SINGAPORE - Shoppers entering the Ion Orchard mall from July 30 to Aug 7 will be greeted by floral installations as part of the Singapore Garden Festival (SGF), which returns after a four-year hiatus.
Organised by the National Parks Board (NParks), the eighth edition of the festival will also take place at Ngee Ann City and the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
NParks said on Wednesday (June 1) that this is the first time the festival will be taking place in Orchard Road to enable it to reach more visitors.
NParks coordinating director of event and exhibitions Dennis Lim said it was exciting to bring back the festival and present it at new locations.
"We decided on bringing the show to Singapore's main shopping belt, Orchard Road, and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The pandemic has led to a rise in interest in greenery and nature, and the addition of Orchard Road, which is a stone's throw from the Gardens, will enable us to reach out to new audiences and make the festival more accessible for many to visit," he added.
Mr Lim said the biennial SGF was held at the Suntec Convention Centre from 2006 to 2012 before moving to Gardens by the Bay from 2014 to 2018 so visitors could have an outdoor and indoor experience.
"We saw over 600,000 visitors in the last edition in 2018," he noted.
In a new addition to the festival this year, budding florists, floral hobbyists and professional floral designers will come together to create designs for the Floral Fiesta: A Floral Creation challenge.
The challenge will be held at Basement 4 of Ion Orchard. Also at the mall will be a feature display showcasing winners from the Community Garden Edibles competition.
The competition recognises the abilities of hobby gardeners and showcases their gardening skills in cultivating a variety of fruits and vegetables that can be grown in Singapore, including unique and uncommon edibles.
Down the road at Ngee Ann City, garden plots by six award-winning landscape designers will vie for top spot at the Show Garden competition, a popular and returning feature of the festival.
Three of the plots' designers, Mr Tony Alexander Woods from Britain, Mr Christian Troy Jenkins from Australia and Mr Risser Pierre Alexandre from France, will be taking part in the festival for the first time.
The remaining three plots are by locally based designers Henry Steed, nephew and uncle pair Andy and Eliam Eng, and Mr B. Gurumuthy, who is taking part as a designer for the first time in the festival.
Over at the Botanic Gardens, Singapore's first Unesco World Heritage Site, the festival will feature a range of activities, including an orchid competition, where visitors can view more than 400 rare and exquisite orchids.
The orchids, which are submitted by professional growers and hobbyists, include warm and cool-growing species, as well as hybrid species found in different regions around the world.
The Gardens will also feature a Landscape Design challenge and the Singapore Gardeners' Cup at Eco Garden.
The SGF will be held in conjunction with the Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival with a programme line-up that includes concerts, tours, talks and exhibitions to celebrate the Gardens' heritage.
The SGF will take place at the outdoor area at Level 1 of Ion Orchard and at its Basement 4 event space as well as at the civic plaza in Ngee Ann City from July 30 till Aug 7. The festival will take place at the Singapore Botanic Gardens from July 30 till Aug 9.
Admission to the festival is free.