I visited the Gardens by the Bay on a recent trip to Singapore. They are built over a large area near Marina Bay in Singapore and I would say that if you are thinking of visiting, wear comfortable shoes, take a sun hat and some water because you are in for a really wonderful treat.
The amazing thing about them is that they are only 6 years old. This architectural marvel has been built entirely on reclaimed land. The concept was seeded in 2005 based on Singapore's reputation as a Garden City. The brief from the Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was to create a "nation as a city within a garden." Over 162,000 plants are planted here in the Gardens and on the Supertrees. It was a tough brief - the architects and the designers has to create a garden that used less energy than a typical Singapore office building.
There are 18 Supertrees. These are immense steel structures that look like palm trees with fanning crowns and leaves which are vertical gardens, planted along the base and up the trunk with the most beautiful, mosses, grasses, ferns, epiphytes, bromeliads and orchids. The trees produce shade during the day and have solar panels to generate electricity, which is then used for lighting and cooling. They are fitted with environmental technologies that mimic the ecological function of trees, so they store energy from sunlight and water from rainfall. These Supertrees are "planted" in the main area of the gardens and there is even a skywalk that visitors can access via a lift between two of the bigger trees, so that you can appreciate the view from above but also see the structures closer up and the beauty of some of the flowering plants along the way. There is a small entrance fee for the Skywalk.
There are two additional large structures, aside from the gardens which are extensive. The Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest facing Marina Bay. The Gardens in total cost about a billion to build.
The Flower Dome is popular and you can see why. The flowers - so very many varieties of orchids and others are all in bloom at any time of year. They seem to manage them so wonderfully there are displays all year round and events to match, Tulipmania or Dahlia Dreams just two examples of the many on offer.
As you enter the Cloud Dome, you see a huge waterfall and then you can snake your way right up to the top admiring the epiphytes, ferns and bromeliads, as well as the many other flowering plants embedded in the structure.
There are educational films, stalactites and stalagmites, environmental messages, and information about rare and endangered plants even Lego displays of some note nicely positioned in amongst the real flowers.
The gardens are planted with many and varied species and aside from these very specific spectacles that you have to pay a small entrance to see, the rest is free, and you can wander around at leisure and take in the beautiful palms and frangipanis the Dragonfly Lake and various themed gardens, the Indian one the Chinese one, and the interestingly named Silver Garden. There is a small little train that you can take to take you to various locations as well as cafes and toilets and disabled access for most of the area.
These are truly magnificent if you love nature and many many men and women have done a magnificent job at creating this vision of the PM of a city within a Garden.
Go to [LINK=http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en.html] Gardens by the Bay/LINK]