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Flower Dome at the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Part 2 of the Gardens by the Bay series
After lunch, we continued to explore the gardens and headed towards one of its key attractions, the cooled conservatories. From Supertree Dining, we passed through the covered walkway just below the “World of Palms” and “Secret Life of Trees” where we encountered several displays of limestone stalagmites brought all the way from China. Singapore is a small but very rich country, so they can afford to bring in anything that can’t be sourced locally. You’ll learn more of that as we enter the cooled conservatories.
Stalagmites against lush greenery and vivid blue skies
At the end of the covered walkway is an intersection with the “World of Plants”.
The World of Plants features a collection of six themed gardens which will allow us to learn more about the web of floral relationships in the rainforest and the various functions of plant life
Waiting just across is “The Canopy” which is the gateway to the cooled conservatories.
While admission to the outdoor gardens is free, admission charges apply to the Cooled Conservatories. For tourists like us, entry to the two conservatories cost us S$28 per person – around P900 pesos (It’s S$15 for children 3-12 years old). On the other hand, local residents (including employment pass holders) can avail a lower rate of S$28 per person (S$12 for children).
Lines were quite long during our visit. It took us at least ten minutes before we reached the start of the queue
Holding our tickets, we were ready to enter the Flower Dome! As a whole, Gardens by the Bay plays host to at least 250,000 plant species sourced from every corner of the globe, except Antarctica! Amaaazing! Some of these species can be found at the Flower Dome, where the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean regions is replicated. The dome is home to a collection of plans from deserts all over the world, showcasing the adaptations of plants to barren environments. Words will not be sufficient to describe what’s inside the dome, so allow me to share with you a mini tour in pictures.
As we entered the Flower Dome, we were greeted by photos of flowers and interactive multimedia screens. Aside from that, the temperature inside was noticeably colder. The Flower Dome is cooled and maintained at 23-25C for the plants to thrive.
The Baobabs or Bottle Trees: the bulbous trunks of Baobabs give these trees an unusual form. They store water inside their swollen trunk to endure the harsh drought conditions of their environment.
The Australian Garden features, among others, the Grass Tree. The form of this plant resembles a tree, with long grass-like leaves that emerge from a central base.
Queensland Bottle Tree: Native to Queensland, this tree has a dramatic tapering trunk, which together with the roots, functions as a water storage organ. The roots provide large quantities of drinking water, while the green stem performs photosynthesis even when the tree loses its leaves.
Exiting the Australian Garden
Found in Africa and Madagascar, Aloes have succulent leaves with very thick epidermis and spiny edges that protect a soft, water storing mucilage. The mucilage found in Aloe vera is widely used for everything from skin ailments to colds and coughs.
The South African Garden to the left and the South American Garden to the right.
Those trees to the right are Monkey Puzzle Trees. The national tree of Chile, the Monkey Puzzle Tree got its English name in England, when one of the first people to grow this plant coined the expression “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that!” in reference to the spiny branches of the tree. his tree is highly prized for its valuable wood and edible nuts that look like oversized pine nuts, with a flavor similar to Ginko seeds.
The stunning South American Garden will mesmerise you with exotic plants from Central Chile, on the west coast of South America and isolated from the rest of the continent by the Andes.
These flowers probably inspired the design of the Supertrees.
Cute lavender-colored flowers.
Once described by Charles Darwin as a ‘very ugly tree’, the Chilean Wine Palm is known as the “Incredible Hulk” due to its massive girth and height. There are multiple uses for different parts of this tree, as the seeds are edible and the leaves can be used to make baskets. The sap is fermented into a palm wine or concentrated into sweet syrup (palm honey) for culinary use.
The Flower Field as seen from the South American Garden.
Palm trees in the Mediterranean Garden. They’re probably the most beautiful among the palm tree family.
Behind me are some ancient olive trees at the Olive Grove. Estimated to be a thousand years old, these trees were brought all the way from Spain! Olive Trees are a highly versatile and valuable crop, providing fruit, oil and leaves that are used for food, medicine, cosmetics and fuel.
And even MORE FLOWERS!
The Singapore Flyer on the background
Now we enter the most mesmerizing zone of the Flower Dome, the Flower Field!
The Flower Field will have changing displays of temporary flower beds to reflect different seasons and festivals.
Eye-popping colorful flowers!
A closer look at the current display at the Flower Field
I’m not really sure but are these roses?
One of the pocket gardens within the Flower Field
Lovely colors on those leaves!
Another pocket garden.
A panoramic image of the Flower Field with the rest of the dome on the background
Phew! The Flower Dome was truly breath-taking and as I write this post, I can’t help but get excited for our second visit this December. I can’t imagine how the Flower Field will transform to reflect the holiday season.
Together with the Cloud Forest, the two domes make the world’s largest column-less greenhouse. Amazing, eh? Another achievement added to Singapore’s collection.
On the next post, we’re exploring the Cloud Forest.
(…to be continued)