From faux meadows to immaculate vintage tools, horticulture in the
Meanwhile, over on the other side of the planet, there is a place where horticulture is all about cutting-edge innovation. The island state of Singapore is less than half the size of
It was the brainchild of Singapore's first prime minister,
This Victorian view of landscaping as crucial to draw in the crowds (and their money) is in stark contrast to the
The 21st century brought a shift in vision for Singapore's town planning: it was no longer to be a garden city, but a city in a garden. Horticulture became part of standard planning laws, with developers of skyscrapers obliged to shroud large sections of their buildings in living walls and to top them with public-access "sky parks".
Lifted from ideas pioneered by British designers in
Across town at the Park Royal on Pickering hotel, a multistorey rainforest clings to the side of a glass building suspended high above the street. Palms, plumerias and tree ferns shade the interior of the building, keeping it cool, and curtains of jungle climbers drape down to connect the gardens on each floor.
The newly reclaimed harbourfront has been turned into a botanic garden. The
Singapore's glossy, thematic approach to horticulture may seem theatrical and gimmicky, but in many ways it is more faithful to the pioneering spirit of the British Victorian gardeners we often try to emulate than our own obsession for rehashing the past *
Terrace gardens: The jungle of palms, plumerias and tree ferns that clings to the Park Royal on Pickering hotel helps to shade and cool the interior
Soaring ambition (clockwise from above): Singapore's Gardens by the Bay, a green wall at Singapore's
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