Beginning as an ambitious idea to create a world-class garden on reclaimed land, Gardens by the Bay has since grown to become an iconic attraction in Singapore

SINGAPORE — Gardens by the Bay, Singapore’s horticultural-themed attraction renowned for its Supertrees and cooled conservatories, celebrates its fifth anniversary in June this year.

Built on land reclaimed from the sea, Gardens by the Bay opened in June 2012. Five years on, it remains unique in the region as the only garden to combine nature with cutting-edge engineering and technology, to create an environment to showcase plants from all over the world. Situated in the nation’s bustling city centre, the Gardens ranks No. 1 on Tripadvisor’s list of attractions in Singapore.

The objective of Gardens by the Bay has always been to reach out to an audience beyond nature lovers, and through the years, the Gardens has differentiated itself from the competition by breaking away from botanical conventions.

This broad appeal is reflected in the visitor numbers. Visitorship hit one million less than two months after the Gardens opened, and has increased steadily since. To date, the Gardens has welcomed more than 34 million visitors.

Both locals and tourists visit the Gardens, with Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China and Australia being among the top overseas markets.

– Pushing the Boundaries of Botanical Possibilities

There are close to 1.5 million plants in Gardens by the Bay today. The Supertrees take the concept of vertical greening to new heights, with more than 158,000 plants growing on 18 steel trees that range in height between 25 metres and 50 metres.

The two Cooled Conservatories, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, reverse the concept of the typical greenhouse by providing a cool environment for plants. There are more than 72,000 plants from Tropical Montane regions in the cool-moist Cloud Forest. In the cool-dry Flower Dome, there are more than 28,000 plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid regions.

The Flower Dome has showcased 35 floral displays to date. These floral displays are an example of how green technology combined with human ingenuity makes possible what is otherwise unimaginable in the botanical world – making temperate plants bloom in a tropical climate. Be it dahlias, tulips or cherry blossoms, these flowers have bloomed in Singapore, thanks to the climate-controlled Flower Dome, where it is perpetually spring.

The floral display in celebration of the Gardens’ fifth anniversary is Blue Beauties, where flowers in various shades of blue, like agapanthus, hydrangeas and delphiniums – true spectrum blue being one of the most uncommon colours in the Plant Kingdom – take centrestage until June 30.

– New Attractions through the Years

The Supertrees and Cooled Conservatories, along with the Outdoor Gardens, have been the highlights of Gardens by the Bay since Day One, but new attractions have also opened in the last five years. In line with Gardens by the Bay’s objective to be a garden for all, the majority of these attractions are free for the public to enjoy.

In 2014, the Far East Organization Children’s Garden opened to the public. The Sun Pavilion, a display of cacti in the outdoors, also opened in the same year. With the Sun Pavilion, Gardens by the Bay owns the largest collection of cacti and succulents in Southeast Asia.

In 2015, Singapore’s largest and only Floral Clock was launched in collaboration with watchmaker Audemars Piguet.

The newest attraction at Gardens by the Bay is rock garden The Canyon, which opened last year and features more than 60 unique rock forms amidst plants from arid regions.

– Diverse Events for a Broad Audience

To date, there have been more than 1,000 events held at Gardens by the Bay. These events are varied in nature, and appeal to a wide spectrum of visitors beyond just nature lovers. The lineup to date this year includes indie music festival St. Jerome Laneway Festival, Asia’s largest night run the Sundown Marathon and Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be With You.

Gardens by the Bay also organises its own flagship events, and many of them are free for the public. In March, life-sized dinosaur sculptures were brought into the Supertree Grove for the annual Children’s Festival, while come December, visitors can look forward to the Gardens’ transformation into a Christmas Wonderland.

The Garden Rhapsody sound and light show, where lights on the 12 Supertrees at the Supertree Grove dance according to music twice every evening, is refreshed constantly. There have been 20 different renditions of the Garden Rhapsody so far, which range from a nostalgic medley of well-loved Asian songs, to popular Broadway tunes, to a Star Wars-themed edition.

Gardens by the Bay recently celebrated its fifth anniversary on June 3 and 4. Among the highlights of the festivities was the Gardens Extravaganza Special, where the Supertree Grove became the stage for a multimedia show featuring dancers, aerial performers, fire twirlers, acrobats, dramatic video mapping and special effects on a scale never seen before at the Gardens.

For the rest of the month of June, a fifth anniversary edition of the Garden Rhapsody sound and light show is on at the Supertree Grove twice every evening. The show, Gardens Extravaganza, features video mapping on the Supertrees and an all-new musical soundtrack.

1. Infographic on Gardens by the Bay’s milestones since its inception in 2012 —
2. Burst of flames are projected from the OCBC Skyway and at the ground level of the Supertree Grove during the Gardens Extravaganza Special on June 3 and 4 in celebration of Gardens by the Bay’s 5th anniversary —
3. The two cooled conservatories, Cloud Forest (left) and Flower Dome (right), in Gardens by the Bay —