|Welcome to Gardens by the Bay.
Singapore’s National Garden
Thanks to National Parks Board and Gardens by the Bay, I had a guided tour around this talk-of-the-town attraction that gained alot of attention from not only Singaporeans but also foreigners from all over the world. I even saw a few foreign delegates from South Africa while exploring this newly-opened garden in the heart of Marina Bay, just right across Marina Bay Sands.
I was there with a couple of friends who helped me with photography while I did the filming of this 101 hectare-wide spectacular garden that runs by solar energy. Impressive, isn’t? I was even more impressed after hearing from guide, Ferne and horticulturist, Michael (I think.Oops, I can’t really remember his name!) who showed us around the garden.
|To get there, take the MRT circle line and alight at Bayfront MRT.|
These days, it’s very convenient to travel around Singapore. Bayfront MRT is nearest MRT station to Gardens by the Bay and it is located right across Marina Bay Sands Hotel. There is a connector between the hotel and Gardens by the Bay, right above the expressways, where the hotel guests or tourist can easily access from one place to another.
Best of all, Gardens by the Bay is a green space that is free for all to come. Only certain areas in the garden required an admission ticket to enter. The Bay South garden, which has free access for everyone, opens daily from 5am to 2am. It’s a great for the morning risers who prefers to exercise before the sun rises. Who knows? You may get to catch the morning sunrise where the beautiful sky glows in warm hues of red and orange. Well, the park is practically open 24/7 except that they need 3 hours for maintenance probably.
Did you know that the water run-off from within the garden is cleansed by aquatic plants before being discharged into Marina Reservoir? Bet you didn’t know that!
Honestly, I didn’t really quite like the whole physical landscape of the garden because it looked, overall, too man-made and artificial, very much like those parks you see in any sci-fi movies. It pretty much reminded me for the walled city, where the Ted Wiggins lives, in the movie,” The Lorax”. In addition to that, the trees and shrubs planted are still young and hardly bare much leaves to give the whole green space that natural lush green effect. It’s not hard to imagine how gardens will look like in the future. There will be more dome-shaped like green houses where bontanists and horticulturist cultivate plants that are adapted to live in cooler climates. It seems that everyone is trying to do the impossible here. Very soon, our modern landscape will look pretty much like Gardens by the Bay where there will be mini versions of “Gardens by the Bay” in every neighbourhood.
On hindsight, at the very least, our government is pro-environmental and is trying hard to fulfil this ‘green’ vision of moving towards a ‘garden-in-the-city’ concept. The message is clear: we want to live in a clean and green sustainable city where our future generations can get to enjoy what Mother Nature has endowed us with.
|A Garden by the City.
Asia’s foremost garden destination
At the Bay South, there are two massive glass biomes – ‘Cloud forest’ and ‘Flower Dome’. These are conservatories which replicate the cool-moist climate of the tropical montane region and the cool-dry climate of the Medditerranean and semi-arid sub-tropical regions.
|Gardens By the Bay took about 5 years to construct.
It was opened to the public on 29 June 2012.
There are 18 supertrees located in the Golden Garden, Silver Garden and Supertree Grove. The Supertrees, ranging from a height from 25 to 50 metres, serves as vertical gardens to showcase a wide variety of plant types in particular the bromeliads, ferns and tropical flowering climbers.
What so fascinating about these supertrees is the fact that they have photovoltaic cells (or solar cells) installed on their canopies to harvest solar energy for lighting up the trees at night. Just so when you thought that this billion-dollar runned garden is going to be using up even more money and resources, your doubts,worries and fears can be put aside for now because we are advocating about practicing the principles of sustainability. These people who had designed the garden knew about serious threats the world is facing right now – Global warming. It’s also a reminder for us to install energy-saving lightbulbs in our houses.
Everything is made possible with cutting-edge technologies. We are just a tiny red dot on the map,trying to include greenery into our living space when we are already running out of land for a population of 6 million people. Today we have proven that our city landscape can be woven into the green and floral tapestry. Aren’t we superhuman? We create supertrees,and maybe sometime later, supercities. How awesome is that?
|I’m on the OCBC Skyway, a 128-metre-long aeriel walkway which connects two 42-metre Supertrees in the Supertree Grove.|
|You could see that Singapore is pretty much fighting for space. Building a Hotdog-shaped garden right on top of 3 tall buildings can save alot of space!|
|My friend who is amateurish in photography took a zoom-in shot from the Skywalk. I wonder why he took this.
Was it to portray the living spaces within the garden hub? God knows.
|There are alot of spaces for events and FnB outlets.|
|New venue for picnic, family outings, school trips and romantic dates.|
|These Supertrees are huge!|
|Good news for foodies! They are going to build a treetop bistro on the Supertrees!|
|The Plant Guru|
At the flower dome, one of the main attractions in Gardens by the Bay, we were really to have a horticulturist as our guide. When you are there, look out for this men in orange Polo-tee because he helps in the landscaping and maintenance of the plants in the Flower Dome. Though he didn’t have a degree in botany, he practically knows everything about plants and gardening. This guy, who is so well-equipped with the knowledge of plants, prefers to interact with plants than with kids.
|Nature, itself, is a form of beauty.|
|Flowers exhibit in the flower dome are changed every four months.|
|These flowers emit foul and pungent smells.
Looking pretty on the outside but deadly on the inside.
More than 130,000 plants are featured in the Cloud forest conservatories! As you enter the Cloud Forest, be prepared to be greeted by a 35-metre tall mountain, complete with 30-metre waterfall.
|Take a lift up to the mountain and from there, you will be able to choose between two unique walkways – the Cloud walk and the Tree Top walk.|
|As the water gush downwards with the pull of gravity, the tiny droplets of water splattering out also help to add humidity to the surroundings.|
|While standing on the walkway, you can get a good view of Singapore City Skyline.|
|Doesn’ this gives you a Bali resort feel?|
Out of all the gardens and conservatories at Gardens By the Bay, the Cloud Forest is one attraction that intrigued me the most. It contains full of surprises when you enter this place! Right in the mountain, there is this museum-like space where you get to read up more facts on Global warming. It’s called the Earth Check where there are several interactive stations for the little ones to play with and explore. You could also enjoy a short film about what will happen to our Earth when our global temperature is raised by 5 degrees. It’s an area, next to the Earth Check Lab, called +5 Degrees, where visitors will virtually experience the effect of temperature increase around the planet. It’s definitely a fun and educational site for the kids to see the world from a different perspective.
|It would be nice to have an FnB outlet in the Cloud Forest.|
Later in the night, after dining at Saveur, my friends and I went to catch the light show at the Supertree Grove but it was raining cats and dogs that night! With my brolly, armed with a camcorder on one hand, I braved through the rain and capture the beautiful view of lighted Supertrees against the night sky. To me, it was beautiful but it is nothing quite as spectacular as the Singapore Flyer or light display at Marina Bay Sands. Nevertheless, I believe that the Garden looked more spectucular at night than during the day. Come and visit Gardens by the Bay and witness it for yourself!
|At night, you will get to enjoy a specially choreographed light and sound show at the Supertree Grove.|