Singapore Garden Festival
Established in 2006, the bi-annual Singapore Garden Festival has become one of the most important flower and garden festivals in the world. We asked Festival judge and editor of Fusion Flowers Alison Bradley why a visit here should be on every flower fan’s bucket list.
Dmitry Turcan, Best in Show. Photo by Denis Bradley, courtesy Fusion Flowers
The Singapore Garden Festival is so much more than a garden show – it takes place in Gardens by the Bay for a start, so the location alone makes it remarkable. I’ve taken two world flower experts there over the years and they were both absolutely blown away by it.
Floral design has been a major part of the Festival from day one and the standard here is very high. The organisers are meticulous in inviting exhibitors from around the world (2018’s edition included entries from Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Republic of Korea, Romania, Spain as well as Singapore), so there's always an interesting mix of approaches and, rather than having to pay to attend, the selected exhibitors are given a budget of $10,000 to create their five metre Floral Window. That makes a huge difference and means designers are able to do things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. One of my highlights from this year, for example, was Keith Lin’s suspended, colour graded design ‘Possibilities’, which won a Bronze.
Keith Lin, Bronze. Photo by Denis Bradley, courtesy Fusion Flowers
It’s hard to win a medal. The main criteria is that at least 40% of each design must be made from fresh flowers, but there are many others too and, if the exhibitors fall short in any area, the judging panel will deduct marks. It sounds tough, but it means that the Singapore Garden Festival has grown to become one of the most important floral design competitions in the world. And still we’re trying to increase standards year on year.
The ethos behind the Festival is very special too. It is jointly organised by Gardens by the Bay and the government supported National Parks Board (NParks) and their entire focus is on public enjoyment. I adore that concept. It’s very simple, but in this day and age it’s radical.
Richard Mock, Silver. Photo by Denis Bradley, courtesy Fusion Flowers
Nicu Bocancea, Silver. Photo by Denis Bradley, courtesy Fusion Flowers
The next edition of the Singapore Garden Festival runs in Summer 2020. Register your interest in our tour here