Many times in human history, we’ve witnessed nature sacrificed and gutted out for the sake of infrastructure. Big cities bulldoze trees and natural parks to make way for high-rise buildings and car parks. As a result, you’ve got concrete jungles and smoke pollution in abundance.
One small country in Southeast Asia realized early on how important it is for a city to have lungs. The nation wanted to become a “City in a Garden,” so, in 2005, the Prime Minister of Singapore announced a legendary project. The aim was to raise the quality of life by enhancing the greenery in the city. Thus, Gardens By The Bay in Singapore was born.
Nature and Architecture
Imagine nature and architecture merging into one. This grand project is a combination of art and technology. When you gaze in awe of the garden domes and Supertree Groves that light up and dance at night, you can’t help but marvel at the ingenuity of people to achieve this.
The Gardens by the Bay is an ongoing project. It has three sections: Bay Central Garden, Bay East Garden, and Bay South Garden. The project sprawls across a massive 101 hectares of reclaimed land right in the center of Singapore island.
Gardens By The Bay South
Wilkinson Eyre and Grant Associates Landscape Architects are the designers of Bay South, which is the first and largest part of the project. Bay South is in the shape of an orchid as the architects were inspired by this beautiful flower.
But the creation of The Gardens does not just involve construction, so along with architects and engineers, a multidisciplinary team was formed. With all the rare and endangered plants thriving in the area, there are landscapers, horticulturists, arborists, scientists, and plant breeding professionals.
What we get is a state of the art, modern technology, and a breath-taking garden complex. Global and unique – distinctly Singaporean.
The Dragonfly Lake
Access to Bay South Gardens is through a bridge over the beautiful Dragonfly Lake. This is the larger of two lakes inside The Gardens. Called Dragonfly Lake, you can find aluminum statues of young children riding dragonflies.
Pass through the 440-meter scenic boardwalk, and you may find real dragonflies flying about by the lake. The two lakes connect to Marina Bay via a canal.
The Heritage Gardens
After you cross the bridge, you find yourself in the Heritage Gardens of Singapore. Walk past history narrated to you by nature. As Singapore has four historical groups, you will find four gardens representing 3 ethnic groups and colonial heritage: Chinese, Malay, and Indian.
The Chinese Garden peacefully displays water elements, artificial rocks, and manicured bushes. The Malay Garden bursts with exotic plants and fruits like coconut and durian. While the Indian Garden finds its roots in Ayurvedic practices. The Colonial Garden will educate you with the story of the spice trade, and aromatic plants such as coffee and cacao will greet your senses.
The Supertrees and Skyway
Making a star appearance in the 2018 Rom-Com, Crazy Rich Asians, the gigantic man-made structures with its humongous canopies are called Supertrees. The heights of these trees range from 80 to 165 feet.
Each tree is made with a concrete core and steel frames. And its trunk is clothed with a variety of species of plants. There are 18 large trees with 12 placed right in the center of The Gardens. The largest supertree is home to the Observatory.
The supertrees itself are a sight to behold and can even be enjoyed across the bay. But the OCBC Skyway offers another view and shows you Singapore while suspended on an aerial walkway 72 feet above the ground!
The Flower Dome
Plant lovers will love this next fact: The Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world! Yes, this giant conservatory is home to a collection of plants and flowers from five different continents. The 1.3-hectare dome contains eight gardens and one flower field that changes exhibits depending on the season.
You will love going around The Australian Garden, The Baobabs, California Garden, Olive Grove, Mediterranean Garden, South African Garden, South American Garden, and the Succulent Garden.
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#WhatsBlooming – This huge flower spike is literally a once-in-a-lifetime event! Like many agave species, Agave titanota is monocarpic — it will spend several years growing vegetatively, storing up energy to flower just once, then set fruit, and die. Native to the Americas, members of the Agave genus are slow-growing, succulent, rosette-forming plants with thick, spiny-edged leaves, mostly found growing in arid regions. They have become popular ornamental landscaping plants, with many species and cultivars grown around the world. Agave titanota is one of the many agaves cultivated in the Flower Dome’s Baobabs area and is known as the Rancho Tambor agave, after the locality in Mexico where this species is native to. Don't miss the huge plant and its magnificent 4-meter flower spike with hundreds of small, yellow flowers the next time you visit Flower Dome! #gardensbythebay #FloweDome #neverstopblooming #besttimetocome #visitsingapore #exploresingapore #agave #agavetitanota #agaveflower #succulents #succulentsofinstagram
The Flower Dome’s temperature is controlled at a constant 23 degrees Celsius with a humidity of 60-80%. Perfect for a chill afternoon strolling.
The Cloud Forest
The moment you walk inside the Cloud Forest, it’s like you’ve been transported to another world. Another claim to fame of the gardens is that this dome houses the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. The artificial mountain is covered by plants, and the waterfalls provide misty cool air to the whole dome conservatory.
The attraction could end there, and we could call it a day. But there’s more! Visitors can climb up to the top of the waterfall with an indoor treetop walk. At the top of the Cloud Forest is a plant gallery called The Lost World. It is home to an amazing display of orchids and carnivorous plants.
Below the top, you will find a Cavern and a Crystal Mountain. Here you can experience real stalactites and stalagmites!
The Garden Rhapsody Show
After a full day of exploring the huge complex, stay for the Garden Rhapsody light and sound show. You are going home drunk with this visual spectacle! The show is a 15-minute extravaganza of dancing lights and arresting music.
While travel may be a little challenging this year, we hope this feature briefly transported you to this gem in Asia.