The hugely anticipated Gardens by the Bay officially opened to the public on June 29th 2012, bringing to life National Parks’ vision of creating a ‘City in a Garden.’ The 100-hectare park is just a short walk from the downtown Marina Bay area and is home to over a quarter of a million rare plants. Its many paths, suspended walkways, gardens and water features provide a tranquil getaway, while the climate-controlled conservatories make for a welcome break from Singapore’s heat and humidity.
Futuristic 'supertrees' and the climate-controlled conservatories dominate the landscape — Photo courtesy of Marianne Rogerson
Clusters of futuristic ‘supertrees’ dominate the park’s landscape, standing at over 16 storeys high. These vertical gardens are covered with over 162,900 plants from more than 200 species and also collect rainwater, and generate solar power. Visitors can stroll along the OCBC Skyway, a 128-metre long walkway that connects the two 24-metre Supertrees at Supertree Grove, and take in the view of the gardens and the Singapore skyline.
The Flower Dome is home to a changing collection of flowering plants — Photo courtesy of Marianne Rogerson
The highlights for many visitors to the Gardens by the Bay are the two large armadillo-shaped conservatories, which house the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest respectively. The smell of flowers is as apparent as the cool air as you enter the Flower Dome, home to a changing collection of flowering plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions.
The Cloud Forest takes visitors on a journey through lush vegetation — Photo courtesy of Marianne Rogerson
The cool-moist climate of the Cloud Forest sets the tone for a journey through lush vegetation found at 1,000-2,000 metres above sea level. Displays introduce the unique biodiversity and geology of cloud forests, and the environmental threats that they face within the conservatory’s nine unique zones.
Other highlights include the Heritage Gardens, a collection of four themed gardens representing the history and culture of Singapore’s three main ethnic groups and colonial past; and the Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes.