New displays create an immersive experience for visitors at Singapore Garden Festival 2018
More than 70 displays including the new ASEAN Garden and Therapeutic Garden set in a tropical rainforest garden
Singapore Garden Festival (SGF), returns this year to awe and inspire. The seventh edition of the premier tropical garden and flower show commences tomorrow at Gardens by the Bay and will run until 3 August 2018. Organised by the National Parks Board (NParks) and Gardens by the Bay, the main Festival returns with 73 tastefully-curated displays by local and international professional and amateur talents, spread across 10.1 hectares, including new horticultural displays with interesting plants and unique blooms. SGF 2018 is conceptualised as a tropical rainforest garden with pockets of gardens and displays filled with plants and flowers of varied colours in line with the Festival’s overall theme, “World of Colours!”.
A tropical rainforest garden exposition with new horticultural displays
A tropical rainforest garden is sculpted out of The Meadow, bringing the visitor through rainforest cladded mountains, valleys and open plains all the way to the Supertree Grove. Within this rainforest matrix featuring over 6,500 trees and 100,000 plants of 1,200 species, SGF 2018 promises visual surprises with garden displays carefully curated by NParks staff that feature plants and flowers of a multitude of colours and hues. The design of the displays leveraged on the existing plants, features and terrain in Gardens by the Bay, creating an interesting contrast between natural elements and man-made features like the Supertrees. Visitors will experience walking through a tropical rainforest garden punctuated with open spaces and explore gardens that showcase various habitats such as freshwater swamps and sub-tropical meadows.
At The Meadow, The Mountains provide a stunning entrance to the Festival with lush greenery with autumn colours. Here, visitors can enjoy exploring the Vanda Valley, a plethora of unique vandaceous orchids, and the Flower Field, which recreates a sub-tropical meadow with colourful flowering plants. To commemorate Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship this year, the ASEAN Garden at The Meadow will display a collection of vibrant blooms amongst a grove of figs comprising the majestic Banyan Fig (Ficus benghalensis) chosen as the centrepiece for the display and the Shaggy-leafed Fig (Ficus villosa), a remarkable species of hairy climbing figs native throughout the ASEAN region including Singapore. These figs symbolise resilience which mirrors that of ASEAN.
Visitors entering from the Supertree Grove will experience meandering through a Lost Forest with towering trees and discover rare plants native to Singapore. As they continue along the path, they will pass through the Floral Canopy, a hanging exhibit featuring Bromeliads and other epiphytes, which leads to the Therapeutic Garden, a sanctuary for rest and relaxation. Plants in this display were chosen for their visually cool colours and pleasant fragrance. Amongst these are Mount Lemmon Marigold (Tagetes lemmonii), whose leaves that have a delightful fruity scent and can be harvested and steeped in hot water to make tea; and the Green Pepper Basil (Ocimum carnosum), a rare edible basil with a scent and flavour reminiscent of green bell peppers. Next to the Therapeutic Garden, visitors can learn about the journey of how a flower transforms into a fruit at the Learning Garden.
Crossing over to The Meadow, visitors will be greeted by the Gothic Gate, inspired by the ornate architectural style of the great gothic cathedrals of Europe, with a rich tapestry of plant displays of roses, Angelonia angustifolia and Wrightia antidysenterica which permeate the structure. Located next to it is the Pond Garden which showcases tranquil water features adorned with pink, purple and white water lilies.
Additionally, this year’s Orchid Extravaganza in the Flower Dome is set to inspire festival-goers, especially since homegrown award-winning filmmaker Royston Tan headlines as its creative director. The orchid, which has always been closely entwined with Singapore’s heritage, will be showcased in a stunning arrangement conceptualised by the renowned Singaporean film director. More than 14,000 orchids of over 120 varieties will be featured in the floral display, alongside an exquisite showcase of prized orchids competing in the SOGA (Singapore Orchid Growers’ Association) Orchid Show.
