Uncle-nephew designers' show garden wins big at S'pore Garden Festival competition

(From left) Mr Eliam Eng, Mr Kenny Eng and Mr Andy Eng in their show garden at the Singapore Garden Festival, on July 29, 2022. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - A garden designed by an uncle-nephew duo that reimagines an Orchard Road where buildings are connected by bridges filled with greenery won big at this year's Singapore Garden Festival.

To symbolise the bridges, local landscape designers Eliam Eng and his nephew Andy Eng created a spiral structure taller than 4m made of metal, fibreglass and rattan that sits in the middle of the 64 sq m garden, with fruit trees such as the strawberry guava and Brazilian grape trees, as well as nutmeg light installations.

The garden titled The Orchard Bridge and five other show gardens are now on display at the biennial festival, which is being held at Ngee Ann City and Ion Orchard, as well as at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

At a ceremony held at Ion Orchard on Friday (July 29), Mr Eliam Eng, 69, and Mr Andy Eng, 46, scooped up the Gold Award, Best of Show and Best Construction awards in the festival's Show Garden competition.

The younger Mr Eng, who is passionate about landscaping, said: "I hope the public will appreciate landscaping and young people will start to join our trade and create something different."

National Development Minister Desmond Lee also gave out awards for the festival's Community Garden Edibles competition, where unique edibles such as a silver skin onion and a polar bear pumpkin - white, as its name suggests - were brought in by gardening enthusiasts.

Winning fruits and vegetables can be viewed at the Cavern of Edibles outside Ion Orchard.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was the guest of honour at the awards ceremony, said he is confident the festival will galvanise a growing interest in community gardening.

"In my ward in East Coast, and in other constituencies around Singapore, community gardens are blossoming and flourishing," he said. "Across the island, we now have 1,800 community gardens and nearly 2,200 allotment garden plots in 25 parks."

Mr Heng added that beyond the festival, the Government plans to transform Orchard Road into a lush green urban corridor.

Part of this year's festival is held in Orchard Road in support of ongoing efforts to rejuvenate the shopping street with new retail experiences and more greenery.

The festival, organised by the National Parks Board, features 28 displays by local and international professional designers and community gardeners.

Australian designer Christian Jenkins in his show garden titled Inner Growth Garden. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Australian designer Christian Jenkins, 49, also received a Gold Award for his show garden titled Inner Growth Garden, which focuses on mental wellness and features rare plants such as a 60-year-old fan palm which can cost up to $10,000.

He said that as people become busier with work, especially in Singapore, gardens can help them recharge.

"I'd like visitors to feel a nice connection inside their hearts, a sense of calmness and happiness," he added.

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