Monday 16 July 2012

Singapore: Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay - Golden Garden

Gardens by the Bay - Flower DomeIt was a good job that we didn’t need to follow road signs for the 'Gardens by the Bay' as they were not particularly conspicuous. Signs within the grounds were similarly difficult to find – it was even necessary to ask where to buy tickets. Once purchased, we entered the first of the two main attractions, the Flower Dome.

Gardens by the Bay - Flower DomeThe cool temperatures provided the ideal climate for a wonderful display of Mediterranean and subtropical plants which were planted in beds that weaved around the edge of the glass structure towards the centre of the dome. Here a large bed of garish flowers had been created that was reminiscent of a municipal roundabout in an English seaside resort or the entrance to a town in the Middle East (with flowerbeds made out of ornamental cauliflowers).

Gardens by the Bay - Cloud ForestMrs M looked sad as she identified different plants and flowers that she used to grow in our previous gardens in England, North America, Oman and now Singapore. She was very concerned about the health of the grapevine and the wisteria looked equally unhappy. She stroked some of the roses. We miss date palms. I hoped the beautiful gnarly olive trees that had been uprooted from their sunny Mediterranean locations would survive. 

While wandering round, we located Jason Atherton’s ‘Pollen’ restaurant which, after dining at the London branch last month is high on our list of places to eat…….if only we could get through on the phone.

Gardens by the Bay - Cloud ForestAfter stepping over a couple who were posing for staged wedding photos in the brightly-coloured shrubbery (never seen a bride in flip-flops before), we left the Flower Dome and entered the Cloud Forest. The centrepiece of this dome is a 35-metre ‘mountain’ which features waterfalls, tropical plants, aerial walkways and jets of mist.

The inside of the mountain has more of ‘Sentosa’ feel about it (that’s not a compliment) with music, darkened rooms, video screens and exhibits of cave formations (hmm). Mrs M suggested they were running out of ideas with this dome.

Perhaps she will return with some of her chums when the construction has been completed and the outside gardens have had time to mature. I think I might be busy on that day. 

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