There is a reason why Urban cities are termed concrete jungles. Amid modernization, the soothing aura of nature is lost from the urban cities and has been replaced by concrete structures. In a culture of sparsely placed trees or small gardens in cities, creating a larger-than-life natural habitat of plants from all around the world is a technological feat that Singapore has conquered.
Dr. Kiat W. Tan first envisioned Gardens by the bay- a one of its kind garden nestled in central Singapore. Among various marvelous structures, Gardens by the bay also hosts two giant conservatories- Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. And if you dream about getting lost in an idyllic sea of exotic flowers from all over the world, the flower dome in Singapore is your perfect destination.
In this article, we will discuss:
- What is the flower dome?
- What is special about the flower dome?
- What is the best time to visit the flower dome?
What is the flower dome?
Flower Dome is one of the two conservatories in the Gardens of Bay and spreads around 1.2 hectares. It is officially titled the world’s largest greenhouse conservatory by the Guinness Book of World Records 2015. More importantly, the flower dome has managed to recreate the Mediterranean-like climate which can grow exotic plants from five continents out of six.
The Dome’s mechanism works with the help of solar energy and glass panels that artificially recreates a cool-dry environment for plants that are most commonly seen in arid regions. More than 3000 glass panels are used in the flower dome, but there’s something more to these glass panels. Each panel is specially designed to transmit only 65% of sunlight and 35% of the heat inside the greenhouse which helps to control the temperature of the dome.
The architectural wonder does not end there. There are no columns in the dome’s architecture at all. This is to prevent the shadows that can hamper the temperatures inside the conservatory and harm the natural habitat.
So, what kind of fauna can you expect at the incredible flower dome of Singapore?
What is special about the flower Dome?
Who would’ve thought that a place with flowers and trees of species from around the world can exist under a single roof? The most special thing about the flower dome is the vast array of flowers and trees that grow inside the glass-covered greenhouse.
You can spot some breathtaking sights like lively Tulips, Cherry Blossoms, or even rare species like Baobabs trees inside the dome. All of this is only possible due to strategically regulated temperatures that can match a particular plant’s natural habitat. The average temperature inside the dome ranges between 12-25 degrees.
There are eight different kinds of gardens inside the dome, which are the Baobabs, Succulent garden, Garden of South America, Garden of South Africa, Californian Garden, Mediterranean garden, the Australian garden, and the Olive grove. Each garden houses spectacular and unique plants from different regions for an experience of a lifetime.
The Baobabs trees are one of the most endangered species of Africa. These trees are known for their striking structure and enormous size. Moreover, they are the tallest collection of trees found in the flower dome with a height of up to 15 meters.
Along with many African legends associated with it, these giant trees are also famous for their massive hollow trunks that can store many liters of water. Due to their structure, they are also known as the Upside Down tree. The giant Baobabs can also survive for thousands of years.
The succulent garden is a recreation of the different deserts around the world. In this garden, you can find many plants that grow under harsh climates like Aloes and Cacti. The Golden Rat Tail is one of the rarest species found here that is known for its unique droopy stems. Along with this, you can also spot Tree grapes and wooly cacti here.
Garden of South America
This garden is famous for its marvelous arches and trees from the palm family, especially from the Chile region. You can enjoy the sight of strikingly colorful flowers along with uncommon plants like the Monkey puzzle pine. Massive Chilean wine palms and Trithrinax can also be found in this section of the flower dome.
Garden of South Africa
This section is popular for its succulents, bulbs, cacti, and shrubs that typically grow in areas with low levels of moisture. The Garden of South Africa houses some of the rarest species of plants like the King Sugar Bush, which is the national flower of South Africa, Bird Of Paradise, Silver Tree, and Lithops, also known as living stones due to their stone-like appearance.
A true citrus paradise, the Californian garden is known for its citrusy fruits and heavenly grapevines. Due to its recreation of the Mediterranean climate of California, you can find limes, oranges, and grapefruits in this garden.
This garden is especially popular among culinary fanatics for its famous dining section- Pollen. The wine connoisseurs can enjoy the sight of cork trees, which produce corks for valuable wine bottles. Along with this, one can also find Stone pine (known for the pesto sauce), Dragon trees along with various other aromatic herbs.
The olive grove is known for its Olive trees, grapevines, and other plants native to the Mediterranean region. The olive trees here are specially sourced from Spain and are a sight to behold. These olive trees are centuries old with a special miracle tree that has recently started bearing fruits and flowers.
Interestingly, the plants in Australia have well-adapted to the bushfires that affect the region in the summers. One such plant is the Grass tree that has a black trunk. Manuka Myrtle- the plant providing nectar for the famous Manuka honey- can also be seen here. The Queensland Bottle Tree and Kangaroo’s paw can also be located in this garden.
What is the best time to visit the Flower dome?
The flower dome is a popular tourist destination in Singapore due to its sustainable design and conservatory feat. In addition, the vast variety of fauna also makes picturesque scenes perfect for social media pictures.
If you are planning a stroll around the dome, the early morning hours are the perfect time to visit. However, if you want to enjoy the famous lights shows, visit the dome in the late afternoon. The light shows start at 7:45 pm.
After the pandemic, only fully-vaccinated people in the group of five can visit the flower dome from 9 am to 9 pm. The charges for a Singaporean resident are $12 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children. Non-residents have to pay $20 for adults and $12 for children. Tickets can be easily purchased on the official website of Gardens by the Bay. For the people who get cold easily, it would be a good idea to bring a jacket with them to the dome.
One of the best parts about the flower dome is its changing themes that can be enjoyed every season. This Christmas season, the Poinsettia wishes display is beginning in the flower dome from 26th November 2021 to 3rd January 2022. This year’s theme is inspired by the Nordic countries and will feature famous delights from Nordic regions.
This season’s center-of-attention is an 8m tall Ferris wheel made of cupcakes and gigantic candies. Along with sweet treats, gingerbread, and apple carriages, recipes inspired by Nordic countries will also be featured this season. There will be a special supertree light show and a display of festive plants like cyclamens, Christmas trees, and poinsettias. Along with this, visitors can also enjoy Santa meet-and-greet and special Norwegian musical performances.