Thursday, July 28, 2016

Plants in all their glory - Singapore Garden Festival 2016

When I needed to be in Singapore this week, I made sure to check out the Singapore Garden Festival at the Gardens By The Bay. As with all things organized in the island republic, the festival was superbly laid out to showcase the best. My time was limited so I only had a few hours to spend there but I could have easily spent the entire day there to cover all that was on display. I only have three words for it - stunning, stunning, stunning!

Gold winner Inch Lim's Secret Garden
Not only were there all kinds of plants and flowers, but the organizers made sure to have something for everyone, including talks by plant experts and gurus, performances and plants for sale. For orchid lovers, there were extraordinary blooms, from the tiniest, most delicate specimens to gigantic beauties.

An unusual banana plant
Being a tiny republic without much space for gardens, balcony gardens and terrariums were given more focus. I can see that community gardens are being encouraged, with prizes were awarded for the best ones.

Of course, the fruits and vegetables entered for competition are nothing compared farmers’ markets in more agrarian countries, but delightful nevertheless.

I’m not such a fan of floral displays because I appreciate living plants rather than cut flowers but they were impressive indeed. Various countries were represented and you can appreciate their sensibilities in all the unique displays.

What especially tickled me were the many groups of nursery school kids who were led around the festival. Whether they appreciated all the plants or not is questionable, but it was heart-warming to see how kids get to learn about plants from a young age.

My ticket entitled me to visit the Flower Dome as well, and again, I marvelled at the organizational efforts of a country that has the economic resources to bring in unusual pants from all over the world, including olive trees that are hundreds of years old, the most fragrant and interesting looking flowers, and the most verdant fruit trees.

All kinds of plants and accessories for sale
My only gripe about the festival? A rather chaotic payment system at the Food Marketplace although the food itself was delicious. But all in all, I wish I had more time to spend with the plants. Would I go again next year? You bet!

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