Gardens by the Bay: A Garden for Singaporeans

Travelling along the East Coast Parkway recently, some of you might have seen some interesting new developments coming up next to the integrated resort at Marina Bay.

The elegant domes you saw are the cooled conservatories, and standing tall nearby are the magnificent Supertrees. These structures are part of Gardens by the Bay, the first part of which was recently opened to the public in June this year.

Gardens by the Bay is a 101-hectare development that comprises three plots - Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central. Bay South Garden, situated on prime waterfront land at Marina South, is the largest of the three gardens at 54 hectares. The rest of the 101 hectares include Bay East Garden across the Marina Channel and Bay Central Garden beside the Singapore Flyer.

The Bay South Garden showcases the best of tropical horticulture and garden artistry, with a mass display of tropical flowers and colourful foliage. A rich diversity of plants from different parts of the world have been planted in the Gardens, enabling visitors to experience different botanical worlds, from South America to the Mediterranean, right here in sunny Singapore. Together with these will be a wide mix of indigenous plants, reflecting the cultural wealth of our communities.

Among the many features in the Gardens, the Supertrees are one of the most iconic. These structures are uniquely designed vertical gardens between 25m and 50m tall (9 to 16 storeys) and boast vertical displays of tropical flowering climbers, epiphytes and ferns. An aerial walkway linking two of the Supertrees offers visitors a breathtaking view of Bay South Garden.

Another iconic feature would be the two Cooled Conservatories comprising the Flower Dome - a "Cool Dry" glass dome, and the Cloud Forest - a "Cool Moist" glass dome. These two domes display plants and flowers from the Mediterranean and Tropical Montane environments respectively, providing an all-weather "edutainment" space within the Gardens.

Being mindful of the impact of climate change, the Gardens will also showcase energy and water sustainability by adopting environmentally sustainable technologies, particularly in the design of the cooled conservatories and the Supertrees. For instance, the cooled conservatories utilise cutting-edge technologies that provide energy-efficient solutions in cooling, while some of the Supertrees have photovoltaic cells on their canopies to harvest solar energy for lighting the Supertrees up at night.

Bay South Garden is not just a horticulturalist haven, but also a foodie's paradise, with several food outlets available that cater to different budgets and tastes. For Singaporeans hankering for the old days of eating satay by the sea, Satay by the Bay, which will open in the third quarter of 2012, will bring back memories of the old Satay Club. For those who enjoy a leisure weekend afternoon tea or brunch, there's the Mediterranean-themed Pollen. Gardens by the Bay, in particular, Bay South Garden, captures the essence of a garden in a downtown setting. We hope you will take the time to visit and make the Gardens a special part of your life.

By Ong Yan Szu

Gardens by the Bay
An integral part of Singapore's "City in a Garden" vision, Gardens by the Bay spans a total of 101 hectares of prime land at the heart of Singapore's new downtown - Marina Bay. Comprising three waterfront gardens - Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central - Gardens by the Bay will be a showcase of horticulture and garden artistry that will bring the world of plants to Singapore and present Singapore to the World.

Gardens by the Bay was started as a project by the National Parks Board. It has since grown to become an independent organisation responsible for developing and managing what will be Asia's foremost garden destination.

Admission to Bay South Garden is free, but admission charges to the cooled conservatories and aerial walkway apply, with special rates for local residents. For more information, visit the website today.

View of Supertrees and the Cooled Conservatories from the Dragonfly Lake.

View of Cloud Forest and Flower Dome from Bay East.

The Chinese Garden is one of four gardens that reflect the history and culture of Singapore’s main ethnic groups and colonial heritage.

A cluster of baobab trees greet visitors to the Flower Dome, one of the two cooled conservatories at Bay South Garden.

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