Blossoming interest in tulips on show at airport

IT trainer Trivikram Baindur, 32, and IT developer Sonal Kini, 29, both tourists from India on transit at Changi Airport, taking a selfie at the tulip display at the airport's Enchanted Garden last week.
IT trainer Trivikram Baindur, 32, and IT developer Sonal Kini, 29, both tourists from India on transit at Changi Airport, taking a selfie at the tulip display at the airport's Enchanted Garden last week.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Interest in the tulip display at Changi Airport has been blossoming since it opened on April 4, with travellers flocking to take photos and selfies.

The display is held in conjunction with the Keukenhof Flower Exhibition currently taking place in Lisse, the Netherlands.

Tulips cannot be grown naturally in Singapore because of the heat, so those in the display are put into boxes and flown over.

There are three exhibitions, one in the Terminal 2 public area, and one each in the Terminal 1 and 2 transit areas. The latter two can be accessed only by passengers waiting for their flights.

Retiree Teh Kok Tee, 70, who visited the airport specially to see the exhibition, said: "I'm grateful that I can see the flowers without having to go to Holland, even if it's on a smaller scale in Singapore."

The visual appeal of these bright flowers comes at a cost - the tulips are grown for 16 weeks in Amsterdam, in a cold room set at 10 deg C to simulate winter conditions.

In Singapore, the terminals' air-conditioning temperature of around 23 deg C simulates spring.

A total of 16,000 tulips will be displayed in batches of 4,000, as the tulips need to be changed around every 10 days before they wilt.

There are six hybrid tulip species present - one is even named after Singapore because of its resemblance to the national flower, the Singapore orchid Vanda Miss Joaquim.

The tulips will be on display until April 30. In the transit areas, one exhibit is near Terminal 1's Central Piazza, and the other is in Terminal 2's Enchanted Garden.

Alexis Ong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2016, with the headline 'Blossoming interest in tulips on show at airport'. Print Edition | Subscribe