During our recent trip to Singapore, we paid a visit to Gardens by the Bay. What started out as just another holiday adventure turned into an eye-opening educational experience for Aristotle.
About Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a 101 hectare waterfront promenade featuring horticultural attractions from around the world. It was designed with the principles of environmental sustainability in mind. It is not only a beautiful tourist attraction but it is also an educational experience on sustainable living.
There is actually quite a lot to see at Gardens by the Baby (I didn’t realise until I looked it up – should have done my homework more thoroughly before visiting):
- Flower Dome
- Cloud Forest
- Supertree Grove (take a 360 degree virtual view)
- Heritage Gardens
- Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes
- Bay East Garden
- World of Plants
We only managed to get through Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. Luckily we bought an annual pass so we can go back again (see ticketing). It was just as well since Aristotle fell in love with Cloud Forest and wants to go back to visit again. If you’re planning a visit, do check out their suggested trails.
The Flower Dome
The Flower Dome is an air conditioned glass house featuring plants around the world from cooler climates. You will see plants from the Mediterranean Basin, South West Australia, South Africa, Central Chile and California. For Christmas, the Flower Dome was decorated with Christmas elements. The boys had a great time running around and exploring the park.
There was also an interactive station that taught the boys about what happens when we use up too much of our natural resources by cutting down to many trees, clearing too many meadows for farm land, and using too much artificial insecticides. After that, the boys learned how to restore and preserve nature – planting new trees, creating green areas in cities, and using naturally-occurring insecticides (such as the plant chamomile).
Cloud Forest is another air conditioned glass house. It features plant life from the tropical highlands with a 35 meter high “mountain” and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. They also display rocks and minerals, and limestone structures (stalactites and stalagmites) at the Crystal Cavern level. Take a 360 degree view of Cloud Forest.
Aristotle enjoyed Cloud Forest so much that he wanted to go back to the top and come down again so Daddy took Hercules to run around while I took Aristotle back up. It is amazing how much better behaved Aristotle is when his brother is not around. He was attentive and keenly interested in the educational information provided at Cloud Forest and even stayed to watch the entire video at the end of Cloud Forest showing the effects of rising global temperature on the environment.
Gardens by the Bay Sustainability
We also watched the informative segment on the green engineering that had gone into the creation of Gardens by the Bay so they could support their own resource usage (if you are really interested, you can read more about it in Green House: Green Engineering). The model demonstrated how the domed roof of the glass house collected the rainwater which is then used to water the plants. The excess water is cleaned and sent to a reservoir. Green waste from the Gardens is used to make fertiliser and to provide energy to power the conservatory (by burning the bio-waste). The supertrees release warm, moist air back into the atmosphere (see: Gardens by the Bay Sustainability).
Gardens by the Bay is more than just a pretty garden by the bay. It was also a very good educational example of sustainable living in the 21st century. Gardens by the Bay was also featured in Discovery Channel’s Living Cities documentary. Our visit to Gardens by the Bay has taught Aristotle the importance of conserving our natural resources.
- Design Thinking: Gardens by the Bay Sustainability
- CNN: Solar Powered Supertrees breathe life into Singapore’s Urban Oasis
- Singapore Infopedia: Gardens by the Bay