First-timers steal show at S'pore Garden Fest

First-timers steal show at S'pore Garden Fest
Singapore Garden Festival (SGF) is organised by the National Parks Board (NParks) and Gardens by the Bay and more than 30 internationally acclaimed garden and floral designers are involved. This is the first time SGF is held at Gardens by the Bay and will be one of the unique shows in the world to feature both indoor and outdoor tropical horticultural garden and floral displays.

A British landscaping duo and an American garden designer have taken the top prizes at the Singapore Garden Festival.

Mr Andrew Wilson, 54, and Mr Gavin McWilliam, 38, founders and directors of Wilson McWilliam Studio, won the gold and best of show in the landscape gardens category.

Mr Michael Petrie, 62, garnered those awards in the fantasy gardens category for his Back To The Wild display.

The various winners were announced yesterday at the festival, which opens to the public today at Gardens by the Bay and will run until Aug 24.

Mr McWilliam, who is taking part in the festival for the first time, said: "We were trying to produce something ambitious and memorable. After all, it's a show garden, and our design had to be something that could be done only in this arena."

The pair designed a two-storey garden named Sacred Grove, complete with 37 trees on the roof to create a canopy.

Mr Petrie - who is also exhibiting in Singapore for the first time - made a garden that blended recyclable materials and plants, creating the impression of a modern city overrun by nature.

These two gardens, together with 13 others by Singaporean and international designers, form the centrepiece at the biennial festival.

Now in its fifth edition, the event was previously held indoors, at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The festival grounds, which span 2.2ha, fan out across Gardens by the Bay, stretching all the way from The Meadow to the Flower Dome, where an orchid extravaganza featuring 18,000 blooms is on show.

Apart from enjoying the many garden types on display, visitors can also check out the marketplace, where more than 80 vendors will sell a wide array of plants and gardening and landscape products and services, as well as arts and crafts.

Mr Petrie, who has participated in numerous garden shows around the world, gave this one the thumbs up.

"The Singapore festival is an up-and-coming flower show in the world, and it's going to get bigger each year," he said.

"International designers want to come, as it is a well-organised event and held in a beautiful location - the perfect spot for a garden festival."

This article was first published on August 16, 2014.
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