Singaporean duo win award for show garden at Chelsea Flower Show

Singaporean landscape designers John Tan and Raymond Toh have won the Silver-Gilt award at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show with their tropical show garden.

Titled The Hidden Beauty Of Kranji, the 10m by 12m garden featured an orchid-lined pathway and three waterfalls of varying heights - a mix inspired by places such as the National Orchid Garden in the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the cool Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay.

There were also nine hummingbird-like sculptures by artist Victor Tan, paired with a bird-chirping soundtrack, and a pavilion.

The Silver-Gilt is given to participants in each category who have a high-standard entry and the potential to be a future Gold medal winner.

The pair garnered much attention at the annual show, snagging interviews with the press there for their daring display.

Mr Tan, 54, said: "This is my interpretation of our City in a Garden. Sitting inside the pavilion, visitors are transported to tropical Singapore. It made them want to visit our country."

Mr Tan runs Esmond Landscape and Horticultural in Neo Tiew Crescent with Mr Toh. Uniseal, a local waterproofing and vertical greenery company, provided the vertical greenery for the garden. It took them 16 days, working with a contractor in London, to build the garden. The duo have previously won top prizes at show garden competitions in Singapore and Japan.

They were faced with a setback when their prized Vanda Miss Joaquims died, after being held in customs for four days. They arrived at the show, wilted and unsalvageable.

Mr Tan, who runs Esmond Landscape and Horticultural in Neo Tiew Crescent with Mr Toh, says: "It was depressing to know that we would have to build the garden without the Vanda Miss Joaquims, a flower that represents Singapore. It was a smooth-sailing process, otherwise. We're happy to have made it to Chelsea as it was something we really wanted to do."

natashaz@sph.com.sg