Larger Community Garden Festival returns to HortPark
01 Nov 2017
- Festival displays and activities centred on theme of edibles for the first time
The Community Garden Festival returns to HortPark tomorrow in its largest edition with a wider variety of activities and gardening displays. Organised by the National Parks Board (NParks), the Festival is centred on the theme of edibles for the first time, and will feature a stunning showcase from 3 to 5 November 2017 in a display area double that of 2015. This is also the first time that local and international designers have developed landscaped displays with edible plants for the Festival to inspire visitors to use edibles in landscaping their home gardens. Over three days, visitors will be able to learn about the latest trends in edible gardening, as well as techniques for growing their own edibles at home. The biennial festival brings together gardening enthusiasts and gives them a platform to bond over a common interest in plants and gardening.
The displays at this year’s Festival encompasses over 11,000 plants, nearly twice the number used in 2015 in a display area of approximately 2,100m2. These plants include uncommon varieties of fruit trees such as over eight types of bananas and six different mangoes grown locally. Among the Festival’s new offerings are an expanded MarketPlace comprising over 60 booths and stalls demonstrating the latest innovation and technology trends in gardening, three landscape displays by local and international designers, and the “Designing with Edibles” competition. The Festival’s centerpiece was crafted with edibles into a 3-metre Crimson Sunbird display by award-winning designer Harijanto Setiawan.
The biennial Community Garden Festival was first held in 2015 at HortPark to engage the gardening community and members of public to celebrate community gardening. The second edition this year includes five gardening plots set up by some 100 community gardeners from across Singapore which will feature an interesting array of edibles. Community gardeners have been growing a variety of fruits and vegetables since March 2017 to compete in the NParks Community Garden Edibles Competition. The winning fruits and vegetables, to be announced on 3 November, will be on display during the Festival.
Designer landscaped displays
For the first time, three international and local designers will be setting up 36 m2 landscaped displays at HortLawn using native fruit trees. Inspired by the rustic kampong life, NParks senior landscape architect Derek Chan recreates memories with a display of native and regional fruits as well as orchids. This stands in contrast with the modern themes weaving through NParks’ Senior Design Director, Damian Tang’s piece, illustrating how edible gardening can be implemented in high-rise apartments.
Japan-based designer Jun-ichi Inada has fashioned a garden display of tropical citrus plants grown in Singapore complemented by Yuzu plants flown in from the Kochi Prefecture in Japan. The Kochi Prefecture Office will also be showcasing edible produce such as Yuzu, ginger and bonito, alongside traditional Kochi arts. The Tosayama Academy will conduct workshops and demonstrations of the traditional art of making handbags, as well as Yosakoi cultural dance performances using hand held wooden clappers. This dance originated in Kochi Prefecture to scare birds from the rice fields.
Community in Bloom garden displays
Some 100 community gardeners from over 20 gardening groups across Singapore have created 200 m2 thematic edible landscape displays in five garden plots. These plots have been refreshed from the SG50 CIB Gardens in 2015 with interesting varieties of familiar edible plants. With names such as “Play Mosaic”, “Block 50”, “Balik Kampung”, “Talk Bird, Sing Song”, and “2065”, these gardens evoke nostalgia and are reminiscent of home. These plots will display various cultivars of edible plants ranging from cultivars of peppers to gingers.
Other activities at the Festival
Three tours, 13 talks and six cooking demonstrations at the Festival will also detail how the “Garden to Table” concept can be realised, beginning from the selection of suitable plants to grow at home, to the cultivation of edibles and finally recipes to tantalize the palate. The gardening talks provide tips for varying gardening experience levels, ranging from the basics of organic farming to the growing of mushrooms. Budding young gardeners can also embark on the Edibles Trail for children to learn about food that arrives on their plates at the Edible and Kitchen Gardens. Celebrity chefs will be sharing their “Garden to Table” culinary inspirations in a series of cooking demonstrations to illustrate the versatility of edible plants that can be grown at home. Details of the programmes can be found in Media Factsheet A.
Community coming together and promoting gardening
Various members of the community have rendered strong support for the Festival. This includes some 300 community gardeners, individuals involved in the setting up of landscaped displays, running of talks and tours, as well as corporate volunteers from Ascendas-Singbridge, who will be sharing the culinary uses of the plants grown in the Edibles Trail with the public. Ascendas-Singbridge also sponsored the Kitchen Garden and Edible Garden along the Edibles Trail, while Green Turf contributed to the Festival set-up.
Sustaining the spirit of sharing beyond the Festival, community gardeners from Teck Ghee and Bukit Gombak – Hong Kah North will welcome members of the public during tours of the community garden trails which will take place on 11 and 12 November. These tours are held in conjunction with the Community Garden Festival, with the aim to allow members of the public to find out more about the gardens in their neighbourhoods while meeting community gardeners. In addition to these two tours, community gardeners will be hosting visitors at community events in November and December along garden trails which were launched earlier, namely Bukit Panjang, Fengshan and Tampines. Among the activities for these events are open houses of the gardens, a farmers’ market, competitions, as well as sessions for community gardeners to share gardening tips or distribute plant cuttings. For more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org