Singapore Garden Festival 2016

The Singapore Garden Festival this year is bigger and dare I say more interesting than ever. Held at the Garden by the Bay and at the Flower Dome, this year’s exhibition came with some surprises. Gone was the Bonsai exhibit replaced by a new Terrarium display.DSC00505

s usual there was the usual how to have plants display in the house and this particular display of plant in the bedroom caught my attention. Much as I think it looks ermmm interesting, I don’t think any sane minded people will want their bedroom looking like this.DSC00510

This year beside the usual garden display, both indoor and outdoor, there was a new display on flower arrangement. Gone are the usual table top flower arrangement. Instead these are large displays focusing on 3 themes one of which was flowers on dress! Seriously? Now which lady will want to wear a dress like that?DSC00526

There were some majestic flower arrangement though. Interesting conversation starters perhaps and maybe good for large trade show and conventions but certainly otherwise not very practical.

Stretching Time by Natasha Lisita & Daniel Schultz (USA)

Stretching Time by Natasha Lisita & Daniel Schultz (USA)

Floating Movements by Nicholaus Peters (Germany)

Floating Movements by Nicholaus Peters (Germany)

Floating Window into our Inner Space by Marie Bittnerova (Czech Republic)

Floating Window into our Inner Space by Marie Bittnerova (Czech Republic)

For the Garden display, I prefer the outdoor display which is more practical and realistic compared to the weird and dark looking indoor garden display.DSC00537

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2 of the indoor garden display. Nice and interesting concept but not very practical and useful in my opinion.

Modern Day Maui Adam Shuter New Zealand

Modern Day Maui Adam Shuter New Zealand

Dare to Dream John Tan & Raymond Toh Singapore

Dare to Dream John Tan & Raymond Toh Singapore

And of course all over the grounds of the Garden by the Bay, there are interesting display and flowers and plants which is why I supposed Nparks have decided this is the de facto place to hold the show in recent years despite our unpredictable weather.DSC00578

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And of course last and not least is the Orchid show and competition. Again, the orchid are displayed in the small little area in the Flower Dome which kinda reduce the number of competitions. In the past edition I remember there were various categories of competition from schools to clubs to individual but now the competition is just reduced to the individual species. And due to the restricted area, the public has to queue and move along fast which means little time to appreciate the nicer specimens. What a pity. Here are some photos of the orchids. .

New Zealand Day 2 Auckland Botanic Gardens

On the second day of our trip to New Zealand, we went to the Auckland Botanic Gardens. This makes it the 3rd Botanic Gardens that we have visited on our travel, the first one being the Glasgow Botanic Garden and the second one being the Edinburgh Botanic Garden.

The Auckland Botanic Gardens is a 64 hectares garden with different theme areas and a 10 hectares of native forest. Unfortunately our time only allowed us to visit a small area so we went straight to the Rose Garden where we saw many many many different color roses.14-20151111_111627

There are also many other colorful flowers and plants much more than what we have in Singapore. Here are just some of them.07-DSC03484 06-DSC03476 37-DSC03572 31-DSC03560

Beside flowers, there are plants such as ferns, cactus, palms and many interesting looking species43-DSC03596 57-DSC03637 60-DSC0365102-DSC03648

And of course where there are plants and flowers, there are birds. With my travel lens I was not able to take many of the birds but was still able to shoot a few quite decent bird photos.17-DSC03523

Tui

Tui

Chaffinch

Chaffinch

It would have been nice if we have more time there what with the nice weather but unfortunately being on a travel and with many places to cover, time is a luxury and we had to go on to our next place….

More photos here

New Zealand Day 1 – Mt Hobson Auckland

Most tourist goes to the main place of interest in a country. We started our trip to New Zealand with a short hike up to Mt Hobson. Huh Mt what? Where is it?

One will be hard pressed to find Mt Hobson in any of the tourist literature for NZ but for us, it was a stone throw away from our host place in Auckland and with some time to kill before dinner, we had to of course explore it.

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Mt Hobson is actually a volcano but standing at 143 metres, it is very accessible. But of course the volcano is long gone and what is left now is a beautiful hill with panoramic view of the Auckland town and the Hobson Bay.22-DSC03394

There are beautiful wild flowers 08-DSC03361 27-DSC03410

And nice shady trails 02-DSC03360

A walk through the whole place takes approximately about an hour including some huffing and puffing up the hill but it is all so worth it.

More photos here on FaceBook

Singapore Botanic Garden

Singapore has its first UNESCO World Heritage site and that is the Singapore Botanic Garden.

I decided to pay a visit there since the last time i was there was quite some time ago and beside due to the Singapore 50 Jubilee, admission to the Orchid Garden was free.

This is the most recognisable face of the SBG – the Bandstand18-DSC02128Then there is this famous Tembusu Tree where in the past people loves to sit on the long big branch. Unfortunately, like human being, it has grown weak with age and today it is fenced off and the long branch is now supported with pillars.21-DSC02139

The SBG has 3 lakes – Swan Lake which is the oldest lake; the Symphony Lake and Eco Lake.

Swan Lake is the most popular lake being the oldest and most accessible next to the main entrance. The star attraction is of course the pair of swan there. Nowadays, there is another attraction – a pair of sea eagle which have been seen performing aerial stunt around the lake!1-DSC02143

Symphony Lake is not so much valued for its lake which is pretty small by the way but for the many concerts performed there on weekends on the stage on the lake.22-DSC02147

The last big lake is the new kid on the block the Eco Lake. There are more birds here including a pair of Black Swan and Lesser Whistling Ducks23-DSC0214810-SBG_3055 08-SBG_3071The other attractions at SBG are the many themed areas including the world famous Orchid Garden which also include a Cool House and a Bromeliad garden.15-DSC02112 12-SBG_2946 13-SBG_2957 1-SBG_2973

Other places include the Cacti area, the Evolution Garden, Ginger Garden, Sculptures, Healing Garden and a whole lot of interesting themed places.1-DSC0213119-DSC02133 03-SBG_3118 16-SBG_2987

11-SBG_2931But what I like about the place is the greenery, the wide open ground and the many birds that call the SBG home.
2-DSC02145 4-DSC0212506-SBG_310002-SBG_3126Absolutely first class and well worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage Site award. Check it out!

Flowers of Scotland

One great thing about cooler temperature country is the variety of colorful flowers. In Scotland, there are beautiful wild flowers everywhere. And then there are the planted flowers in gardens and homes. We couldn’t get enough of the flowers and visited 2 Botanic Garden – 1 in Glasgow and 1 in Edinburgh.

Here are just a few of the interesting looking flowers. For more of them, go to my Facebook album or Picasa Web Album.

Enjoy the nice flowers but don’t ask me what are their names cause I sure don’t know.

Singapore Garden Festival 2014

I have been going to the Singapore Garden Festival for the past few years. Usually it is held indoor at Suntec City but this year they decided to have it at Garden by the Bay South which was pretty cool or so I thought.
I first went on a Tuesday with a group. It rained early in the afternoon but by they time we got there, the rain had stopped and the sun was out. Which was the first problem. It was hot. Freaking hot especially with the crowd. So we avoided the outdoor exhibits which was a pity. To ensure that the plants survived the heat and rain, there was also a huge air condition tent to house the rest of the exhibits. But no matter how big it was, it was still much smaller than Suntec. And there was a series of a pavilions and not all of them were air conditioned which means we were subject to the heat. 

One of the outdoor garden display with the air con tent in the background
Another of the outdoor display

The orchids exhibits and contest area were housed separately in the Flower Dome but here again the exhibit area was so much more smaller than Suntec. The orchids were displayed together and there were queues everywhere to see them.

We have to queue (foreground) to go in for a look at the winning orchids entry

The main display for the orchids was in this structure where they planted the orchids all the way to the top on  the inside of this structure. Unfortunately one had to queue to go in and see the orchids.

And this is what the inside looks like. 

So I think they should move the show back to Suntec. If they really want the connection to Garden by the Bay, then maybe hold it at MBS and people can walk over to the Garden if they so wish.

Anyway, here are some photos of some unusual looking flowers from this year Festival and from the Flower Dome.