The stunningly beautiful Orchid Extravaganza: Only at Gardens by the Bay!
Be prepared to feast your eyes on beauty in this article! Here's what to expect at the Orchid Extravaganza at Gardens by the Bay...
I have a confession to make: I love orchids!
I personally think they are among the most beautiful exotic blooms around. I think it’s their diversity that fascinates me — from an amazing range of colours, sizes, and fragrances — these gorgeous flowers have it all!
So, as an orchid lover, and also an admirer of gorgeous landscaped gardens, I was very excited to visit Orchid Extravaganza at Gardens by the Bay recently.
Orchid Extravaganza at Gardens by the Bay
If, like me, you love orchids (and beautiful gardens in general) then you and your family should definitely visit Orchid Extravaganza at the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay.
Designed by award-winning Japanese landscape artist Jun-Ichi Inada — whose career in landscape design spans over 30 years — Orchid Extravaganza showcases the rich heritage of the world’s most diverse botanical family, namely orchids.
To put into perspective just how well-designed Orchid Extravaganza is, it features some 18,000 plants and more than 40 orchid species and hybrids!
Amazing orchid fact #1 to tell your kids: Orchidaceae (orchids) is believed to be the largest flowering plant family in the world. In fact, there are more than 20,000 species of orchids worldwide!
As you enter the Flower Dome, you will be in awe of the three 7-metre-tall Orchid Cornets created with bamboo poles.
However, the first view you’ll get of the actual orchid display is from a couple of levels above the ground.
Looking at the display from up there, you’ll see just how much thought Mr Inada put into the design of the garden — a floral work of art that is graceful, balanced and subtle.
Amazing orchid fact #2 to tell your kids: Although orchids are generally thought of as a tropical plant, they actually grow on every continent except Antarctica!
As you enter the garden, the first thing you will notice is a hint of floral perfume in the air and the sweep of graceful white arches covered with variously hued orchids. It will probably remind you of the décor for a summery outdoor wedding.
Amazing orchid fact #3 to tell your kids: The tiger orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum) is the largest orchid species in the world. It grows on trees and a mature plant can weigh up to a tonne!
As you wander down the path underneath the beautiful cascading orchids, you’ll also notice even more orchids interwoven with willow branches to form Orchid Clouds. There are also orchids on arches of rattan to create Orchid Bows.
However, the highlight of the Orchid Extravaganza is definitely the 10-metre-tall Orchid Kaleidoscope.
Once you’re inside the Orchid Kaleidoscope, you’re sure to be amazed at the intricacy and stunning colours of this 360-degree vertical orchid garden.
The blooms are of every colour of the rainbow and cover every inch of the inside of the tower. You’ll feel like you’re standing in the middle of a rainbow, which is exactly how I felt!
Amazing orchid fact #4 to tell your kids: Vanda Miss Joaquim was chosen as Singapore’s national flower in 1981, and is named after Miss Agnes Joaquim, an Armenian lady who lived in Singapore in 1893!
I was simply amazed by the amount of thought and planning that had obviously gone into this floral work of art!
The Orchid Extravaganza will be on display till 21st September so you’ve still got time to catch the beauty of these blooms and show your children the magic of a beautifully landscaped garden.
It’s actually the perfect outing for your whole family, and your kids (and you!) are sure to be mesmerized by the sheer beauty of this display and all the flowers in it.
Amazing orchid fact #5 to tell your kids: The vanilla flavour used in ice cream is extracted from the vanilla orchid, also known as Vanilla planifolia!
As an added bonus to you, our readers, theAsianparent was fortunate enough to have Jun-Ichi Inada, the designer of the Orchid Extravaganza, answer a few questions.
Below are the questions we asked Mr Inada, and his answers to them. Feast your eyes, too, on the gorgeous images of some of the orchid species that you can spot at Orchid Extravaganza!
What inspired the design of the Orchid Kaleidoscope?
Mr Inada was inspired by memories of playing with a kaleidoscope as a child. He explains, “The colours in the kaleidoscope are fantastic and that inspired me to create this tower to show the 7 colours of light. It’s a simple fantasy which can be made with living orchids.”
How long did it take you to design and lay out the amazingly beautiful Orchid Extravaganza?
“From conceptualization to completion, Orchid Extravaganza took one year to bring into reality.”
I noticed a lot of whites, mauves and pinks… is there a particular reason you chose these colours?
“We normally see flowers displayed in striking swatches of colour. For Orchid Extravaganza, I chose to have a subtle gradient of colours, which also represents the gentle nature of living flowers.”
How can parents encourage their children to develop an interest in gardening?
”Parents are role models for their children. Based on my own childhood experience, I realise that children observe what their parents do and learn from them. I would encourage parents to try gardening with their children, and explore the wonders of nature all around them.”
Given the limited garden space many families have here in Singapore, is it possible for them to still enjoy gardening? How?
“Yes, there are many ways for families in Singapore to enjoy gardening. I would recommend families to try bonsai planting as well as creating their own terrarium gardens. These do not require big areas of space, and many fascinating garden designs can be developed.”
The Orchid Extravaganza is a great place for the whole family, so do visit it before it ends (it’s an ideal school holiday outing!). You and your kids will feel like you’re in a perfumed, rainbow-hued wonderland, and it’s a visual treat you won’t forget for a long time!
Date: 16th August – 21st September 2014
Location: Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay*
*Admission charges to the Cooled Conservatories apply.
For more information, please visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg.
Have you visited Orchid Extravaganza yet? If you have, tell us about your experience by leaving a comment below. If you haven’t, do visit and let us know what you think!