Gardens by the Bay to bring our popular characters in the form of giant inflatables to Children’s Festival this year. With the easing of regulations and more borders opening up, the idea of travel is close to everyone’s heart, making our installation relatable to both adults and kids. In addition, travelling helps to broaden our kids’ horizons and encourages them to explore new experiences. We hope that this festival will help to create precious memories and serve as a great bonding experience for families and their kids, even if they are not travelling out of Singapore this school holidays.”

 

Get Your Cameras Ready To Go Around The World With Kiztopia Friends
Get ready to welcome the well-loved Kiztopia Friends characters as they make their highly-anticipated descent in their hot air balloons at Gardens by the Bay.

Joining Tiger in Singapore are Happy the Hippo flying in from Australia, Eli the Elephant making his landing from Japan, Drago the Dragon flying in from Kenya, Mark the Monkey arriving from Thailand and Raby the Rabbit entering from the Netherlands. Each of them brings their best memories of the sights and delights of the country that they have travelled from to share with Singaporeans!

You can see the iconic windmills in the Netherlands through the eyes of Raby, or perhaps venture into the wild safari with Drago taking the lead or be mesmerised by the beauty of Mount Fuji like Eli did. With a total of six country-themed hot air balloon inflatables, there will be ample adventures laid out for kids and their families to explore the world alongside the fun-loving Kiztopia Friends. (See Annex A for the giant inflatables designs)

In addition to the photogenic inflatables to take unlimited photos with, there is a host of fun activities to complete the kids’ and families’ experience at the Gardens by the Bay Children’s Festival.

 

“Play To Learn, Learn Through Play” with Kiztopia
In line with Kiztopia’s ethos of “Play to Learn, Learn Through Play” that promotes spontaneous and simultaneous play and learning, kids can pick up a complimentary activity booklet at the entrance or selected points at the venue which they can use to discover interesting facts about each of the countries featured.

By travelling along the trail, they can even collect stamps and hit milestones to redeem an exclusive sticker sheet upon completion of the mission.

 

Get Creative Or Be Sporty
There will also be two ticketed interactive zones found at the Supertree Grove Lawn and Colonnade, where families can take part in exciting activities whilst bonding with their kids.

Get creative at Happy’s Craft World, where kids can embark on a craft activity of their country of choice and take home the finished work as keepsakes. The craft activities include clay art painting, scratch painting and 3D puzzle assembling of animals and iconic landmarks synonymous to the countries.

For the active little ones, aged four and above, who are looking for some fun and action under the sun, the Tiger’s Sports Arena, featuring inflatables of five sports carnival games, including basketball, ring toss, football and more, is THE place for them! Score points and accumulate stamps to redeem an exclusive goodie bag filled with yummy treats and attractive Kiztopia merchandise! (See Annex B for the list of sports stations)

Priced at $8.00 for one craft activity per person and $18.00 per person to enter into Tiger’s Sports Arena, there is also a bundle deal of $22.00 per person for one craft activity and access to Tiger’s Sports Arena. Tickets can be ourchased via https://www.klook.com/en-SG/activity/71860.

For more information, visit www.gardensbythebay.com/childrensfestival.
 

Children’s Festival – Around the World with Kiztopia
Location: Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay
Date: 28 May 2022 – 19 June 2022
Operating hours: 10am - 7pm daily

The Precious Peony floral display at Gardens by the Bay will be extended until May 8.

This is the first time that Gardens by the Bay is showcasing peonies in a floral display in Flower Dome. The peonies on show come from Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, and China. The final shipment of peonies from China arrived yesterday, and has been incorporated into the floral display. These peonies are expected to bloom in the next few days, just in time for the long weekend, amidst the blooming peonies from Netherlands, Japan, and Israel.

Precious Peony pays tribute to the journey of this revered flower as it made its way from China to Nanyang in the hearts and minds of Chinese immigrants in search of a new home, and how its portrayal evolved as Chinese culture itself evolved. The recreation of a Chinese garden is a nod to the roots of the peony in Chinese history, while the facade of a Peranakan shophouse represents the evolution of the flower to become a well-loved motif of the Chinese Peranakan community in Singapore.

In addition to the beautiful landscape of peonies complemented by snapdragons, camellias, asters, and centuries-old bonsai, visitors can also see more than 70 artefacts of Chinese and Peranakan culture, on loan from Peranakan Museum (a division of Asian Civilisations Museum), The Intan and The Society for Chinese Ceramics Studies.


Precious Peony floral display

Date: Till Sunday, May 8

Time: 9.00am – 9.00pm

Details:

 Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah and Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern pose for a photo after the kūwaha sculpture is unveiled at Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah and Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern pose for a photo after the kūwaha sculpture is unveiled at Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest.

As part of her visit to Singapore, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern unveiled a kūwaha sculpture at Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest. The donation of the sculpture, named Tāne Te Waiora, to Cloud Forest was made possible with the support of New Zealand High Commission, and sponsors Fonterra, Tourism New Zealand and Zespri.

This kūwaha is a bespoke Māori carving and represents a symbolic doorway – a threshold celebrating cultures, beliefs and identities. Tāne Te Waiora represents and reaffirms the special relationship between Singapore and New Zealand. Comprising three pieces made of tōtara wood from the Pureora Forest in the central North Island, the sculpture is crafted from a tree that is estimated to be over 2,500 years old, which fell naturally in the forest during a severe storm. Measuring 3.2m tall and 3.6m across, it is carved by master carver James Rickard and specialist carver Tommy Herbert, of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute.

Tāne Te Waiora translates to Tāne, the giver of life. The personified form of sunlight, Tāne is represented in this sculpture by the two figures carved on the left and right of the whakawae (upright supports), depicting Haumietiketike (atua or spiritual guardian of uncultivated crops) and Rongomātāne (atua or spiritual guardian of agriculture and cultivated crops).

The reciprocity between Singapore and New Zealand, as well as the former’s history as a long-standing trading post, are represented in the pare (lintel) connecting the whakawae, which features two tauihu (the prow of a waka or sea vessel). At the centre of the pare is a wheku (a carving of a face) depicting Hina, the personification of the moon. Hina reinforces the importance of light in Māori culture, which symbolically denotes awakening and enlightenment.

Surrounding the sculpture are plants native to New Zealand such as the Tōtara (Podocarpus totara), the same kind of tree the sculpture was carved from; Silver Fern (Cyathea dealbata), a plant that is emblematic of New Zealand; Hen and Chickens Fern (Asplenium bulbiferum), a wild crop; Kumara (Ipomea batas) or sweet potato; and Pepper Tree (Piper excelsum), which has medicinal properties.

Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “Māori art and culture has deep significance in New Zealand's cultural history. This specially crafted kūwaha sculpture is from a piece of wood from a tōtara tree –endemic to New Zealand – which is estimated to be over 2,500 years old. We are grateful for this precious gift to be placed permanently at the entrance of Cloud Forest as a lasting symbol of the close friendship between our two countries."

In its 10th anniversary year, internationally renowned horticultural attraction Gardens by the Bay is renewing its commitment to the environment, by becoming the first in Singapore to embark on the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations programme accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council(GSTC). The Gardens joins a worldwide network of destinations that include Nuuk in Greenland, Rottnest Island in Australia, and Sierra Gorda in Mexico, who are committed to sustainable destination stewardship and place management.

The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations programme works with tourism destinations and precincts to facilitate and foster responsible environmental and social planning and management practices. Recognised as a leading scientific programme for responsible tourism, it provides operators with a holistic framework to benchmark and certifies their environmental and social performance, in an effort to address some of the challenges facing the planet such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

Stewart Moore, Founder and CEO of EarthCheck, noted, "EarthCheck is honoured to be working with Gardens by the Bay, a tourism icon of the Asia Pacific and an integral part of Singapore's City in Nature vision."

A national garden and world-class horticultural attraction located in the heart of Singapore’s downtown, Gardens by the Bay is home to a living collection of over a million plants and rich diversity of wildlife. Built on reclaimed land, much effort was made to plan and design sustainable cycles in energy and water management throughout the Gardens. From its temperature-controlled plant conservatories that 2 are cooled by renewable energy to the solar-powered vertical gardens known as Supertrees, environmental sustainability has remained at the core of the Gardens’ operations since it opened in 2012.

Mr. Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, said, “As we mark the the 10th anniversary of Gardens by the Bay this year, we are renewing our commitment to being part of Singapore's sustainability story. We aim to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism, by benchmarking against GSTC-recognised international standards through the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations program. This also demonstrates our support for the Singapore Green Plan 2030, as we further our efforts to embed sustainability in our DNA –through our business, day to day operations, and corporate culture."

The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations program is in line with Gardens by the Bay’s sustainability roadmap, which was recently developed based on the ESG (environment, social and corporate governance) model to drive the Gardens’ sustainability efforts in the coming years.

(From left) National Heritage Board Group Director of Museums, and Director of Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum Kennie Ting; National Heritage Board CEO Chang Hwee Nee; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong; Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh; and Gardens by the Bay Deputy CEO Lee Kok Fatt officially open the Precious Peony floral display at Gardens by the Bay by unveiling the signboard of a Peranakan shophouse. (From left) National Heritage Board Group Director of Museums, and Director of Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum Kennie Ting; National Heritage Board CEO Chang Hwee Nee; Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong; Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh; and Gardens by the Bay Deputy CEO Lee Kok Fatt officially open the Precious Peony floral display at Gardens by the Bay by unveiling the signboard of a Peranakan shophouse.

For the first time in Gardens by the Bay’s 10-year history of floral displays, more than 70 artefacts of Chinese and Peranakan culture, on loan from Peranakan Museum (a division of Asian Civilisations Museum), The Intan and The Society for Chinese Ceramics Studies, will be showcased alongside peonies at the Precious Peony (富贵牡丹) floral display. This is Gardens by the Bay’s inaugural collaboration with our local museums for a floral display.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong launched the Precious Peony floral display today, which will run until May 3.

Precious Peony pays tribute to the journey of this revered flower as it made its way from China to Nanyang in the hearts and minds of Chinese immigrants in search of a new home, and how its portrayal evolved as Chinese culture itself evolved. The recreation of a Chinese garden is a nod to the roots of the peony in Chinese history, while the facade of a Peranakan shophouse represents the evolution of the flower to become a well-loved motif of the Chinese Peranakan community in Singapore.

Interspersed in this landscape are various artefacts from museums and private organisations that incorporate the peony in various ways. Some highlights include:

  • An antique blackwood bench inlaid with mother-of-pearl, which is an example of fine furniture found in the homes of wealthy Chinese Peranakans
  • A Chinese robe that shows how people adapted their lifestyle in the post-war austerity period, by blending traditional Qing-era embroidery techniques with mass produced fabric
  • A rare iron-splash glazed blackware vase
  • Everyday items unique to Chinese culture that are uncommon nowadays, such as kasut manek (hand-beaded slippers), chupu (covered jars), tingkat (tiffin carriers) and bakul siah (wedding baskets) 
     

Precious Peony, which is part of the calendar of changing floral displays that Gardens by the Bay has lined up this year, faced an unanticipated setback close to opening day. The first batch of peony shipments from China could not be delivered on time due to supply chain disruptions caused by the sudden measures imposed to contain the virus outbreak there. As such, for the first week of the floral display, horticulturists are supplementing the show with peonies from Japan, Israel, and the Netherlands, while awaiting the shipments from China to arrive.

Gardens by the Bay’s Senior Director of Horticultural Operations Gary Chua said, “The peony is revered for its elegance and beauty. As part of our 10th anniversary, Gardens by the Bay is partnering with local museums for the first time ever to curate a brand-new experience, where we present these precious blooms in the context of Singapore’s rich culture. We hope visitors will take time to enjoy the exquisite collection of artefacts on loan from the museums, admist the beautiful landscape of peonies complemented by snapdragons, camellias, asters, and centuries-old bonsai."

Precious Peony is supported by Bloomberg and private individuals, and presented in collaboration with ChengTai Nursery Pte Ltd, Jia Bonsai, KenSoon Asiatic Art Pte Ltd, Ming & Qing Furniture Pte Ltd and Xi JewelBox.

 

Donation of Lee Kuang-Yu’s “Thinker” sculpture to Cloud Forest

During his visit, Minister Edwin Tong also officiated the donation of Taiwanese artist Lee Kuang-Yu’s Thinker sculpture as a permanent fixture in Cloud Forest.

Donated by the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore and Taipei Business Association in Singapore on the occasion of Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary, Thinker was among the 16 sculptures by Mr Lee in A Sculptor’s Secret Garden, the first full-scale art exhibition to run in Cloud Forest back in Aug 2020.

Taipei Representative Office in Singapore’s Representative Francis Liang Kuo-Hsin said, “The gift of Thinker, Lee’s signature work paying tribute to nature and life, to the permanent collection of Gardens by the Bay, is testimony to a valuable milestone in the art exchange between Taiwan and Singapore. Singapore is a master in blending nature with urban living while Taiwan is a fertile ground for nurturing humanities and arts that promote curiosity and tolerance. Just as Gardens by the Bay inspires and uplifts the spirits of all its visitors with its blend of botanical beauty and art, we hope that Singapore and Taiwan can leverage on each other's complementary strengths to create positive synergies for both parties.”

