Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844
I am a plant paramour. Not that I am secretly in love with a married plant, but my fascination towards various flora is not something most people know about me. As a child, I grew up learning how to appreciate flowers and trees through my grandma’s endearing love for various vegetation. During my pharmacy years, I have always valued attending my Botany, Pharmacognosy, and Phytochemistry classes.
When I had the opportunity to go to Singapore, I looked forward to visiting Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome. I have heard and read so many good things about this famed glass greenhouse. I was even more thrilled to know that the annual Tulipmania was being exhibited.
Here are some quick facts about Singapore’s Flower Dome:
It is regarded as the largest glass greenhouse in the world as listed in the 2015 Guinness World Records. It features a changing display of flowers and plants from various regions of the world, notable are those from the Mediterranean and semi-arid regions. It is an indoor event space that spans 1,300 m² that can accommodate up to 1,000 people. (Imagine, it is about as big as 2.2 football fields put together). The indoor temperature range is at 23°C – 25°C, replicating the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. And to cover the dome, 3,332 glass panels of 42 different shapes and sizes were used for the entire area.
The dome is divided into the following sections:
BAOBABS AND BOTTLE TREES
This features some of the largest trees in the flower dome that includes the African Baobab, Drunken trees, and Ghost Tree. They have some of the most interesting flowers and amazing trunks.
This garden boasts a variety of beautiful prickly plants known to thrive in deserts. Succulents belong to families such as Cacti, Aloes, and Crassulas. These spine-filled beauties are such a delight to see. I personally adore the wooly cactus and some agave species.
The Australian garden displays some native flowers in full bloom. Some of the most unique flowers and trees I’ve seen within the dome are those from this area. I was personally fascinated with the Queensland Bottle Tree and the Grass Tree.
SOUTH AFRICAN GARDEN
Another diverse section within the dome is the African garden. A variety of shrubs, succulents, bulbs and flowers are featured in this African landscape. I’m surprised to know that the “Birds of Paradise” is actually a plant of African origin.
SOUTH AMERICAN GARDEN
Most plants in this garden are from Chile like the Monkey Puzzle Tree, the Puya and Chilean Wine Palm. The Wine Palm per se is eye-catching because of its immense height and girth while the monkey-tree feature spines in its trunk.
This area of the dome features shrubs and some trees known for their aroma and furry greenery that discourage herbivores from feeding on them. I was so happy to have seen an Arctostaphylos plant at this section. I have only seen such plant in my Pharmacognosy books then.
MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN and OLIVE GROVES
Perhaps, one of my favorites inside the dome! It is my first time to see an olive tree and date palms. Wayback college and review days, I have always talked about olives. It is also one of my palates’ beloved fruit. I am also a date fan. I just love it when my friends from the Middle East send me some of these sweets. Fig and pomegranate trees are also found. Just lovely!
And of course, the main reason why I came to see the Flower Dome – the star of the greenhouse – Tulips!!! I have never been to the Netherlands (not yet) but I have always desired of seeing tulips. While it is true that Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay isn’t the same as the Netherlands’ Keukenhof gardens — it is perhaps the closest one can get to being bounded by stunning tulips in full bloom, sans flying to Europe.
The Tulipmania features a wide selection of tulips, with about 30 varieties in countless colors and shapes. It definitely brought out the flower enthusiast in me. I was overjoyed and charmed by each kind of tulips I saw. It was crazy! My camera was thrilled to have captured such beauty. Allow my photographs to speak for these flowers’ magnificence.
By the time this write-up gets published in my WordPress, the annual Tulipmania has ended. For those of you who wish to see them, watch out for next year’s schedule. (It usually happens between March and May).
Flower Dome Opening Hours:
• Open daily:
9.00am – 9.00pm
Last ticket sale: 8.00pm
Last admission: 8.30pm
• Local Resident Rate – One Conservatory
Senior Citizens (>60 years old): $8
Children (3-12 years old): $8
• Local Resident Rate – Two Conservatories
Senior Citizens (>60 years old): $15
Children (3-12 years old): $12
• Standard Rate – Two Conservatories
Children (3-12 years old): $15
My flower dome experience made me appreciate more of plants diversity and beauty. It was such a beautiful experience that made my soul really happy.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan.