Friday, May 8, 2009

Orchid welcomes and farewells

My vote for the best indoor display of orchids? The Orchid Garden and Koi Pond at Terminal 2 at Changi airport, Singapore . Just look at these photos ! Oh, and do click on them to enlarge. These orchids deserve your full-screen attention. I had to literally pick my jaw up from the floor where it was doing a great job of drooling all over the place.

For those of you haven't seen it before, the Orchid Garden seems to make everything else look like they're arranged around it. As if it were the raison d'etre of the airport itself. It probably is, for all I know... I can't think of a better welcome for an incoming passenger than to be greeted by this flamboyant display. Or, for that matter, a more memorable farewell !

Huge pieces of driftwood placed around the Koi pond are liberally smothered with the most amazing tropical orchids. Each area seemed to specialise in different orchids. The one in the photo above shows the Phalaenopsis orchids.

Here's a close-up . I didn't notice those little clips clamping the stem to a wire. No wonder they arch so gracefully.

I loved this one! Somehow the photo doesn't do it justice but believe me, it was truly beautiful.

Then there was this huge display of Oncidiums. Can you imagine a 10-foot tall drift of yellow? Or a zillion Dancing Girls (as they're also known) all nodding their heads at you?

Yellow looks great on Dendrobiums too. There was this big patch of yellow dends. which was really eye-catching. Somehow I always associate dends with purple or white so seeing this big patch of sunshine was really refreshing.

Mmm... I think I could go back to Singapore just to wander around the airport garden! They should put it up in the guidebooks as one of Singapore's best tourist attractions.

I loved the way the driftwood was arranged around the pond. This was one of my favourite spots, with a piece overhanging the pond. The Phalaenopsis look so healthy that I'm really jealous.

The photo below gives a better look at how the pond and garden harmonize. Believe me, it looks much, much more impressive in person but I just had to share this with you anyway.
Envy loves company, you know !

30 comments:

  1. Wow! It's gorgeous! I bet they have some full time gardeners caring for it and it smells heavenly. Love the color.

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  2. What a wonderful idea to have an indoor garden at an airport! So many airports here in the US are so functional and boring. Not at all pleasant to hang out in.

    Thanks for sharing these amazing photos. I especially like that pink and creamy white orchid. It reminds me of peppermint ice cream (one of my favorite flavors). The driftwood combined with the flower display is really striking. I love the whole effect.

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  3. Such Beauty, looks like heaven.

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  4. Tina, I'm sure they have people looking after the Orchid Garden but they're not where anyone can see them. There's no one trimming or clipping or clearing anywhere around. Maybe they have some Oompa-Loompas?
    Smell... no, these orchids are scent-less. But there's so much of overload on the sense of sight that I'm sure they had to cut down on the sense of smell :) Though I'm told that there are some Oncidiums which smell of chocolate!

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  5. Isn't it a great idea, Carol? I thought so too. I found the people in Singapore have a highly developped sense of aesthetics. That's probably what led them to create such beauty for the rest of us.
    I wish I knew who exactly is responsible for designing the Orchid Garden. I would probably award them The Urban Gardener's certificate of Garden Artist of the Century!

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  6. Cathy, when I saw the garden the first time, I was in a hurry because I had someone waiting for me outside and we were already late. So I kept walking ahead but turning my head around so as to not miss looking at it for even a second. I 'm sure I looked like the Incredible Rubber-necked Woman !

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  7. Aah ... I've droolled over them each time ... but I think your snaps are really great ... there's so many more additions ... they seem to have made.
    and the koi pond ... it always made be wonder if Singapore has a gereous additude towards gardening refugees.:):)

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  8. Its really very beautiful, what a colorful, cheerful welcome and farewell

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  9. Weren't you tempted to take a dip in the pond ;)? I mean it looks like a perfect pool! I envy you for having been able to see those beauties for real. That clip idea was great, whoever the designer was. So perfect and looks like a heavenly tropical pool!

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  10. Just - wow! Normally one has such awful associations with airports as over-bright, over-commercial places with people rushing about and ear-splitting announcements and all the hassles of modern travel. What a great idea to have such an abundance of beauty, which will surely make the airport experience a far pleasanter one.

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  11. I so enjoyed this and your last few posts...such a gorgeous variety of color, texture and forms! You always have the most beautiful flowers to share with us! Your corner of the world is a paradise!

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  12. What a display ! All the orchids are absolutely gorgeous!!

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  13. I think its an ongoing project, Rajee. I've seen some of their earlier photos and like you said, there are are a lot of small differences.
    Gardening refugees... I like that tag :)

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  14. Zindagi, can you believe that this even stopped me from hitting the duty-free shops? Time much better spent, in my opinion!

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  15. Mmmm... not really, Chandramouli. I'm not really keen on having fish nibble at my toes and there were some very big Koi fish in there. Pretty, but big.
    The pool did look heavenly though. I just didnt want to get up close and personal with the fish in it ;)

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  16. Absolutely, Kamini! I think more airports can use this a modl, dont you? I know that we grow a lot of orchids, heliconias, etc. in India. I wonder how feasible an Orchid Garden at our airports would be. Or a lotus pool for that matter, if one really wanted to be a stickler for the patriotic and feature the national flower.

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  17. Thanks, Kim. Now why on earth do I think so longingly of your gorgeous dragonflies and your beautiful, tranquil pool?
    All of us carry our own piece of paradise with us, dont we? :)

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  18. Wow! what a treat.They are so beautiful.

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  19. Yeah, isnt it, NatureStop? The best part is that it really lingers in the memory. Something to fall back on when trying to beat the traffic jams in Mumbai :D

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  20. WOW.... STUNNING!!!!!
    Breathtaking!
    Linda

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  21. This brought memories of my 2 trips there.

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  22. My thoughts exactly, Linda :D

    I guess they're quite hard to forget, arent they Amila? I can't imagine anyone being able to overlook such a beautiful display.

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  23. Wow! Just gorgeous. Who would ever known it was in an airport. I would be late for the plane looking around:-) It would make you feel better just to be around this display while you were waiting. Just Wonderful!

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  24. Luckily that didnt happen but I know exactly what you mean, Lona. I just kept going around this garden and each time I would discover something new to marvel at.

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  25. Like you, I would get glued to this section of the airport, whenever I visit Singapore or on a transit at Changi Airport. This is one of the most beautiful airport filled with natural elements that I have been. Love it!

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  26. Lucky you for being close enough to visit it often if you want to! I really agree with you wholeheartedly about the 'most beautiful airport' part. I wish we had something like it here.

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  27. Unbelievably gorgeous! And to think all this beauty is in an airport, no less. How innovative and inviting! It positively makes me want to travel to Singapore to see those wonderful orchids for myself :)
    I'm so glad you shared them, Sunita. Thank you!

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  28. And yes, the pink and cream orchid is my favorite as well. Incredibly beautiful!

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  29. Kerri, isn't that pink and cream phalaenopsis just too gorgeous? I've been trying to find out where I can get one but without any luck so far.
    I wish I could travel there just once more myself. The lure of that Orchid terminal is really, really strong.

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