The Singapore Garden Festival 2022 is back after a four year hiatus, which is a pretty exciting thing for gardeners and plant lovers who fancy ornamental blooms, show gardens, floral displays, edible plants and a spot of shopping for plants and garden products. This time, the Singapore Garden Festival will be held at the Singapore Botanic Gardens from now till 9 August, and at ION Orchard and Ngee Ann City till 7 August.
Here are the highlights from all three venues!
Singapore Botanic Gardens
While you are at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, be prepared to marvel at the stunning entries of The Orchid Competition, co-organised with the Orchid Society of Southeast Asia (OSSEA). Visitors can view more than 400 rare and exquisite orchids, including warm and cool-growing species and hybrids found globally in different regions, submitted by professional growers and hobbyists. These specimens are housed at Burkill Hall, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House and Sembcorp Cool House.
I recently got to know of Waiwai Hove, a highly talented botanical illustrator to say the very least. We exchanged emails over a duration of two months before we got to meet, and the newly minted UNESCO World Heritage Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) provided the perfect backdrop to catch up. Waiwai works from there on certain days, as she has been commissioned to paint 30 of their heritage trees, which you will read more about in the interview. Waiwai is also the illustrator of SBG’s 2015 calendar, which sold out – a first time occurrence, her colleague told me.
I had a delightful time with her, we strolled through part of the gardens as we conversed on various topics, such as her work with SBG, intricacies of botanical illustration, her twin boys, and plants – naturally! We encountered a few animals, which she was quick to spot, and I had trouble detecting even when she had pointed at them. She has such a keen eye for details, but I suppose you would say that it’s expected given her profession!
We also dropped by the “Orchids of Singapore Botanic Gardens and Their Heritage” exhibition, where I got to view Aranda Lee Kwan Yew, before sitting down for a drink and a good chat. Waiwai showed me her portfolio, which I found absolutely incredible. Her work is outstanding – while it is beautiful, it is also scientifically accurate, and it’s no wonder that she obtained the highest marks ever scored in the Society of Botanical Artists diploma course she completed. My time with this gentle woman passed quickly, and soon it was time to pick up her twins from school, but we agreed that we should catch up again soon, and hopefully view her home studio and plants.
I hope you enjoy this interview, it’s been a while!
This morning, I made my way to the Singapore Botanic Gardens for brunch and saw this wonderful living wall across from its main entrance. I had to have a closer look.
It has a lot of vibrant colours and different textures, and spans at least 50m long. Whoever designed this green wall did a brilliant job. It also attracts bees and other insects. Here are some of the flowers I had photographed.