Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dahlia Dreams & the Now-Ended Spring Surprise 2017 @ Flower Dome [Singapore's Gardens by the Bay]

The intention was to blog about Gardens by the Bay's Spring Surprise 2017 before the lunar new year celebrations ended but as you can deduce from now, the festival concluded last Saturday and here i am; continuing to generate a post about it so that i can read about it when i am old and maybe suffering from terrible memory loss. 

Can't imagine why i took two long weeks to come out with this as i entered the flower dome on the third day of the rooster year. Oh, i recall - i am a minute taker for a major meeting early this month and given my poor grasp of English, it took me a while to craft a somewhat decent set for approvals.

Chinese-themed pop-up decorations greeted us as we entered the cool arena; lunar new year (LNY) was known in the old days as Chinese New Year but the term is phasing out as LNY isn't exclusively for the Chinese! However, you can't deny the fact that the Chinese celebrates it with the most pomp and gaiety!

Brought my family along as the oldies my parents got free entries for every paying adult! Furthermore, Louise had never been to both conservatories; shy on her as a Singaporean! 

Be prepared to see loads of photographs featuring my mom; she is always game for a nice pose and that's really helpful as her existence added a personal "human" touch to my pictures as i generally dislike pictures taken of me. 

Scene at the ever-changing flower field - if you have never been to flower dome at gardens by the bay, it's essentially a space that changed according to seasons; a sight you wouldn't see in tropical Singapore.

This time round, the decorations at flower field were in direct reference to the LNY although along the same line, it's also a display for dahlias. p.s. don't ask me much about flowers; i like how they look and the cheerfulness they bring to us but anything deeper and you would see me with a blank expression. 

There will be tons of random photos so that all my efforts in taking picture like the above would not be wasted. Frankly, i was expecting chrysanthemums to be the star flower although i remember it was featured a few years ago during LNY too. 

Both of them again.

Visitors were lining up in front of this booth and i can roughly guess the activity would likely be related to the LNY celebrations.

Write your own Chinese couplets! Write would be an overstatement since the Chinese characters were already printed and you just needed to paint them using the brush dipped in prosperous-gold ink, calligraphy style. 

Louise spotted this beautiful, standalone flower. 

Egg painting was more for Easter than LNY - i figured there's no harm, especially when Singapore is renowned to be a melting pot of all cultures!

Walking underneath the leafy canopy with hanging Chinese lanterns. When i was younger, i always want to have a big house with a huge garden where i can decorate it according to festivals; now that i am older, i think i am happy with a much smaller house. Less household chores and reduced risk of chancing upon a roaming snake! 

The egg painting activity that's even more popular than the calligraphy one. We didn't partake in any as we had relatives visiting in the evening and there's still the yet-to-visit cloud forest conservatory in our itinerary. 

A closer look at the temporary Chinese pagoda at flower field. 

Flowers had that irresistible draw on humans to take pictures of them and with the proliferation of camera phones and economically priced cameras, it's getting easier; albeit the downside is that some people can take extremely long to compose and shoot a picture! 

Gigantic Chinese painting to show the mountains and waterfalls we wouldn't get to see in the little red dot. In ancient times and maybe back in China, people would appreciate the painting and maybe think of poems in relation to it; in Singapore, it's a matter of taking a photo and to continue on with our journey.

Just like we shouldn't pluck flowers when the plants don't belong to us; the same philosophy is applied to the fruits too! Inconsideration has no place in a civil society! 

Them again in front of sunny sunflowers! 

There are two ways to decipher this set of sculptures; first impression, they would likely frighten the security guards late at night and secondly, it depicted a 'broken" family. 

Mom and the flowers; now that i am no longer staying with her, i do treasure the moments i have with her and my dad. Of course, i tried to do my part although the one bearing the heaviest responsibility is my youngest sister; kudos to her! 

Crowd control measure - a bigger crowd was expected as it was the third day of LNY which was a public holiday too. Furthermore, there was talk this year that visitation should reduce on the third day; a supposed custom i wasn't aware of. 

Clear sign that it's the year of the chicken! 

Where were all the flowers?! Were they all plucked away by inconsiderate visitors?! p.s. i know people would immediately point fingers to the Chinese from China but to be fair, i know of locals who would do that too! 

I did mention before that i am weak in flowers; hence, i don't know whether these are begonias or dahlias (one of the signs mentioned begonias). For begonias alone, there are more than 1,700 species.

The four paintings may not look much from afar and i only realised now that i am blogging that each of them was in reference to a plant / flower; from left to right, it's plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum.

Thanks to the sign, i know now that dahlias are native to mexico and central America and belong to the sunflower family! 

Was this the same flower we spotted earlier? The standalone one?

Pathway surrounding the flower field. Since it was the LNY, festive flowers (like plumed cockscomb) and plants in addition to the decorations were put out to better the atmosphere. 

My huge, extended family used to have many pots of this water plum blossom (水梅) when we were living in the village. 

Mum with the chick and rooster. Frankly, having live chickens and chicks might liven up the place although i can just imagine from the point of the management that the stench of chicken shit would not likely been taken lightly by the visitors.

Plenty of photo opportunities although it's recommended not to jam the pathways. Furthermore, the staff on duty would likely ask you not to block the passage. Recommendations; invest in a good camera with a fast focus processor! 

I love sunflowers! 

Passageway on the other side of the flower field was much more spacious and no minder was on standby to chase you when you 'overextend' your 'stay'.

Mum in front of the pavilion which didn't allow anyone to step in for obvious reasons; there's a chance people (as in those inconsiderate bastards) would hog the entire pavilion! 

A big pot of eye-catching chrysanthemum cultivar (whatever that means); they were so perfect, i thought they were fake initially. 

More of the dahlias; an interesting fact is that they appear to be a single bloom yet the truth is that each head is actually a cluster of smaller flowers known as florets! There are only about 30 dahlia species with flowers ranging in size from 5 to 25 centimeters

These overarching overhanging structures would not be out of place on a planet we know as Pandora; speaking of which, when is Avatar 2 coming out?!

Pictures with the Chinese style pagoda - you can walk into it and although there were supposedly three levels, you can't go any further up as there wasn't any stairs. 

Only photo of my mum and dad that day! 

大地回春 - literally means the earth is going back to spring; some sort like a rejuvenation as the cold and bare weather gives way to greenery, flowering plants and a warmer climate. 

A brood of chickens guarding over a nest filled with golden eggs.

As a lottery addict for 4D and TOTO, mum would not give up the opportunity to take a picture of her beside the golden eggs as a symbol of upcoming wealth and prosperity! 

On our way out of flower dome.

The section where you can see blooming roses lined up on the side; i think the rose is the most recognisable flower in the world and i bet it's the first flower species that many of us were taught from young.

Sunflower fanatics would not be disappointed with the many plots of sunflowers! 

p.s. Dahlia Dreams would still be valid until this Sunday! Want to go yet detest the queue at the counters? You have the option to purchase your tickets online! Click here

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For my original post on Flower Dome, click here.
For my original post on Cloud Forest, click here.

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