Give us more from Singapore!

I have to append my last post a bit, and not leave you all thinking that Singapore is all about food (it has an equal devotion to SHOPPING!!).

One of my days took me to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the National Orchid Garden. You haven’t seen orchids til you see them here! They grow naturally in the trees in this climate (they are a type of epiphyte, a plant that grows on another tree with no effect on the host), so cultivating beautiful varieties uses the natural heat and humidity to great effect. I understand perfectly now why an orchid gifted to me is a dead orchid- San Diego was not a humid environment, and I am a terrible tree host 😉 Anyway, this garden has magnificent stands of orchids in every color, arranged in gorgeous displays of color, size and style. I’m sorry I don’t have iPhone photos to share 😦

But even more impressive than the orchids was Gardens by the Bay.

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The Bay South Garden

This garden, out on the outer edge of the marina reservoir with the impressive Marina Bay Sands resort, blew me away!!

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Marina Bay Sands

They have ‘super trees’ as a eye catching lure: 25-50 m metal structures covered in plants, working to not only produce oxygen but to collect rain water for irrigation, supply solar power and serve as air intake and exhaust for the giant bio domes, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest.

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A super tree forest

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Me on the Skywalk, 22m up in the super trees, with the Cloud Forest Dome behind

The Flower Dome featured buds and trees from 6 of 7 continents (not air conditioned enough to simulate Antarctica)- they do have eucalyptus, Mediterranean olive trees and baobabs. But the shining star for me was the Cloud Forest. Inside this dome was a 7 level mountain with a jutting waterfall and a climate like a tropical cloud rainforest (3300-9800ft elevation) of Costa Rica or Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, including the cool ethereal mists.

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The mountain has aerial walkways at the top and a middle level, offering some crazy views and maybe a little vertigo…

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The mountain itself was an array of bromeliads and rain forest flora, including pitcher plants and Venus fly traps.

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115ft waterfall

It had a geology display in the center about the formation of crystals and stalagmites, and the secret garden on the ground floor featuring New Zealand plants. It was missing the fauna, but still- a cloud forest in a snow globe, in Singapore, is very cool!

Last thing I want to mention so you know the uniqueness of Singapore. They have THIS as a mascot:

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The Merlion!

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