A pristinely curated garden sprawled over 101 hectares in area, Gardens by the Bay is 36% larger than the Singapore Botanic Gardens and populated by more than 750,000 plants in total. Opened last night by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the project costed more than $1 billion and boasts of 7 key attractions including the Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes, World of Plants, Heritage Gardens and the Bay East Garden.
Costing more than $1 billion to build, our newest and largest attraction at Marina Bay boasts of 18 Supertrees towering 25 to 50 m in height. These are linked by the 128 m long OCBC Skyway offering a view of more than 162,900 plants including bromeliads, orchids, ferns and tropical climbers.
The Bay South Garden features plants which are not commonly seen in this part of the world (unlike the older Botanic Gardens). Helmed by a hardworking team of 100 full-time staff aided by 800 contractors, the park is operated by the Gardens by the Bay company, a subsidiary of the National Parks Board.
The Garden's two crown jewels must be their climate controlled conservatory complexes featuring approximate 226,000 plants from every continent (except Antarctica) - the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome.
Replicating the cool-moist air-conditioned climate of the Tropical Montane region (between 1,000 to 3,500 m above sea level), the Cloud Forest magically transports one to regions such as Mount Kinabalu, with a 35 m Cloud Mountain adorned by an awe-inspiring waterfall. Even PM Lee said "Wow!" when he first encountered this man-made wonder.
I loved walking through the walkways and encountering pockets of insectivorous pitcher plants, bromeliads scaling its surfaces and resplendent orchids. With the scenic view of Marina Bay in the background, there are lots of photo opportunities everywhere.
With temperatures of 23 to 25 degrees C, the Flower Dome mimics the cool-dry climes of the Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions, featuring unique plant specimens such as Baobabs and 1,000 year old Olive trees that have never been seen in this part of the world.
Its highlight must be the flower garden in the middle of the conservatory which will feature changing floral displays to draw repeat visitors. Decked with splendid hues and tints of red, yellow, pink, blue, and green, the displays are a photographer's dream.
To celebrate its opening, a whole host of events will be organised from now until 8 July. They include concerts by artistes like Jason Mraz and Corinne May, theatre performances, a light and sound show amidst the Supertrees, and more. Go and visit this link for details.
For more information on Gardens by the Bay including admission charges to the various attractions, opening hours and address, check out this link here. Before you do, let me whet your "green" appetite further with more floral eye-candy here: