Before Blossom Beats came along, Tulipmania was my favourite event at Gardens by the Bay. When I was much younger, tulips were my favourite flowers and I have always wanted to visit tulip flower fields in Holland. I still do btw. It’s one of items on my bucket list that I have yet to strike off. Just like seeing sakura in Japan. But thanks to Gardens by the Bay, at least I get to see a mini version of it right here in Singapore every year.
As with all seasonal events at Flower Dome, there are usually 3 display areas: At the entrance, the main foyer and the exit. Let’s start with the entrance area. Just to give you an idea, this is what the entrance display looked like at some of the previous events:
So when I entered the Flower Dome, I was all excited to see the entrance display for this year’s Tulipmania. But when I stepped in, my first reaction was, “Ermmm… Where is it??”
Oh THERE! Yup, what you see in the photo above was all. No huge windmills or fountains surrounded by tulips as I expected. Just planter boxes filled with different species of tulips.
So I went up closer to begin my crash course on the different types of tulips.
I got to say the tulips were very organised and well-signed and we could easily match the tulip to their names, unlike during Blossom Beats where the trees and their signs were more randomly placed.
I quickly got over my disappointment from the lack of fanciful decorations and set-ups when I got close to the tulips. I reminded myself that it was all about the flowers and the tulips were just so beautiful up close!
I tested myself on my newly acquired knowledge of tulip names. Let’s see if I got it right.
Awesome. I think by the time my annual pass to Gardens by the Bay expires, I could pass off as a botanist! Okay, kidding. My memory is so bad, I am sure I would have forgotten all their names by next week.
And so, Tulipmania just started last weekend. I was there on Monday, the third day of the event. It was interesting to see that some of the flowers were already at full bloom while some were still buds.
Moving on, let’s go to the main display area in the foyer. Again, it didn’t look very big or fanciful. But it was definitely well organised.
The central display was largely split into planter boxes with one type of tulip in each box.
There were some patches that were less OCD-friendly with a mix of different tulips.
Oh, I forgot to mention. This year’s theme is Turkish. Because apparently tulips traced back to the Ottoman Empire (ancient Turkey). So the decorations were kind of Turkish. They were also playing Turkish music throughout the Flower Dome.
The path between the planter boxes were laid with Turkish tiles. But you can’t step inside, you can only walk around the perimeter.
To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of the whole Turkish theme. I preferred the cliche Dutch theme from the past. What amused me were the cherry trees – ‘leftover’ from Blossom Beats I presumed.
Two of my favourite flowers in the same place! Cherry blossom blooming above me, tulips blooming below me. I was one happy girl. Check it out, you could even see Marina Bay Sands hotel in the backdrop. #UniquelySingapore
And let me bring your attention to my favourite tulips at the display. They are called Tulips ‘Orange Balloons’ and they are HUGE compared to the rest of the tulips!
There were some more tulips along the sides and those were arranged in rows instead of patches.
I love flower fields that are planted in rows. They reminded me of the flower fields in Hokkaido, of course on a much smaller scale.
I think I need to return again a week later when the tulips have bloomed a bit more. It will probably be much prettier then.
But the good thing about visiting early was, as I mentioned earlier, the sakura that still remained.
As you can see below, the sakura were clearly wilting, so I am not sure how long more they would hang around – literally.
And before leaving, there were another four planter boxes of tulips at the exit area. Nothing we haven’t already seen.
I was a little underwhelmed by this year’s Tulipmania in terms of the set-up and decorations. Partly also because the previous event, Blossom Beats, set the bar real high in terms of decorations.
But there is no denying that the tulips were extremely gorgeous and well maintained.
No matter when you go, there will be some tulips that are in full bloom, some beyond full bloom and some that are still buds. Afterall, Tulipmania is going to last until 22 May. They will keep replacing the the wilted ones with fresh buds throughout the event.
However if you missed Blossom Beats and are hoping to catch some cherry blossoms while you are there, do go soon. It was a lot less crowded compared to the day I visited during Blossom Beats, and this is your chance to take a photo standing under a weeping cherry tree without being photobombed.
INFORMATION ON Tulipmania 2016:
Date: 8 April – 22 May 2016
Time: 9am – 9pm Daily
Venue: Gardens by the Bay, Flower Dome
Credit card discount: Use OCBC credit card for 15% discount.
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