June 23rd, 2022Glen, about the hose
Reach for the sky
In keeping with this edition’s theme of travel, here’s my take on Singapore’s breathtakingly spectacular Gardens by the Bay, a 101-hectare botanical, national icon.
Of all the magnificent public and botanical gardens I’ve ever visited and admired, and these include London’s famed Kew Gardens, Rome’s semi-forgotten Orto Botanico historic garden and, of course, Holland’s famed and massive springtime tulip garden extravaganza – Keukenhof, Singapore looms largest in my fond memories and takes the most spectacular prize.
It was conceived as a national monument and a celebration of the nations that contributed to all that is Singapore – a theme that is carried through both, within its structures and outdoor gardens.
Situated in the vicinity of the Marina Reservoir in the central region of Singapore, the immense nature park consists of three waterfront gardens and two enormous structures.
The 1.2-hectare Flower Dome – displaying exotic plants and flowers from the five continents and listed in 2015 by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest greenhouse in the world – and the breathtaking Cloud Forest. This is smaller. 0.8-hectares, but much taller, to accommodate a small mountain, complete with its very own waterfall, and of course, also decorated with tropical plants.
But the most striking and impossible not to see first is the enormous Supertree Grove of 18 gigantic, 25-50-metre high man-made “trees”. In truth, you can’t really miss them.
The Supertree Grove gives you aerial views of the gardens and surrounds via the Skyway which connects two of the highest trees, providing a 128-metre walk from the height of about 22 metres above the ground.
In the true manner of all botanical gardens, Gardens by the Bay conducts an education program through two types of themed gardens – Heritage which highlight the four cultural groups in Singapore – Indian, Chinese, Malay and colonial, and World Gardens – showcasing the biodiversity of plant life on the planet.
Gardens by the Bay has become one of the most visited gardens in the world. While the New York Botanical Gardens and Kew Gardens receive an estimated 1-2 million annual visitors, Gardens by the Bay received over 6.4 million visitors in 2014 – just three years since officially opening.
To hell with rising food prices…lettuce grow our own
The current high cost of living we are seemingly going to be experiencing for some time, has turned the weekly shopping into a daunting nightmare, trying to balance nutrition against cost. It seems that all the highly favoured are now also the ridiculously high-priced. So it’s time for Operation Green Thumb.
With all of the main northern states’ fruit and veg providers devastated and unlikely to even return to their properties – let alone produce crops for quite some time, it’s painfully obvious that we will have make do for ourselves…and grow our own. I‘ll show you just how easily…next issue.
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Images: Glen Heyne & Gardens by the Bay