In the U.S. you have two major gardens serving different recognized purposes. Longwood Gardens is a wonderful show garden, founded by the Du Pont family. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical research institution, founded by Henry Shaw. In Great Britain, the Wisely Gardens (Wedgewood) serves as the show garden, and the Kew Gardens (British nobility) is the research garden.
On Thursday, we visited Singapore's research garden. Today, we saw their show garden. Boy, was it a show.
Gardens by the Bay founding Executive Director (Kiat W. Tan) who retired a couple of years ago, credits his father with inspiring both his fascination for horticulture, and for helping get the gardens begun. When Tan was eleven, his father gave his mother an orchid which impressed Tan. "My father gave my mother a spray of orchids that I thought was just beautiful. And it lasted for more than a couple of weeks. What flowers would do that? They were Dendrobium, a French-bred Dendrobium." Later, Tan's father, who had founded the first commercial rubber company in Singapore, donated funds to prevent the site from being developed.
To see all of the photos taken today (lots), click on Saturday, Mar 31st, Singapore.