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It's spring time at Gardens by the Bay

Horticulturists tweak temperature to keep plants looking their best

Published on Oct 29, 2012 6:00 AM

It is nearly winter back home, but instead of losing their flowers and leaves, the oyster plants are flowering in the Flower Dome conservatory at Gardens by the Bay.

Typically, the bluish-white flowers, also called Acanthus mollis, native to southern Europe and north Africa, bloom during the spring season. "It's a bit confusing for the plants because they are supposed to be in winter now but they are at their optimum growth," said Ms Lim Mei Leng, a manager of the conservatory operations.

She is one of eight horticulturists who have the mammoth task of ensuring the non-tropical plants in the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories continue to adapt to their controlled environments. The former mimics the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions, while the latter replicates the high altitudes of tropical regions.

The two conservatories - which together house more than 200,000 plants of 80 species - are the highlights of Gardens by the Bay South, having helped to attract 1.7 million visitors since the Gardens opened in late June.

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