Thursday, February 21, 2013

Succulents in the Dome

As an antidote to all that tropical lushness we've been posting recently about from our recent trip to Singapore, it's now the turn of Cacti and Succulents as we found a fantastic display of them inside the Flower Dome of Gardens by the Bay.

Succulents inside the colossal Flower Dome
The Flower Dome is one of two cooled conservatories (or glasshouses) within the complex of Gardens by the Bay and it houses a collection of plants from temperate regions of the world. This conservatory is climate controlled, with a cool-dry atmosphere while the other one, the Cloud Forest Dome has a cool-moist one (more about this conservatory in an upcoming post. The Flower Dome itself is colossal, actually both of them are and I will have to feature them in segments as well as a general overview of each of them.

Kalanchoe tomentosa
So back now to the Flower Dome, one of the areas in there is a Succulent Garden, presented in a way that they look like an 'Under the Sea' scape, like a coral reef if you may. Whilst the presentation is good as such, and rather unique, it doesn't really hit you as being under the sea as the succulents are very blue and grey. As far as I'm aware of a coral reef has a broader colour palette than that....

Under a blue and grey sea....
Coral reef looking or not, the presentation is undeniably beautiful and they have some very beautiful specimens in there that will excite fans of cacti, succulents, and other xerophytic plants. But if you're not then the area is still a wonderful sight to behold.


I will let the photos do most of the talking and this post is certainly going to be very photo intensive. But before I proceed even more I'd like to point out that the conservatories, despite having gorgeous and varied specimens, are poorly/sparsely labelled. Something that they ought to address if they want to up their game of being a more serious botanical institution. I will identify the ones I recognise myself but for those unlabelled and you know what they are feel free to add to your comment.

Or just enjoy the look of them anyway, labelled or not :)





Agave macroacantha


Another shot in perspective with the ceiling of the dome

Hehe!! And it's labelled too!

A reminder why I love Yucca rostrata (in a row, middle of photo)

Spots of yellow in a sea of blue - Faucaria tuberculosa


A spot of sculpture here and there adds to the contrast
Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy'
The clumps of aloes, aeoniums and sanseverias along the blue gravel looked great


Agave ferdinandi-regis
Agave victoriae-reginae
Agave lophantha and Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy'




It'll be nicer once the Aloe plicatilis gets even bigger

A nice and simple arrangement in a container!
A variegated Agave attenuata

Yay it's labelled! Agave celsii 'Nova'


Dyckias were represented too
Agave 'Blue Glow'







A familiar face - Agave bracteosa
The agaves on both sides are Agave parryi var. truncata


As the planting is new some bigger specimens are still supported


Some Puyas were there too, like this one...

Agave pachycentra


So there you go, this area is a succulent treat! And to think this is just one area! More sections of this conservatory to follow soon....

Mark :-)

28 comments :

  1. You got so many spectacular shots...I especially like the ones showing the architectural setting...and the one where you can see other buildings through the windows. I agree that poor signage is frustrating from an educational perspective, but a lack of it does kind of free us to just enjoy the beauty for its own sake.

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    1. The dome is so architectural indeed ricki, and worth admiration in its own right. Valid points there with the labelling, and yes even with the lack of it the planting is enjoyable just to look at :)

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  2. I could have spent most of the day there. The photos are fabulous. You know I usually like tags too. I am assuming with the size of some of the specimens that they were concerned about the distraction. It'd be nice if they did a large photo of areas and named them at least on that. If I like something I'd like to know the name so I can get one. Fantastic gardens.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. That's a good idea Cher, even if they didn't want to put tags all over a printed guide or overview plaques here and there are just as helpful. Even if you're not into plants you could easily spend a day or two just exploring the large complex alone :)

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  3. Oh wow. Just recently learnt this place existed. A friend of mine had just returned and I found it serendipitous surprise that you guys also made it. So incredible, Baobabs, orchids and a cloud forest mountain. This has been added to the bucket list for sure. Love your photos, nothing cooler than succulent gardens.

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    1. A must see place to visit soon indeed Nat :) being a plant lover like us you'll have a fantastic time exploring the place and taking lots of pictures too!

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  4. I found it sort of odd to read that it was a "cooled" environment for desert plants! Of course I under stand it does get blazingly hot there. Great shots and the only thing worse than an unlabeled botanical garden is an unlabeled nursery...

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    1. Same here Loree, it was odd (in a nice way) exploring a cooled greenhouse for a change. And seeing specimens that usually grow inside glasshouses in our regions growing outside there :) I do hope they improve on the labelling but the planting, at least in this area is superb already.

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  5. This is an amazing place. Regarding Portugal, the Jardim Botanico da Universidade de Lisboa is very nice & easy to find in central Lisbon. It's quite different from the Jardim Botânico da Ajuda in nearby Belém, which is amazing. There is also a tropical garden in Belém. I believe that would be worth your while, but I didn't see it.

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    1. Thanks for the info Jordan, very handy! :)

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  6. Stunning, such a wonderful array of contrasting textures and shapes. Strangely relaxing too. Maybe because of the limited colour palette? Impossible to single anything out, so many photos got an "ooh" or a sigh of delight.

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    1. It does look strangely relaxing indeed Janet. Usually arid beds are stimulating to look at but as you said the limited colour palette of mainly light blues helps tone it down :)

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  7. Don't you feel like getting each of those plants and growing them? I do. Amazing.

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  8. Oh wow the textures and shapes alongside those muted colours are just a feast for the eyes.

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  9. OMG! I can live without cacti, but I need to see succulents.... in my own garden or anywhere! They look so delicious! These images are fantastic and some of them... he-he... funny and thought provoking... Thank you So much!!!

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    1. You're welcome Tatyana! They have some lovely (and very interesting...) specimens indeed :)

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  10. The dome is just incredible. I quite fancy the orange spined arachnoid number.

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    1. Indeed, the dome itself is a sight in its own right :)

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  11. Interesting to see the variegated Agave attenuata. On my recent holiday in Maderia there were lots of the normal form. In January their swan necked flowers were a joy to behold. I got some wonderful pictures - although not quite your own standard!

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    1. Madeira is a wonderful garden island Roger. We have been several times and saw some similarities between the places with regards to their passion for plants and gardens. I'm sure you've taken some lovely photos :)

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  12. Wow! Love this part of the flower dome! Just when I've dug tons of organic matter into my soil to help retain moistue so that I can better grow water lovers, I decide that xeric plants are beautiful and think of replacing the soil with sand and gravel. Crazy.

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    1. Not crazy at all Peter, just wanting to grow both groups of plants which are both very nice! :)

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  13. Wow everything is growing so beautifully, and that's a lot of plants. Are they drip irrigated, so it is easy to maintain? I am so envious with you.

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    1. Hi Andrea, some of the plants are drip irrigated, not so much in the arid section though. Singapore is not too far from you :)

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  14. Pure eye Candy for me! Wow what an incredible place. I really love to see the same species planted in such large quantities! It is really lovely and they layered them very well also. Wonderful post!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them Candice. I knew you would appreciate so many succulents together :)

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