SINGAPORE: Gardens by the Bay has won gold at the 22nd World Orchid Conference (WOC 22) held in Ecuador with its orchid display, In a cavern, in a canyon. The winning display also went on to garner the Best of Show award, Gardens by the Bay said in a media release on Thursday (Nov 9).
In all, Gardens by the Bay took home 10 top accolades and 32 awards for individual plants.
This is the first year Gardens by the Bay is participating in the international event which is held every three years. Also known as the “Olympics of Orchids”, the conference opened yesterday in Ecuador’s Guayaquil Convention Center, and will run until Nov 12.
Gardens by the Bay’s win at WOC 22 coincides with its fifth anniversary this year, and is the first display that it is putting up outside of Singapore and on a world stage. The display was in competition with more than 30 entries from countries such as Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Barbados, Guatemala, Italy, Thailand, China, Taiwan and Canada.
The Gardens’ team said they wanted to portray the unexpected wonder of orchids thriving amidst a rocky landscape. In total, 3,600 orchids of 76 different varieties were featured, including many tropical orchids from the Southeast Asian region.
These include well-known blooms that put Singapore’s orchid industry on the map, such as Papilionanda Tan Hoon Siang, as well as orchids that have special meaning to the country such as Singapore’s Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim (popularly known as Vanda Miss Joaquim) and Renanthera Singaporeans.
Chief Operating Officer of Gardens by the Bay Felix Loh, said: “Competition standards are high with the many beautiful exhibits and we are proud that our orchid display shone at our first international outing. Competing on a world stage not only gives our staff the opportunity to hone their horticultural skills, but this achievement also raises the international standing of Gardens by the Bay as one of Asia’s foremost garden destinations.”
President of the World Orchid Conference Trust Sandra Tillisch Svoboda commended the Gardens’ team for their “impressive level of creativity and knowledge of orchids” despite the team only being five years old.
Gardens by the Bay received another accolade when its CEO Dr Kiat W Tan was conferred the status of Guest of Honour of Guayaquil – the largest city of Ecuador – by its mayor Mr Jaime Nebot Saadi, at the opening ceremony of WOC 22 on Nov 7.
Dr Tan was honoured for his life’s work in the stewardship of nature, such as his pioneering role in the dramatic transformation of Singapore’s landscape to achieve the country’s “City in a Garden” vision, and his important contributions to the field of botany and horticulture through the years.