We were toying with the idea of booking a flight to Japan to witness the Cherry blossoms in April. However due to various reasons, the plan didn’t materialise. When we received the Press Release that there will be a Cherry blossoms floral display at Gardens By The Bay, I couldn’t be happier. My dream of experiencing ‘Hanami’ under the Sakuras in Japan may not be able to come true (yet) but hey, I am now able to see them in person, right here in Singapore!
More than 20 varieties of cherry blossoms, or ‘Sakura’, are showcased in the floral display. Visitors can look forward to seeing Sakuras such as the Prunus Fujishidare which has pendulous branches, the Prunus Yedoenis Yoshino which stands out with its striking white flowers, and the Prunus Accolade, with its pale pink blooms.
Prunus Yedoensis ‘Yoshino’
In addition to cherry blossoms, peach blossoms are in bloom too. One unusual variety on show is the Prunus Genpei Shidare which has flowers of two different colours – red and white – growing on the same plant.
Surrounded by a multitude of Cherry Blossoms!
Styled after a traditional Japanese garden, “Blossom Beats” will also feature quintessential Japanese elements such as a tori gate, Japanese screens and kimonos.
Feels almost as if we were in Japan!
Cherry blossoms only last about one to two weeks so the floral display will run till March 27, 2016. When we visited on Thursday, about 70% have bloomed. I enjoyed the floral display so much we lingered in the Flower Dome for two hours. There are free guided tours at 11am and 3pm daily. Please visit Gardens by the Bay’s Facebook page for updates.
Dave’s Tips for capturing the Cherry Blossoms
- Go Early: The Flower Dome opens at 9am. Be there early to avoid the crowd so that your photos are ‘clean’ with little distractions. If you choose to bring your tripod, a little less crowd means a bit more space for your tripod too (For me, I wanted my angles to be more fluid so all my shots were handheld.)
- Catch the softer light: By going early, you can capitalize on the softer (i.e. less harsh) light of the day to shoot. From experience, the light turns harsher from around 11am until 5pm. If you can’t make it in the morning, shooting the Sakuras after 5pm may give you that softer light too but you gotta act fast before the day gets dark and lighting becomes tricky.
- Be patient: Do expect some crowd no matter what time you go as everyone is there to appreciate the Sakuras too. If people are in your way, either wait for them to move away (and they will) or politely say ‘excuse me’ and generally people will understand. I usually offer to take their photos for them and after taking the photo, they will leave. Sometimes having a person or two in the photo adds that bit of ‘life’ and story to the photo too.
- Buy your tickets in advance – We would advise visitors to buy their tickets ONLINE to avoid the queues. It can get very crowded past 11am and you’ll want to spend time admiring the Sakuras in the cooled conservatory rather than be in the Q under the humid weather.
- Go Close: Set your camera lens on ‘macro’ mode when shooting the Sakuras. If you’re using just your smart phones, go close to the blooms and focus on the details. Going close will also help to eliminate the crowds that would otherwise intrude into your frame.
“Blossom Beats” Floral Display at Gardens by The Bay
Date: Until 27 March 2016
Time: 9am to 9pm
Details: Admission charges to the Flower Dome apply (Local Resident Rate – One Conservatory Adult: $12; Senior Citizen (>60 years old): $8; Child (3-12 years old): $8).
After visiting the Flower Dome, do bring your kids to enjoy the activities at the Gardens of Wonder Children’s Festival! Read our post on it here and check out our friend, A Million Little Echoes’s photo album here.