Best of show designer gardens at The Meadow
As a world-class premier international horticultural show, SGF continues to attract strong interest and participation from award-winning garden and landscape designers worldwide. This year, SGF will host 40 of the best designers from across the globe competing in the Landscape Gardens, Fantasy Gardens, Floral Windows to the World and Balcony Gardens categories at The Meadow.
Among designers for the five fantasy and eight landscape show gardens are 2016 Best of Show (Landscape Garden category) winner, Inch Lim from Malaysia, as well as 2016 gold winners Koga Katsuhiko and Kagae Kazuhiro (Japan; Landscape Garden), and Leon Kluge (South Africa; Fantasy Garden). Singapore designers include Landscape Garden competitors John Tan, and Chang Huai-yan & Ng Sze Oun.
A special non-competitive Floral Windows to the World Installation will feature returning Best of Show (Floral Windows to the World) designers from SGF 2016—Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz from the United States. Titled “Cascade”, the display is a celebration of water. Like the grand fountain in a civic plaza, this six-metre tall sculptural centrepiece is a cascade of flowers that draws focus and commands immediate attention from all entrances of the tent.
Visitors will also be treated to Balcony Garden displays at The Meadow, where eight local designers contend to transform 3m-by-3m standard balcony-sized spaces into the most delightful and soothing retreats. This category promises to inspire local home owners in the beautification of their own apartment spaces.
Professional and amateur designers will also be showcasing their skill at the 11th International FDSS Cup Floral Designing Competition, while students will compete at primary, secondary and tertiary levels at the Floral Harmony @ Nanyang and Landscape Design Challenge.
Gardening displays and more at Supertree Grove
This year, the Festival will extend to the Supertree Grove, with highlights such as the Learning Garden, Therapeutic Garden and Penjing & Artistic Stone Exhibition & Competition.
Displays by the Floral Designers Society (Singapore), Singapore Penjing & Stone Appreciation Society, Singapore Gardening Society, students and community gardeners will also be showcased at the Supertree Grove.
The ever-popular MarketPlace returns to Bayfront Plaza, occupying the non-ticketed space outside Bayfront MRT with over 100 booths selling food and beverages, plants, gardening and botanical resources, and arts and crafts.
More opportunities for the public to participate in SGF
In addition to talks and demonstrations, the Festival introduced a new “Floral Jamming” event led by homegrown professional designers from Raffles International Floristry Academy where participants can hone their floral artistry skills. SGF visitors can register to take part in a free floral arrangement “jam session” between 24 and 26 July, or between 30 July and 2 August, and afterward take their floral creations home with them.
Photography enthusiasts heading down to the Festival can also participate in the Singapore Garden Photographer of the Year (SGPY) Photo Competition by NParks. Keen shutterbugs can submit photos via Instagram with the hashtags #sgpy_people #SGGardenFest and stand a chance to win cash and Nikon School Vouchers. The closing date for the theme of “People and Nature” is 19 September 2018 and there is no limit on the number of entries that can be submitted on Instagram. For more information about SGPY, please visit www.nparks.gov.sg/sgpy.
Expanded SGF show format
Since its launch in 2006, SGF has been bringing together international and local designers, community gardeners and plant enthusiasts to showcase the best of tropical horticulture and floral artistry in one location – first at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, then Gardens by the Bay. Today, SGF has grown into three complementary flower and horticultural shows. Offshoots of the anchor Festival, SGF Orchid Show and SGF Horticulture Show will comprise various popular SGF elements, allowing them to entertain visitors at individual platforms. With this expansion, Singaporeans will have more opportunities to appreciate tropical horticulture and floral artistry every year. The inaugural SGF Orchid Show was held at the National Orchid Garden and other parts of the Singapore Botanic Gardens from 21 to 29 April 2018. The SGF Horticulture Show will take place at Singapore’s upcoming national gardens in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens, in early 2019.
For more information about SGF, please visit www.singaporegardenfestival.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/SGGardenFest