I’ve been a little out of touch with nature since leaving my previous job. So I attempted to rectify this with a visit to the 20th World Orchid Show at Marina Bay Sands, which came with a preview of the brand-spanking-new Gardens by the Bay at Marina South.
I wish I’d taken a photo of the amazing display of white orchids that lined the entrance to the expo halls. (Here’s a photo of the setup in progress, on Facebook.) Rumour has it that the creation of that display wiped out the entire white orchid stock of every nursery in Singapore. On the whole my orchid photos were really boring so you really should check out the great ones on the 20WOC Facebook page.
The real highlight for me was the visit to the Flower Dome. It’s one of two cooled conservatories in the Gardens by the Bay – this one mimics the climate of the Mediterranean, so it also features plants from regions with similar climates South Africa and Australia. I’d been hearing about this project since I first joined NParks in 2009, and took a site visit to the site when it was still under construction. (While our minibus was trundling through the mud of the yet-uncapped conservatories: “Is this the cool, dry conservatory or the cool, moist one?” “Feels hot and humid right now, actually.”) Even though I no longer work there, it’s still very exciting to see such a grand project coming to fruition.
There’s a lot of extremely awesome technology that went into the climate-controlled environment inside the Flower Dome. For me, though, the real highlight was seeing flowers in colours that you don’t typically experience in Singapore.
The Flower Dome is only open to the public till tomorrow; after that, it’s closed for more work until mid-2012 when the Bay South garden is properly ready. I’m actually really looking forward to visiting then. I don’t claim to be big on plants and gardens in general, but the atmosphere inside the conservatory is really something unique.