Taipei Business Association in Singapore’s President James Yang said, “Taipei Business Association in Singapore is honoured and delighted to participate in the donation of Taiwanese sculptor Lee Kuang-Yu’s signature bronze sculpture Thinker, on the occasion of Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary. It is a progression to another level in promoting cultural exchanges between Singapore and Taiwan.”

It is the latest addition to the growing collection of world class sculptures at Gardens by the Bay, which now numbers more than 200 pieces. Gardens have traditionally been great social levellers because of their public accessibility, and it is through the generosity of sponsors that Gardens by the Bay has been able to continue this tradition and bring art to the community at large.

 

10 Years of Wonders season pass

As a show of appreciation to local residents for their continuous support over the past decade, Gardens by the Bay is also launching a 10 Years of Wonders season pass.

From now till May 2, local residents can purchase the season pass at $20 and enjoy unlimited entry to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest for up to six months. With this season pass, they will be able to enjoy the next four floral displays following peonies, which centre around flowers such as roses, hydrangeas, orchids and sunflowers. This ticketing promotion is available online from Gardens by the Bay’s website as well as mobile app, for visits till Oct 15 this year.

Please refer to the Annex for more information on Precious Peony and the 10 Years of Wonders season pass.

President Halimah Yacob samples the scent of a Sabah Snakegrass (Clinacanthus nutans) cultivated by volunteers at the community garden of Gardens by the Bay's new Active Garden as Minister for National Development Desmond Lee looks on. President Halimah Yacob samples the scent of a Sabah Snakegrass (Clinacanthus nutans) cultivated by volunteers at the community garden of Gardens by the Bay's new Active Garden as Minister for National Development Desmond Lee looks on.

In its 10th anniversary year, Gardens by the Bay officially opened Active Garden, a new 10,000 sqm purpose-built green space for people across generations to connect with one another through physical, social and learning activities. 
 

Active Garden is a barrier-free space with no admission charge. Its facilities include:

  • Waterfront Plaza and classroom for talks, workshops and events for the community

  • Moongate Lawn and Active Garden Lawn for recreation and activities

  • Community garden

  • Multi-generational fitness equipment and outdoor musical instruments

  • Mylo’s, a pet-friendly cafe

 

Active Garden was launched by Guest of Honour President Halimah Yacob today, who planted a variegated guava tree (Psidium guajava ‘Variegata’) to commemorate the occasion. Minister for National Development Desmond Lee also gave a speech at the launch.
 

More programmes for greater community engagement

The development of Active Garden was supported by Tote Board, with the intention to create more opportunities for community engagement and provide more programmes for the public with greater breadth and depth.

For example, Gardens by the Bay can work with more community partners to curate programmes for the public. Prior to today’s opening, the Gardens has already been partnering the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to explore the potential of Active Garden. HPB’s free activities for the community, which have been ongoing since last year, include the Active Family Programme that promotes bonding between parent and child through communal physical activity, and Rolling Good Times, which aims to raise awareness on common fall situations and equip seniors with basic strategies to avoid and overcome these situations. 

Active Garden is also a platform for educational outreach on horticulture. Since last year, Gardens by the Bay has been holding horticulture and botanical arts workshops for people who are interested to learn more about plants. With its own community garden that grows more than 50 types of vegetables, herbs and fruits, from starfruit and long beans to less common edibles like Noni and Bilimbi, the Gardens’ horticulturists and volunteers have a practical example to make use of to impart knowledge about edibles to the community, such as how to grow their own.

Upcoming, the public can look forward to more activities at Active Garden, such as more workshops themed around edibles and botanical crafts, as well as child-friendly activities just in time for the June school holidays. Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg for details.
 

Increasing a sense of ownership in the Gardens

Active Garden is also a platform to increase a sense of ownership in Gardens by the Bay among the community. Not only is it an inclusive activity area that encourages inter-generational bonding between persons of all ages and abilities, it also supports active citizenry, with dedicated volunteers who are encouraged to develop new initiatives together with Gardens’ staff.

The community garden is maintained by 20 volunteers, who range in age from their thirties to their seventies, from working adults to retirees. These volunteers are involved in preparing the soil, propagating the plants, preparing seed trays and fertilisation, nurturing the edibles in the community garden to grow and flourish. Beyond working together in the community garden, these volunteers from diverse age groups and backgrounds can also bond and socialise in the club room.

There are plans for more activities not only to engage volunteers, but also to tap on their expertise in order to develop programmes for the community. For a start, volunteers have been in charge of coming up with the content of Our Tales on Edibles, an edibles-themed workshop for the public.

Felix Loh, Gardens by the Bay CEO, said, “As Gardens by the Bay grows beyond our 10th year, we are as committed to our original purpose of being a public green space for the community. Active Garden complements our current offerings, in that it was designed to encourage inter-generational bonding among Singaporeans. Even before its official opening today, we have been seeing many people drop by from the busy waterfront promenade to make use of the exercise equipment. Together with our volunteers and community partners, we hope the space will become an active hub for even more varied and exciting programmes that encourage social engagement.”

 

Donation of Chihuly’s Ethereal White Persians by Tanoto Foundation

Also unveiled today in Cloud Forest was Dale Chihuly’s Ethereal White Persians sculpture at the topmost level of the cooled conservatory. The installation of the sculpture by the renowned American glass sculptor was made possible through the donation of the Tanoto Foundation. 

Anderson Tanoto, Member of the Board of Trustees, Tanoto Foundation, said, “In celebration of Gardens by the Bay’s 10th anniversary as a People’s Garden, Tanoto Foundation is honoured to make the Ethereal White Persians a permanent feature at the Cloud Forest. The Foundation’s work has been driven by our mission to provide equal opportunities to the community mainly through education, medical research and youth leadership. Similarly, we believe access to internationally-renowned art should be for all in Singapore to enjoy. At nine feet tall and an assembly of 97 individual glass pieces, the Ethereal White Persians by Dale Chihuly is awe-inspiring. It signifies perseverance, the pursuit of excellence, and reflects the positive spirit of constantly pushing boundaries to open new horizons. We hope this art piece can inspire many Singaporeans.” 

Leslie Chihuly, President & CEO, Chihuly Studio, said, “Last year, we had the incredible opportunity of mounting Dale’s first major garden exhibition in Asia, at Gardens by the Bay. We are honoured that this installation will remain in the Gardens for all to enjoy, and we are grateful to the Tanoto Foundation for making this possible.”

The donation is the latest addition to the collection of world class art at Gardens by the Bay, which includes the works of an international array of artists such as acclaimed “princess of polka dots” Yayoi Kusama; Marc Quinn, recognised as one of the founders of the British contemporary art movement; contemporary Spanish painter and sculptor Manolo Valdés; the French sculptor Bruno Catalano, whose surrealist works explore the themes of travel; and locally, Cultural Medallion recipient Chong Fah Cheong, known for the iconic bronze sculpture First Generation, which depicts five young boys in the buff leaping into the Singapore River

Public gardens have traditionally been great social levellers because of their accessibility, and Gardens by the Bay’s collection of art, made possible through the donation of sponsors and loans from art galleries, is for everyone in the community to enjoy. 

 

Ten years of being a People’s Garden

Active Garden and Ethereal White Persians are the latest additions to Gardens by the Bay as it continues to grow in tandem with the evolving needs of the community and endeavours to create new meaning as to what a People's Garden can be.

In the last 10 years, Gardens by the Bay has consciously put together programmes that bring people together, such as Children’s Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Christmas Wonderland and most recently, River Hongbao. Last year, more than 2.7 million people participated in such events at the Gardens.

Effort has also been made to ensure that programmes and activities are accessible to all Singaporeans across different backgrounds, in particular those who have less. The Gardens’ Gift of Gardens community outreach programme, which allows the disadvantaged and disabled communities to enjoy attractions at the Gardens for free, has enabled more than 100,000 beneficiaries from over 200 charities to enjoy popular ticketed attractions such as Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and Floral Fantasy since it began in 2012. This is made possible through donations from individual donors and corporate sponsors.

The Gardens has also been the backdrop for Singaporeans celebrating their key moments of life, from graduation with classmates to inter-generational family outings, from baby showers to weddings. 

Local visitorship to Gardens by the Bay last year was at its highest ever with 8.3 million visitors. 
 

Please refer to the Annex for more information on the facilities of Active Garden.

The Gardens also launches a public call for memories, which will be showcased in an upcoming exhibition and coffee table book.

When May Tan visited the Sakura floral display back in 2017 with four generations of her extended family, it was her grandmother’s first-ever trip to Gardens by the Bay – and the first time the 84-year-old saw cherry blossoms in bloom. Her grandmother passed away the following year, but the memory of that visit has stayed with Ms Tan ever since.

“My grandmother could not travel because she was afraid of flying, and would never have had the opportunity to see real cherry blossoms in her lifetime, until Gardens by the Bay brought the cherry blossoms to us. My grandmother enjoyed herself very much, and we’re glad we took many photos that day, so we can remember that precious outing with her even now, years later,” said Ms. Tan.

From first dates to pre-wedding photoshoots to inter-generational family outings like Ms Tan’s, the hugely popular Sakura floral display has been the backdrop for many such important memories of Singaporeans.

The iconic and well-loved floral display, which returns today for the seventh consecutive year since it began in 2016, has continued through the pandemic in spite of challenges brought on by supply chain disruptions and higher costs. 

In appreciation of the support from the community over the last 10 years, Gardens by the Bay will be extending complimentary entry to Flower Dome to lower-income Singaporeans during the opening week of this year’s edition, from Mar 5 to Mar 11. Each individual will need to present an orange or blue CHAS card at the Friends of the Garden centre to redeem for one Flower Dome ticket, subject to availability of time slots.

As part of Gardens by the Bay’s existing Gift of Gardens community outreach scheme, all holders of the following cards will continue to enjoy free entry to Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, and Floral Fantasy:

  • ComCare Long Term Assistance Scheme (also known as the Public Assistance Scheme) card
  • Development Disability Registry card
  • Persons with Disability (PWD) card
  • CARA (Community, Assurance, Rewards, and Acceptance) e-card

Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “Our Sakura floral display has a special place in the hearts of many Singaporeans. By providing free entry to the most popular show on our calendar to orange and blue CHAS card holders, we hope that more Singaporeans, including those who have less financially, can come and enjoy these beautiful flowers.”

As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations, Gardens by the Bay also launched a public call for people to share their memories of moments spent at the Gardens. These can be in the form of photos, artworks, poems, and even reflections. These memories will be showcased in a public exhibition at the end of the year, as well as in Gardens by the Bay’s upcoming commemorative coffee table book.

Members of the public can visit the Gardens’ website at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/gbbturns10 to contribute a memory, from today until April 3. They can also visit a retrospective of highlights of the past 10 years, which is ongoing outside Flower Dome. Each panel in the showcase contains a QR code, which visitors can scan to make a contribution on the spot.

Sakura featuring tokidoki characters
This year’s cherry blossom floral display, Sakura featuring tokidoki characters, will run until April 3. Making their debut in the floral display are tokidoki’s five magical Unicornos, Fubuki, Ichiyo, Haru & Harumi, Yoshino, and Sakurako, who join characters SANDy and Donutella.

These colourful tokidoki characters are interspersed in a landscape featuring torii gates, hanami settings, Japanese floral art by Ikebana International Singapore, and a display of Japanese carp streamers known as koinobori on loan from the Japanese Association, Singapore. Visitors can take in the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms as they explore a magical giant box with marumado, or traditional round Japanese windows with a view.

The Sakura floral display caused a stir in Singapore when it was first introduced for the feat of making cherry blossoms bloom in the tropics. It not only represents the ingenuity that Gardens by the Bay is known for, but also the resilience of its horticulturists who have put in every effort to ensure that the community can look forward to seeing cherry blossoms in Flower Dome every year.

A decade of being a People’s Garden
Since it opened in 2012, Gardens by the Bay has worked hard to be a People’s Garden. With the aim of bringing a sense of wonder to the community, there have been more than 60 floral displays to date in Flower Dome, which feature temperate flowers like tulips, dahlias, and poinsettias. This year, there will be new floral displays showcasing flowers such as peonies and hydrangeas for the community to look forward to.

Beyond floral displays, people also visit Gardens for myriad reasons, such as to participate in year-round events such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and Children’s Festival, or to bond with family and friends amidst the beauty of nature. Last year, local visitorship was at its highest at 8.3 million, in line with the surge in the number of local residents who regarded the Gardens as a verdant sanctuary to seek respite from the pandemic.

Please refer to the Annex for more information on the Sakura cultural programmes and ikebana workshop.
 

Free entry to Flower Dome for orange and blue CHAS card holders

Date: 5 Mar - 11 Mar 2022

Details: Gardens by the Bay is extending complimentary entry to Flower Dome to lower income Singaporeans during opening week of this year’s Sakura floral display. Each individual will need to present their orange or blue CHAS card at the Friends of the Garden centre to redeem for one Flower Dome ticket, subject to availability of time slots. Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sakura for more details.

