While in Singapore last week I visited one of the city’s newer attractions, The Gardens By The Bay. If you are into flowers or gardening you’re sure to be impressed by this place which is built on 100 hectares of reclaimed land facing the city centre.
This vast project is still under development but the key attractions were opened to the public in October 2011. These include two giant glass conservatories, called Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, and a grove of Supertrees such as the pair pictured above.
Cloud Forest is not your typical greenhouse. It contains a hollow concrete mountain, seven storeys high, which has been skilfully planted with dense vegetation from the tropical montane region including orchids, pitcher plants and ferns. A 35 metre waterfall keeps the air moist while powerful air-conditioners throw out a cool mist which makes a welcome relief from the steamy heat outside. Steel walkways wrap around and through the mountain and provide excellent views of Singapore’s skyline.
At the foot of the mountain fun displays like this moss-mobile and a model railway layout entertain visitors.
This photo of the mountain capped in man-made clouds gives an idea of the scale of the project.
Flower Dome is an even bigger conservatory (though not as tall) containing floral displays representative of different parts of the world.
Prize exhibits include a gnarled thousand year-old olive tree, some oddly shaped baobab trees and an impressive display of cacti and succulents.
The temporary exhibition included an Eiffel Tower made of plants amid a field of French inspired blooms.
The Supertree Grove comprises a dozen or so tree-like structures ranging from 25 to 50 metres in height. These vertical gardens have been planted with rare and exotic plants and have some clever technological features for harnessing solar energy and collecting rainwater which mimic real trees. After dark the supertrees are transformed into a colourful light and sound show.
A 22 metre high Skyway bridge links a couple of the supertrees and you might be able to make out the people on the Skyway in this photo.
From Gardens By The Bay you can get a good view of the Singapore Flyer which, at 165m high, is 30m taller than the London Eye.