The biennial Singapore Garden Festival is back again and this is the 7th edition. SGF is the first show to bring together top international award-winning landscape and garden designers, florists and horticulturists from around the world, who are invited to the Festival to work alongside Singapore’s own talented horticulturists.
In case this doesn’t sound familiar, do you remember the wondrous fantasy garden showcase that was held in Suntec? Yes, this is the Singapore Garden Festival I am talking about and after the opening of Gardens by the Bay in 2012, the Singapore Garden Festival has been held there since 2014.
Here are some of the highlights of what you can see at this year’s SGF:
- 13 Fantasy and Landscape Show Gardens — featuring approx 80 sqm worth of spectacle from award-winning landscape and garden designers from USA, UK, Australia, France, Japan and Singapore etc
- 13 Floral Windows of the World — featuring colourful and vibrant cut-flower displays
- 8 Balcony Gardens — inspirational displays in a 3m by 3m home setting
- Orchid Extravaganza in the Flower Dome
- Marketplace — over 100 booths offering food, plants, botanical resources, arts and crafts.
- Flower and Horticultural shows
Go to www.singaporegardenfestival.com for more information on the SGF, as well as ticketing information. Don’t forget to check out the numerous discounts offered for card-holders (eg credit card, passion card etc).
African Thunder’ by Leon Kluge won Gold, Best of Show, and the Horticulture Excellence award.
You need to spend a few hours at the Singapore Garden Festival to appreciate all the displays. Some displays have mood lighting that changes if you wait long enough. Don’t keep snapping photos. Do actually go up closer to scrutinise the displays and to see the individual plants that make up the entire display.
Love the whimsical flower field and the cutesy mouse, gnome and fairy!
A couple of displays from the Landscape Gardens section. The 1st one aptly named The Retreat (by Paul Martin of Ireland) is my favourite of the lot and would be so nice to have if you have a huge house to accommodate it.
Balcony Gardens, for you to take some inspiration on sprucing up your own balcony or small area.
Lots more to see than the pictures I’ve posted. Check out my Instagram stories highlights for videos and snippets of the SGF. This year’s SGF seems more spaced out so just when you thought you’d finished looking at everything, something new pops up. For example the Secret Gardens of Edibles was so secret, there is just a tiny entrance leading to it from an offshoot path, but well worth the visit. Hard to take photos though because of the dim lighting and cosy layout aka confined. But my advice is to forget about taking pictures and just use your eyes to take in all the sights. Lots to learn too if you have time to read the labels. As I write this I feel like I’ve merely skimmed the surface of this year’s SGF, and I will most likely pay another visit again on a weekday.
I personally prefer the Singapore Garden Festival to be held at Suntec. When I attended the 1st show at Suntec, I remember being absolutely mesmerised by everything. The festival took up the entire 2 floors of exhibition space, and it was just massive. With the dim lighting and cool air-conditioning, the fantasy and landscape gardens looked exactly as they were meant to look, magical, futuristic (in some cases) and just pure wow. It was also amazing that one could simply step from a bustling commercial mall, into basically another world filled with these exotic and beautiful plants, presented in such creative ways.
For obvious reasons, the Singapore Garden Festival is now held at Gardens by the Bay. The components of the festival are all there (perhaps even more), ie there are still the fantasy and landscape gardens amongst other exhibitions. However, they are now separated into 2 different areas, and it seems the space allocated is now much smaller. The quality of the show gardens may be just as good, but due to the layout, ambience and the weather, it is just no longer the same. The magical feeling of stepping from one world into another seamlessly has been completely removed. The novelty of bringing nature to man is no longer a highlight.
Nevertheless, even though in my opinion it can never be as good as when it was held at Suntec, it is still worth paying a visit to the Singapore Garden Festival. The show gardens are still very pretty, and very creatively done up. And perhaps, you may actually enjoy being outdoors and being one with nature as compared to a more artificial setting.
Here’s a video of the SGF if you want to have a quick look.
Singapore Garden Festival
18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
(If you specifically want to see the large show gardens, these are located nearer to the Meadow Carpark / Meadow Bridge area, rather than the Domes area)
Show Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily
Conservatories Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm daily
Click here to download the show map
Click here to download the schedule of performances, talks, floral arrangement demonstrations and more.