Bulb stars

Bulb stars
Three-year-old Naomi Ong (above) is one of several Garden Angels helping to plant the bulbs at the Flower Dome for this year's display. Last year's Tulipmania at Gardens by the Bay had blue hyacinths along with rows of tulips.

Last week, a cargo-load of 25,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands arrived at Changi Airport.

They were transported to the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, where the large onion-like shapes with short, fleshy leaves sprouting were planted gingerly into a 200 sq m plot of soil.

Come Monday, visitors to the dome will get a taste of Dutch springtime when the bulbs will have blossomed into a vibrant bed of striking scarlet-hued petals of Red Princess tulips, bright pink fringed-petaled Kingston tulips, deep yellow Golden Artist tulips and more.

Another 25,000 tulips will arrive later this month.

In total, 20 varieties will be on show as part of Tulipmania, Singapore's largest tulip display held at Gardens by the Bay. It ends on May 4.

Tulipmania is part of the Gardens by the Bay Goes Around The World series of exhibitions, which highlights iconic flowers of countries and continents around the globe.

This is the second year that Tulipmania is taking place here.

At last year's edition, 40,000 tulips were on show and they attracted a 30 per cent increase in visitorship. Gardens by the Bay could not provide actual numbers, but noted that the event was a "huge success".

Ms Marziah Haji Omar, assistant director of gardens design at Gardens by the Bay, whose job is to conceptualise the theme and select the plants for Tulipmania, says most of the varieties of tulips this time around will be different from last year's.

She says the themed floral display this year "will bring a mini Holland to Singapore and enable visitors to experience the splendour of tulips without the hassle of leaving the country".

Last year, the floral display was inspired by the tulip fields of Holland. This year, visitors will get to see a miniature version of Amsterdam's city architecture and scenic canals.

The exhibition here, supported by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, offers a slice of what one would see at Keukenhof in Holland, the world's largest flower garden which showcases tulips from March to May each year.

It has been going on for 65 years and draws around 900,000 visitors from all over the world annually.

Life! got the opportunity to visit the sprawling 32ha flower park in Lisse, south of Holland, on a media trip last month.

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