Gardens by the Bay faces supply chain setback for Precious Peony display

Precious Peony honours the journey of the flower from China to Nanyang, as South-east Asia was called. ST PHOTO: SAMUEL ANG

SINGAPORE - Supply chain disruptions in China led to an unanticipated setback for Gardens by the Bay's latest floral display, Precious Peony, which opened on Saturday (April 9) at the Flower Dome.

The first shipment of peonies from China could not be delivered on time for the display's opening, Gardens by the Bay said in a statement.

"For the first week of the floral display, horticulturists are supplementing the show with peonies from Japan, Israel and the Netherlands, while awaiting the shipments from China to arrive," it added.

Cities in China, including Shanghai, have imposed lengthy, stringent lockdowns to control outbreaks of Covid-19.

In addition, a growing number of cities there also require truck drivers to take daily polymerase chain reaction tests before allowing them to cross municipal borders, or are quarantining drivers deemed to be at risk of infection.

The measures have limited how quickly drivers can move components and goods from factories to ports.

Precious Peony honours the journey of the flower from China to Nanyang, as South-east Asia was called when waves of Chinese left the country in search of a new life.

The display also shows how the portrayal of the peony has evolved over time, alongside the evolution of Chinese culture.

Mr Gary Chua, Gardens by the Bay's senior director of horticultural operations, said: "The peony is revered for its elegance and beauty.

"As part of our 10th anniversary, Gardens by the Bay is partnering with local museums for the first time to curate a brand new experience, where we present these precious blooms in the context of Singapore's rich culture."

More than 70 Chinese and Peranakan artefacts, on loan from the Peranakan Museum, The Intan and the Society for Chinese Ceramic Studies, are part of the Precious Peony exhibition.

The artefacts include an antique blackwood bench inlaid with mother-of-pearl and a rare iron-splash glazed blackware vase.

More than 70 Chinese and Peranakan artefacts are part of the Precious Peony exhibition. ST PHOTO: SAMUEL ANG

Several everyday items unique to Chinese Peranakan culture, such as the chupu (covered jars) and bakul siah (wedding baskets), are also on show.

Miss Audrey Tong, 21, who visited the floral display on Saturday, said the cultural elements stood out for her.

"The display is very oriental and interesting, this is one of the best displays I have visited," added the student.

The display also shows how the portrayal of the elegant peony has evolved over time, alongside the evolution of Chinese culture. ST PHOTO: SAMUEL ANG

Madam Yeni, who goes by one name, was at the Flower Dome with her family.

The 39-year-old illustrator said: "The Peranakan shophouse structure really caught my eye, and everything is vibrant and pretty. The Peranakan theme resonates with me as I grew up eating Chinese and Malay food, and I think my roots are similar to those of the Peranakans."

Precious Peony will be on display until May 3. The Flower Dome is open from 9am to 9pm daily and admission charges apply.

Visitors can go to this website for more details.

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