When we were in Singapore over the term break, we made sure that we visited Gardens by the Bay. We paid for entrance to two conservatories –the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. Absolutely worth every penny. We were there and walking about for over five hours –me and my two kids (while hubby was at work). Never once did they complain about being tired. If anything, I was the one who got tired! Zoë declared the Gardens as her “most favorite place on earth,” that it was like paradise. It was so sweet how she kept thanking me for taking them there.
The first thing that we saw when we stepped inside was a magnificent display of tulips. Tulips have always been one of my favorite flowers. They’re soft and elegant, so graceful. There was a Tulipmania special display going on. Zoë was beside herself with joy. Out came her camera, out came her little notebook and pen. Josh did the same (minus the camera).
After ooh-ing and aah-ing over the tulips by the main entrance, we proceeded to the succulents section. It was not a big section. That said, we spent well over an hour there! Why? Because the kids were busy scribbling notes and drawing on their notebooks –sketches of cacti and baobabs, names of various succulents, etc. You’d think they were having an exam afterwards! I didn’t have the heart to hurry them along, –plus, it’s not like we were on a schedule, –so I took my time taking photos while I waited for them. It turned out that they were having a mini contest as to how many species they could record down. This contest continued on throughout our entire stay there –across both conservatories. That’s why we stayed so long!
There were different sections in the Flower Dome, grouped according to region. There’s the Mediterranean Garden, the California Garden; flowers from southwest Australia, South Africa, Chile, etc. Interspersed among the names and scientific details were little factoids about uses of certain plants, how the conservatory is cooled, etc. Overall, not just a feast for the eyes. but a treasure trove of interesting information, too.
While waiting around for the kids, there was an old man taking photos. I’d noticed him when we walked in and didn’t see him again until we were on our way out the Flower Dome. He made a comment about my also using a Nikon and asked me what lens I was using. We got to chatting and he showed me some of the photos he took at the Garden. He talked about how he loves photography and how it gives him such joy (and you could so tell!). He showed me some other photos he took. My jaw dropped. They were out-of-this-world, serious-award-winning amazing –like the ones you see in National Geographic magazines. I kid you not. I so wish I could have him as a mentor.
That was one amazing visit to the Flower Dome… and I haven’t even touched on the Cloud Forest yet! That was equally fantastic and fun. But that will be for another post, on another day.