Some 300 people from the community helped to assemble more than 100,000 pots of flowers and 20,000 cut flowers by hand to make a Singapore-themed, batik-inspired design at Supertree Grove
From making cherry blossoms bloom in the tropics, to hybridising a rare orchid that can thrive in both cool and warm climates, Gardens by the Bay has been pushing the boundaries of horticulture. This year, the Gardens created the largest flower carpet in Singapore – a showcase of horticultural art.
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat, along with volunteers from the community who have been working on the project, placed the final touches of flowers along the border of the Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Carpet (花毯) today, signifying its completion. It was also certified Singapore’s largest by the Singapore Book of Records.
The Flower Carpet will be on show at the Lawn at Supertree Grove for nine days until Oct 1. There is no admission charge to view it. It measures 34.2m across, almost the length of a Boeing 737 aeroplane. More than 100,000 potted plants and 20,000 cut flowers make up its batik-inspired design. Among the flowers used are seven different cultivars of chrysanthemums, oxalis, loropetalums and marigolds.
Gardens by the Bay Senior Director of Gardens Operations Gary Chua said, “Flower carpets are works of horticultural art, yet they are rare to see in the tropics because our weather conditions make it horticulturally challenging to pull off the idea. But challenging does not mean it cannot be done, and our horticulturists created the display with live potted plants besides the flower petals usually used in temperate countries. In the spirit of innovation and sustainability, these potted plants can subsequently be repurposed for other landscaping works around Gardens by the Bay.”
A Flower Carpet for Singapore to call its own
Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Carpet is a truly Singaporean effort. The intention is to reflect the fusion of diverse cultural influences and encapsulate the broader theme of unity.
The design is batik-inspired, with our national flower the Papillionanthe (Vanda) Miss Joaquim as a central motif, complemented by native orchids, the Spathoglottis Lion of Singapore, and the leaves of the raintree.
In the petals of the Flower Carpet are representations of the four races such as a lantern, ketupat, diya candle and bell. These are done through Rangoli, the traditional Indian art of creating designs with coloured sand and are the work of renowned local Rangoli artist Vijaya Mohan.
Some 300 people – from Gardens by the Bay’s horticulturists and volunteers taking the lead, to volunteers from groups like Council for Third Age, SG Assist, Heartware Network and beneficiaries from MUIS lending a hand – worked across an estimated more than 200 hours to place in every pot of flowers, as well as the cut flowers, by hand.
A challenge in Singapore’s tropical weather
Earlier this year, the Embassy of Belgium in Singapore put a team from Gardens by the Bay in touch with the designers of the renowned Brussels Flower Carpet. The Gardens’ horticulturists made a trip to Brussels to understand more about the process from the city that has been putting together a biennial flower carpet since 1971.
In addition to Belgium, Spain, Italy and Japan are some countries where flower carpets are an attraction – but it is not the norm to attempt something like this in a tropical climate like Singapore’s. The heat and humidity, coupled with the unpredictability of rain, make it challenging to do so.
Horticulturists also had to find a way to make sure hundreds of thousands of flowers would bloom at the same time when the Flower Carpet opened to public. The horticulturists wanted Gardens by the Bay’s version to last for more than a week – significantly longer than the lifespan of flower carpets overseas, which are designed to be on show for only a few days. Hence, potted plants are used in our first ever floral carpet.
The Flower Carpet was an opportunity for horticulturists to test their horticultural skills. With the use growth regulators and precise adjustment of lighting conditions – which had to be catered specifically to each variety of plant used – they coaxed different flowers to bloom at the same time just before opening day.
To produce a seamless design, horticulturists and volunteers placed each pot as closely to one another as possible. This also created its own set of challenges when it came to making sure the plants could receive sufficient water during watering. As such, new watering techniques were devised.
Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Carpet is made possible with the support of Tote Board, Yeo’s, OCBC and Tanoto Foundation.
Vantage points to view the Flower Carpet are from the OCBC Skyway or the World of Plants outdoor gardens.
📅 23 Sep to 1 Oct 2023
📍 Supertree Grove
🏷 Free Admission
For more information, visit here.
Photos credit: Gardens by the Bay
Looking for what to do during the mid-autumn festival? Read Mid Autumn Festival 2023 Events in Singapore.
Children’s Day 2023
Children’s Day is on 6 October 2023. Do check out our list of fun Things To Do This Children’s Day long weekend.
* * * * *
Like what you see here? Get parenting tips and stories straight to your inbox! Join our mailing list here.
Want to be heard 👂 and seen 👀 by over 100,000 parents in Singapore? We can help! Leave your contact here and we’ll be in touch.