Public call for people’s memories of Gardens by the Bay

Date: 4 Mar - 3 Apr 2022

Details: Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/gbbturns10 to make a contribution. Selected photos will be showcased at a public exhibition at the end of the year or in a commemorative coffee table book.

Sakura featuring tokidoki characters

Date: 4 Mar - 3 Apr 2022

Time: 9.00am - 9.00pm

Details: Admission to Flower Dome applies. Visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sakura for more details.

This tiger sculpture at Supertree Grove, decorated by cult Thai illustrator Phannapast “Yoon” Taychamaythakool, is one of eight tigers exhibited at Gardens by the Bay as part of WWF-Singapore’s AR-mazing Tiger Trail. This tiger sculpture at Supertree Grove, decorated by cult Thai illustrator Phannapast “Yoon” Taychamaythakool, is one of eight tigers exhibited at Gardens by the Bay as part of WWF-Singapore’s AR-mazing Tiger Trail.

Gardens by the Bay is hosting the largest number of life-sized tiger sculptures in Singapore as part of WWF-Singapore’s AR-mazing Tiger Trail, which raises awareness of tiger conservation and other key environmental issues facing the planet today.

WWF-Singapore’s AR-mazing Tiger Trail features 33 tigers scattered across Singapore. Each tiger has been decorated by a renowned local or international artist, presenting various perspectives on how climate change, poaching and deforestation are affecting tigers in the wild. At Gardens by the Bay, the eight tiger sculptures can be found in a trail that spans the area outside Flower Dome, to Supertree Grove, to near The Meadow. The exhibition is ongoing until April 9 and is free.

Through these sculptures, visitors can experience perspectives by the likes of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, local interdisciplinary artist Kumari Nahappan, cult Thai illustrator Phannapast “Yoon” Taychamaythakool, and British visual artist Jake Chapman of the Chapman Brothers fame. (Please refer to Annex A for more information on each of the eight tiger sculptures).

A shared focus on biodiversity and conservation
As Gardens by the Bay marks its 10th anniversary this year, it aims to further its efforts in raising public awareness on biodiversity and sustainability by introducing more programmes and activities with a strong environmental thrust. One such example is partnering WWF-Singapore for its AR-mazing Tiger Trail.

Over the years, despite being built on reclaimed land, Gardens by the Bay has become home to a rich diversity of wildlife. These include the familiar smooth-coated otter, the locally endangered lesser whistling duck, and over 130 species of native and migratory birds. The cooled conservatories and outdoor gardens also house over a million plants, some of which are of global conservation significance.

Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “As Gardens by the Bay turns 10 this year, we are renewing our commitment to be a champion  for sustainability. We will continue working with like-minded partners, for example the Tiger Trail initiative by WWF-Singapore to educate the public on biodiversity and climate change. For the rest of this year, the community can look forward to a series of exciting and engaging sustainability-themed activities at Gardens by the Bay.”

The exclusive Tiger Trail Passport at Gardens by the Bay
As part of a community engagement experience that is only available at Gardens by the Bay, the public can pick up a free Tiger Trail Passport from the event information signboards located at the Gardens’ Main Entrance and Canopy to embark on a mini-adventure trail around the Supertree Grove. They can learn fun facts about the Gardens while searching for the tigers, and collect unique emboss stamp designs from each tiger sculpture.

In addition, they can also enjoy discounts at any participating merchant in the Gardens upon presentation of the Tiger Trail Passport. (Please refer to Annex B for the participating merchants). There will also be the sale of tiger merchandise at the Gardens’ retail shop, and proceeds will go to WWF for their tiger conservation efforts in Southeast Asia.

Across Singapore, visitors can participate in Augmented Reality (AR) activities and complete three different missions based on biodiversity, sustainability and climate change at different locations, including Gardens by the Bay. Visitors can check in at the tiger sculptures and be rewarded for completing the missions. For more information, visit https://tigertrail.wwf.sg.

Go on a virtual expedition to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay to learn about climate change and sustainability. Or visit the outdoor gardens in-person to learn first-hand about seed dispersal and pollination through the plants on display. With the introduction of Green Guardians, a new hybrid educational outreach programme focusing on biodiversity, conservation, and sustainability, educators in pre-schools, primary and secondary schools will be able to customise the learning journey for their students. The programme was launched by Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing today.

On its tenth anniversary, Gardens by the Bay is taking its sustainability focus to the next generation with more educational programmes and events that have a strong sustainability thrust. Since opening in 2012, the Gardens has worked towards presenting the natural world in a way that not only excites and intrigues visitors through the display of plants from all over the world, but also educates and inspires people to care for the living environment.

Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh said, “Gardens are public educators of nature and science. In our role as a national garden, nurturing a culture of sustainability among the next generation is one of our key focus in our tenth year and beyond. Schools and families can look forward to more events and activities with a strong environmental theme targeted at the young and delivered in an interactive way.”

New flagship educational outreach programme for schools

Green Guardians is a tiered programme where schools can decide how many levels they want their students to experience. The first level is free for all schools. In light of the ongoing pandemic, the intermediate and advanced levels of Green Guardians are hybridised so that there are both physical experiential activities as well as learning via digital and online platforms, such as virtual tours and pre-recorded workshops.

The objective is to make learning about sustainability not only fun, but also flexible in the new normal, as well as engage the young through a virtual platform that is familiar to them.

For more information on Green Guardians, including how to sign up their students, schools can visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/greenguardians.

Exploring Gardens by the Bay’s Digital Twin for education

During his visit, Minister Chan also got to experience Gardens by the Bay’s Digital Twin as part of Canberra Primary School’s Global Sustainability Development Programme. The Gardens has been working with Canberra Primary School on a pilot to use the Digital Twin for education purposes within its Global Sustainability Development Programme.

Gardens by the Bay’s Digital Twin is a virtual recreation of the Gardens, which people can experience in a way they cannot in the real world. It is being developed on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the same game engine behind the globally popular game Fortnite.

As part of Canberra Primary School’s Global Sustainability Development Programme, 400 students from four local primary schools - Canberra Primary School, Innova Primary School, Woodlands Primary School, and Xinmin Primary School - as well as nine schools in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Africa, will be exploring the Digital Twin as a means to learn about sustainability at the Gardens.

For example, they can navigate to key locations within the Gardens and enjoy videos and pop-up information panels on sustainability concepts and how these are undertaken at the Gardens, including waste management, electricity conservation, and even rainwater recycling. The students will also be showcasing their sustainability projects and ideas in a virtual gallery within the Digital Twin.

This initial collaborative experiment with a school on learning via gamification will help Gardens by the Bay to finetune and develop its Digital Twin for educational purposes in the near future.

National Geographic Weird But True!

Minister Chan also launched the National Geographic Weird But True! The exhibition, which runs in Cloud Forest until Jul 31 this year. Based on the successful National Geographic KIDS magazine feature and a best-selling series of books, the exhibition is filled with bold graphics and visuals accompanying more than 50 interesting facts on plants, animals, science, and more, to appeal to children.

Drawing on National Geographic’s established track record of education and outreach, Weird But True! is the first in a series of exhibitions that will be held in Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest to raise awareness of the diversity and value of the natural world.

Schools that complete the first level of Green Guardians will receive complimentary tickets to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest so that their students can experience the Weird But True! exhibition.

Lights on the Supertrees

For the first time in Gardens by the Bay’s annual Chinese New Year floral display Dahlia Dreams (大丽花之梦), a grand River Hongbao lantern set, Spring Fragrances (花香满溢), takes centrestage. Dahlia Dreams opens in Flower Dome today.

The lantern set features three Chinese moon gates, a pair of rabbits and larger-than-life narcissus, peony and lily blooms, all set amidst about 2,000 showstopper dahlias and vibrant azaleas, chrysanthemums and cymbidiums.

Also on display are adorable tiger cubs to ring in the Year of the Tiger, and auspicious decorations such as giant coin pouches (福袋) and couplets (春联) symbolising good fortune and prosperity.

In addition, large-scale paintings depicting the Four Gentlemen (四君子) of Chinese culture – the plum blossom, the orchid, the bamboo, and the chrysanthemum – not only represent the changing seasons, but are also analogous to virtues such as resilience, modesty, endurance, flexibility, perseverance and fortitude; traits to carry us through the pandemic.

Dahlia Dreams runs until February 20, and is the first of a full calendar year of changing floral displays that Gardens by the Bay is bringing back in 2022 - the tenth anniversary of the Gardens.

 

The other upcoming floral displays are:

  • Sakura featuring tokidoki characters (樱花)
  • Peony Bliss (牡丹福佑)
  • Rose Romance (玫瑰之恋)
  • Hydrangea Holidays (绣球花假期)
  • Hanging Gardens (百花齐放)
  • A Spanish Serenade with Sunflowers (西班牙葵花小夜曲)
  • Poinsettia Wishes (圣诞心愿)

 

Please refer to the Annex for more information on the floral displays of 2022.