This could be the most impressive urban garden in the world
Continuing this series of reports about the gardening highlights we’ve experienced during our recent holidays.
A highlight of my recent trip to Singapore was a visit to the Gardens by the Bay which has been on my bucket list since I first saw glimpses of it in a magazine article. Singapore is hoping to be a City in a Garden rather than a Garden City. The wider bay is a development on reclaimed land which is a new focus for the city and the site of the New Year’s Eve fireworks. The garden development consists of three larger sites named the Central, East and South Gardens. The most iconic of these is the South Garden with its grove of Supertrees. Since we were only staying in Singapore for a few nights we only visited this garden.
Gardens by the Bay Map
How to get to the South Garden
The nearest metro station is the Bayfront station located next to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel complex. From there you walk through the hotel lobby and over a skybridge into the garden proper.
An alternative is to get to the Tanjong Pagar metro station and take the 400 bus which drops you at the garden entrance.
It’s possible to walk directly from the city around the bay and into the gardens. One word of caution though – the distances covered are huge and that’s before you even get in to the garden. Pace yourself.
Entry to the wider garden is free. To enter the Conservatories or the Sky walk there is a fee (see below). If you’re looking for a beautiful walk for the day then utilising the free entry means you see the attractions from the outside and get to enjoy the main gardens on a thrifty budget. For those visiting just for the day then the Skywalk and Double Conservatory price is definitely worth paying for a full experience.
- Skyway SG$8
- One Conservatory SG$12
- Both Conservatories SG$20
- Flower Dome Conservatory
- Cloud Forest Conservatory
- Supertrees Grove
- Heritage Gardens
- World of Plants
- Silver Garden
- Gold Garden
Flower Dome Conservatory
The Flower Conservatory is a temperate zone showing plants from across the world. When we visited there was a Christmas display. It’s odd walking from a hot and humid environment into a cooler and drier conservatory as we’re so used to experiencing the other way around.
This bright climbing plant caught my eye (and my new camera’s lens) as we strolled around. I think I’ll try and source this back in the UK. I’m not sure yet whether it will be hardy enough but it can always be used as an annual.
Cloud Forest Conservatory
The mountain in this conservatory is planted with sheer walls of mountain plants displaying their variety of foliage types and colours with exotic orchids mixed in. The experience takes you through the levels of cloud forests and educational signage and displays highlight the strengths and threats to these environments.
The Supertrees are designed to draw hot air up and away and collect rainwater for the garden. They are architecturally stunning but also provide planting opportunities. The Heritage gardens are located on a circular loop around the grove.
The Skywalk takes you above the gardens for a unique vantage point of the dense planting below. This semi-circle walkway is suspended from some of the Supertrees and gives great photo opportunities of the city skyline.
A world-class display of science and society striving for better
This has to be on anyone’s bucket list but I would especially recommend it for anyone interested in horticulture, gardening, urban development and planning, sustainable cities and architecture.