The SGD$1 Billion Garden in the City

The first thing that striked me when I read about Gardens by the Bay a while back, was the cost of SGD1 Billion that was spent to build a garden over 6 years. It must be some awesome garden, I thought. So when I found that it will be open to public last Thursday, K and I braved the crowds to check out the place.

GBB1Photo by Gardens by the Bay

(Warning, long post with plenty of photos. Read on only if you are interested to find out what’s found in Gardens by the Bay ;) )

So here’s a run down of the place:

The key highlights of Gardens by the Bay are the 3 paid attractions; the glass conservatories of the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, as well as the Skyway.

We went directly to the highlight of the gardens; the first glass conservatory of the Flower Dome

GBB2Photo by Gardens by the Bay

One of the main features of the Flower dome of 1.2 hectares (approximately the size of 2.2 football fields) is that it replicates the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean and the semi-arid sub tropical regions, like Australia, South Africa, Spain and Italy. The temperature in the Flower Dome is maintained at 23 – 25 degrees celsius.

What are some of the key areas in Flower Dome?

1. The BaoBabs

Gbb4

Also known as bottle trees, the bulbous shape of the trunks give the trees an unusual form.

 

GBB27

The Ghost tree from Madagascar – its spooky name is coined as it is often cultivated at traditional tombs in local villages

 

2. Australia Garden

GBB31

Kangaroo’s Paw – Mainly found in South Western Australia, the flower of the plant is shaped like a kangaroo’s paw, thus the name.

 

3. Olive Grove

GBB34

The Olive trees species in planted in Olive Grove are extremely old, with some over a thousand years old!

There’s also the South American Garden, Californian Garden, Mediterranean Garden, South African Garden, Succulent Garden. And the flowers, that’s something you will surely not miss being in the Flower Dome.

GBB59

GBBcom1

GBBcom2

The Flower Field is another key feature in Flower Dome, there will be 4 seasonal changes to the floral displays yearly, to reflect themes and festivals.

Gbb5

GBB50 copy

 

As we moved into the next conservatory, Cloud Forest. The first thing that caught our attention was the 6 storey high, 35 meter ‘mountain’ with a 30m waterfall. The ‘mountain’ is covered with lush vegetation and connected by two walkways, ‘The Cloud Walk’ and the ‘Treetop Walk’

GBB8

The Cloud Forest replicates the cool-moist climate found in Tropical Montane regions between 1000 – 3500 sea level, such as Mount Kinabalu in Sabah and elevated areas in South America and Africa.

There are nine unique zones within the Clour Forest Conservatory where one can experience the ecology of cloud forests, some of which include;

1. The Lost World

GBB7 copy

This is the highest point of the ‘mountain’ at 35 meters and it features a cloud forest vegetation found a around 2000 metres above sea-level. Typically, carnivorous plants such as pitcher-plants and the Venus Fly Catcher can be found here.

GBB7

GBB9

 

2. Cloud Walk and Tree Top Walk

Gbb11

GBB12

While we were in Cloud Forest, we caught the automated mist + fog effects stimulating a tropical or montane moist forest characterized by a frequent low level cloud cover. I guarantee that you will not leave Cloud Forest with dry clothes and hair!

GBB15

 

3. Earth Check

GBBcom

A lab display of screens where facts, figures and statistics are presented on the state of the earth today and the problems that we will face due to climate change and habitat loss.

 

4. +5 degrees

Gbb18

Visitors can virtually experience the temperature increase around the planet, through an interactive large screen.

 

GBB24

The other areas in Cloud Walk include the Secret Garden, The Cavern, Waterfall View, Crystal Mountain.

 

GBB52

The 3rd paid attraction at Gardens by the Bay are the Supertrees. Supertrees are vertical gardens to showcase the vertical display of flowering climbers, epiphytes and ferns. There are a total of 18 Supertrees, ranging from 25 – 50 metres (9 to 16 storey in height), 12 are situated in the Supertree Grove while the remaining 6 are placed in clusters of 3, facing the F&B area of Gardens by the Bay. A walkway known as Skyway links two of the 6 super tress to enable visitors to take in an aerial view of the Bay South Gardens. the Horticultural theme gardens and man-made lakes surrounding the conservatories;

GBB46

GBB49

Due the lack of time, coupled with the extremely humid weather, K and I were not too compelled to visit the Heritage Garden and The World of Plants, Dragon Fly Lake and King Fisher Lake, which are outdoor and are free to visit by the way. So maybe next time.

So what’s our take on our Singapore’s SGD 1 Billion Garden in the City? It’s too early to tell really, if this is money well spent to boost our tourism economy. But after we experienced the sights of beautiful flowers, enjoyed a ‘temperate’ natural experience in our hot climate. And according to K, he has seen the one of the highest and the best waterfalls in Singapore. Our 3 hours at the Gardens by the Bay were well spent, despite the maddening crowd.

So money does buy some happiness after all, even if it means for that momentarily 3 hours experience :)

GBB51

If you love nature and flowers as much as I do, do make a trip with your family to Gardens by the Bay. Especially the Flower Dome conservatory, before over-enthusiastic tourists and photo-takers start to destroy the edges of the Flower Field display.

During our visit, K and I spotted many visitors stepping into the sides of the flower bed just to get a better photo of themselves with the flowers :(  That’s probably one of the challenges that NParks will need to deal with; the education of visitors to Gardens by the Bay to ensure the sustenance of ecology in its attractions, with it’s high traffic of visitors and frequent human interaction.

Do make a point not to forget to remind your little ones not to pluck any flowers, leaves or plants during your visit the Gardens.

Gbb60

If you are all game to brave the crowds and the long queues the next couple of weekends, here’s some information you might find useful :

 

Opening Hours

Garden : Daily 5am – 2am

Cooled Conservatories and Aerial Walkway: Daily 9am – 9pm

 

Admission Charges

Entry to Bay South Garden is free.

Admission to Cool Conservatories and Aerial Walkways (Local residents enjoy differential rates from tourists

Adults    1 Conservatory – $12    2 Conservatories – $20      Aerial Walkway – $5

Child 3-12 Years Old      1 Conservatory – $8    2 Conservatories – $12      Aerial Walkway – $3

For more information on Gardens by the Bay, do check out their official website.

 

Share it:

Related posts:

Wandering Wednesday

Decided this morning that I should get my butt off the couch to do something about my exercise regime, so I took on the challenge to walk up Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

So I put on my sports shoes, carried a haversack with my camera and 50mm lens, together with the my smart phone and ‘tracked’ up the hill. Actually it was not such a good idea to bring the camera, I sure worked up a sweat tracking up the hill and got the heart rate beating a bit faster than usual, but was really distracted by what I discovered along the way.

IMG 6060

IMG 6070

IMG 6077

It got progressively worse as I walked higher up the hill, I started to slow down, as my attention got a lot more distracted ‘micro-wise’ with the details that I noticed around me.

IMG 6116

Wanted to kick myself for not bringing the other camera lens when I spotted this spider web. This was probably the best the 50mm lens could do :(

IMG 6134

IMG 6143

IMG 6149Wild Fungi everywhere

 

IMG 6164These small wildflowers were everywhere too, known as Common Asytasia

 

IMG 6173Did u know that we have our own form of daisies locally? Which is another common wildflower, known as the Yellow Creeping Daisy

 

Screen Shot 2012 04 11 at 2 54 32 PM

So then, what happened to the exercise? I made it only to the halfway mark, with aching knees (well I fractured my knees before!), while many other senior citizens brisk walk passed me really quickly…

So I sort of got my exercise started this week :P

Do share when was the last time you exercised or took a nature walk in one of our local parks?

 

Share it:

Related posts:

A great day for the outdoors

Beautiful day, clear skies….what is best way to spend the morning?

Outdoors, at the park with friends of course!

nature4

nature5  

 

nature6

nature7

nature8

 

In the late afternoon, as the family was feeling a little rather adventurous, we took a walk in Dairy Farm Nature Park and went to explore Grand-dad's latest discovery from the park.

nature12

 

We ventured a little off the beaten track and took a short hike through overgrown grass and shrubs to the place where Grand-dad wanted us to see…

nature10

 

finally we trekked our way to a bridge over-looking these tracks. 

tracks

 

While waiting for the train to pass, K kept himself busy,

nature1

 

And he was not the only one who was kept occupied while waiting …

nature13

 

K probably had more fun throwing rocks towards the train tracks, rather than anticipating for the train to pass.

nature14

 

Apart from this train discovery from the park, we have also discovered that K quite likes the challenge of seeing how far he can throw the rocks.

nature11

 

Finally, we got to see what we were originally here for…the train!

nature2

 

nature3

 

Which passed too quickly and was not that exciting, at least we got to see what we came here for that evening.

And K surely did not mind the wait one bit!

nature15

Share it:

Related posts: