Orchid Haven, a new 280 sqm space within Gardens by the Bay’s Cloud Forest cooled conservatory is now completed and ready to receive visitors. It is a dedicated space to host Cloud Forest’s changing orchid displays as well as permanent orchid exhibits, with more than 1,000 orchids on show at any one time. This is the first time since 2017 that a major area has been revamped in Cloud Forest.
With the growing popularity of Cloud Forest’s changing orchid displays, which have been bringing to Singapore a plethora of beautiful and sometimes rare orchids from Central and South America to East Asia for the past four years, horticulturists recognised the need to carve out more space to showcase orchids. The new Orchid Haven is about three times the size of the original space for changing orchid displays.
After all, Orchidaceae is one of the largest families of flowering plants, and orchids have a long history in Singapore. Gardens by the Bay also has an extensive and diverse collection of orchids, as well as its own orchid hybridisation programme.
Flight of the Moth Orchid, the first changing orchid display in the new Orchid Haven, is a tribute to the Phalaenopsis orchid, a diverse genus whose floral form resembles that of a moth in flight. In this display, more than 800 Phalaenopsis orchids of 17 taxa are showcased in a breathtaking “waterfall” of cascading blooms.
The Phalaenopsis is a popular orchid among both orchid enthusiasts, as well as breeders whose focus is on producing ever more innovative hybrids. In fact, the orchids in Flight of the Moth Orchid have been arranged to show how the morphology of the Phalaenopsis has evolved through the years, from its original look to the distinct and dramatic characteristics that breeders have coaxed out of hybrids. Phalaenopsis hybrids are known for bright colours, peculiar patterns and markings, as well as floral mutations that result in even more stunning varieties.
Gallop House No. 5 (Atbara) is Singapore’s oldest surviving colonial era or black-and-white bungalow. Built in 1898, it now houses the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, which showcases Singapore’s forest ecosystems, and highlights the importance of conserving them. Through a series of interpretive and interactive displays, visitors can enjoy a bird's eye view of Singapore’s diverse forests, and learn about the Gardens’ historical role in conserving them. Highlights include a photographic installation of forest trees, family-friendly displays and videos featuring three distinctive forest habitats found in Singapore, and their unique flora and fauna.
The Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum will also host the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Tropical Forest Ecology Research programme. This programme reprises a historical role for the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which dates back to the late 1800s. One of the Gardens’ early superintendents, Nathaniel Cantley, was tasked to survey the forests in the Straits Settlement in 1882. His report led to the demarcation of the first forest reserves in Singapore in 1884, in order to prevent the ecology and climate from further deteriorating.
Complementing the Forest Discovery Centre is the OCBC Arboretum, which is a first-of-its-kind high-tech arboretum in Southeast Asia. Opened in October 2019, the arboretum plays an important role in the Gardens’ conservation work, housing and displaying the Gardens’ growing collection of rare dipterocarps.
Spanning over an estimated 650 square meters, the Forest Playground, when completed, promises to bring play and fun to a different level. The playground will include numerous innovative structures for both dry and wet play, suited for children ages 3 to 12.
All the playground equipment is manufactured and designed in Europe to the highest safety and quality standards. The structures offer varying degrees of challenges and stimulation for play, thereby promoting child development in terms of their creativity, physical and social development. The playground will be installed with EPDM safety rubber flooring.
Chatsworth continuously strives to provide a welcoming and safe environment where their students can develop and grow holistically.
In December, the Mandai Wildlife Bridge will be ready and will facilitate safe crossings for local wildlife linking two parts of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. An important component of the new nature and wildlife destination being developed at Mandai, this bridge is part of a larger plan to facilitate habitat connectivity for wildlife within the precinct and its surroundings. Construction of the bridge began in June 2017.
The Mandai rejuvenation project, driven by Mandai Park Holdings (MPH), involves the development of two new wildlife parks - a Rainforest Park and the new Bird Park, a nature-themed indoor attraction, accommodation offerings and public green spaces. These will join the existing Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari to form a new integrated nature and wildlife destination at Mandai.
The National Parks Board (NParks) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) have announced that enhancement works for the former Bukit Timah Railway Station and its surroundings as a community node will begin early next year. At a community event at the station, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong also shared that the Friends of Rail Corridor will be leading the community in activating the reopened stretches of the Rail Corridor along its southern half, and announced plans for a new linear park that is partly elevated above the Bukit Timah Canal – the Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Corridor. The new linear park will add to and complement Singapore’s network of recreational connections, which includes the Rail Corridor, Round Island Route and Coast-to-Coast Trail, and altogether, the connections will provide the public with more recreational options, and more opportunities to explore the outdoors and connect with nature in our City in a Garden.
Over the last two years, works to enhance Rail Corridor (Central), the 4 km stretch of the Rail Corridor between the Hillview area and the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station, have been ongoing and guided by three key themes: Heritage and Culture, Biodiversity and Greenery, and Recreation. The works include improvements to trails, restoration works for the truss bridges, construction of a new pedestrian underpass at Hindhede, and habitat enhancements. In early 2020, enhancement of the former railway station and its surroundings as a community node will begin.
The conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station is a distinctive landmark of Rail Corridor (Central) and the community node will feature a strong sense of history, distinctive landscaping and ample public spaces. Works to restore the Railway Station building and the former Railway Station Staff Quarters will be carried out sensitively and in line with conservation guidelines. The buildings will showcase their original railway features, while being repurposed for the public’s use and enjoyment. At the same time, the 8 Mile Platform will be constructed near the Rail Mall to provide amenities such as a shelter and toilet. It will act as a rest stop and an access point to the Rail Corridor.
To provide even more recreational options for visitors, NParks will be developing the Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Corridor. The Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Corridor is envisioned as a journey through a riverine forest and will include a linear sky park elevated above the canal. It will connect to the Rail Corridor near the Bukit Timah Railway Station community node. Visitors, including users of the Coast-to-Coast Trail, can look forward to a unique walking and cycling experience set amidst lush greenery. The first phase of the project comprises 1.4 km and stretches from the Rail Corridor to Elm Avenue. Construction is expected to start in 2021, dovetailing with PUB’s canal improvement works. In the future, the corridor may be extended to Kallang Riverside Park, totalling 11 km.
Jewel Changi Airport (Jewel) and Shiseido have announced the naming rights partnership of the Shiseido Forest Valley; a wondrous 4-storey indoor ‘forest’ which will allow visitors to experience the Japanese appreciation of nature, beauty and art.
Jewel (scheduled to open on 17 April 2019) will have one of the largest indoor collection of plants in Singapore, with about 22,000sqm of space dedicated to landscaping throughout the complex. The Shiseido Forest Valley will complement Jewel’s wide array of retail and F&B activities, allowing visitors to shop and dine amidst a resplendent indoor forest. Visitors can even take a gentle hike up two cobblestoned walking trails, the East and West Trail, punctuated by idyllic cascading waterfalls and mist clouds.
Made up of more than 900 trees and palms and about 60,000 shrubs, the curation of the indoor forest took concerted effort. Before the installation of the Shiseido Forest Valley, trials were first done in a polytunnel (or hoop greenhouse) to simulate the actual in-Jewel temperature, humidity and light levels. Applying these optimal growth conditions eventually resulted in the dynamic forest experience and selection of plants that visitors will see in Jewel.
The 4-storey incline of the Shiseido Forest Valley also influenced the types of flora selected. For example, the shrubs chosen are shade-tolerant and have adapted to space constraints, just as understorey plants have in real forests. Whether dining at spots overlooking the Shiseido Forest Valley or strolling through the trails, visitors to Jewel can expect an awe-inspiring experience when they walk through this climate-controlled space.
The National Parks Board (NParks) recently unveiled the Forest Restoration Action Plan for the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Nature Park Network. The Action Plan will chart the restoration that will be undertaken over the next 10 years to regenerate the secondary forests in the Nature Parks buffering the two Nature Reserves, as well as disturbed patches within the Reserves. This will assist the forests to regenerate and approximate a mature forest landscape in time.
The Action Plan seeks to strengthen the resilience of our native rainforests by restoring ecological processes, and enhancing the biodiversity and ecological connectivity in these areas. This will improve the habitats for native biodiversity. It is also timely to assist with the succession of the early secondary rainforests to more mature and diverse rainforests over time. This will strengthen the resilience of our forest landscapes to climate change, and will be achieved through a science-based approach that will involve the sustained planting of native rainforest species.
The approach will comprise the planting of a framework of native species that are nitrogen fixing to naturally improve the soil condition, and those that will attract dispersers and pollinators. The regenerating forest will be assisted further by the removal of invasive weed species. Dominant primary rainforest species, which might be limited by dispersal or are rare in occurrence, will also be introduced. In restoring these forests, efforts will also be directed towards the regeneration of riparian vegetation alongside natural streams to further conserve this sensitive habitat.
The Forest Restoration Action Plan is integral to NParks’ habitat enhancement and restoration programme under its Nature Conservation Masterplan (NCMP). Launched in 2015, the NCMP charts Singapore’s plans for biodiversity conservation.
The Action Plan was announced during a recent tree-planting session to mark the commencement of restoration efforts at the upcoming Rifle Range Nature Park, which will be completed in 2020. It is one of the areas to be restored under the Action Plan.
Inspired by the allure of nature, Calla Spa has embodied and translated its charm into their identity and interior design.
Using trees for its grand and mysterious characteristics as their focal theme, the entire space is seemed to be encapsulated in a dream-like forest. By incorporating elements of nature in their earthy on-sen designed pool areas and white forest Bistro, the lifestyle spa is a mix of sleek and quirky. Lavishly renovated at over 4.5 million, their space is created to be the most extraordinary sanctuary for your most comfortable and invigorating stay.
Their mission is to encourage maximum living through the pursuit of pleasure and self-indulgence. At Calla Spa, they create a wholesome approach to help you obtain mind and body resurgence by providing a sanctuary that promotes an impeccable lifestyle paralleled by the most unrelenting standards.
On the 40th floor, nestled between the clouds and a 15,000-square-feet Sky Forest, Artemis is a new Singapore landmark showcasing the Mediterranean’s rich culinary heritage with the freshest organic produce.
Elevated above the hustle and bustle of the city on the rooftop of CapitaGreen, the restaurant and bar offer spectacular views of the urban skyline to the sea beyond.
With dining for 120 and private room seating of up to 40, as well as a breezy outdoor terrace ideal for savouring a broad portfolio of wine, cocktails and craft beers, Artemis embodies grand Mediterranean hospitality where the sky is the limit.