Sunday, 22 July 2012

Singapore Garden Festival 2012

I checked out the Garden Festival over the weekend at Suntec to get ideas for growing food in the city and to see what other sustainable things would be there. Whilst it wasn't one of the themes of the show, there were a few themes that I picked up on:
- Growing food
- Green walls and roofs
- Green organisations.


Growing food

A couple of the gardens contained ideas for growing food. The first one I came across was Designer Veera Sekaran's Living Green Balcony (must have been named ofer me! ;) ) There was a nifty idea for growing lots of chillies, herbs and spices in a small area. It contained a number of long, thin containers in a moveable frame with an irrigation system built in.

Chillies growing in the Living Green Balcony vertical planter

Irrigation tubes built into the top of the planter. 

The next garden I came across was the "My Home Garden" in the Horticulture and Community section. This garden was a recreation of an apartment but was full of plants and displays, like the train track which was in a real mini jungle! Outside the kitchen was a mini kitchen garden with herbs and vegeatables.

The kitchen garden in My Home Garden.

The final food themed garden was the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore's (AVA) Garden of Edibles and Ceral Grains. The garden contained examples of plants that could be grown in a community garden, like cassava, sweet potato and soy beans. I picked up one of their lealets which tells you how to grow the crops and also where to get seeds from. The companies listed are Ban Lee Huat, Faithful Provider Agricultural Products and Seeds, Far East Flora, Known-You Seeds Distribution (SEA) and World Farm Co.

A couple of the market stalls sold vegetable seeds - I bought some for my (soon to be started) balcony garden - Far East Flora and Kiat Lee Landscape & Building.

I also bought some potting compost but the packet is all in Chinese so I have no idea what is in it. Not good if it is 100% peat! Here's why. The really annoying thing was that I walked past the GreenBack Compost stand afterwards. Their compost is made from garden waste from Singapore and has a Green Label. I know where I'll be going next time!

One final stand that I saw was the Watercircle Hydroponics promoting hydroponics for vegetable growing.

Vegetables growing in a hydroponics system

Hydropoic tomatoes

Green Walls and Roofs

The Living Green Balcony demonstrated the small scale application of green walls, but the Skyrise Greenery stand took it to a whole new level!

Skyrise Greenery is a collaboration between the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE) and National Parks. It promotes the use of roof gardens, green walls and roofs through an incentive scheme, awards and conferences. There are many benefits of greening buildings in this way, such as reducing temperatures both inside and outside the building, increasing urban biodiversity, reducing air pollution and reducing rainwater run-off. One of the leaflets I picked up from the stand - A concise guide to Rooftop Greening - even suggests using the roof space to grow vegetables. Yay!
More infomation about Skyrise Greenery!

There were a few stands of companies who sell systems for green walls and roofs. Here's a list (sorry if I missed you off!), some of whom have GreenLabels for their products:
- Uniseal Creative Solutions
- Greenology
- Greentech Materials
- Prince's Landscape & Construction

Green Organisations

There were a few organisations there that promote a more sustainable way of doing things. Apart from those mentioned above, there was also:
Kranji Countryside Association who promote Singapore's own farms.
The Green Volunteers who are a group who get involved in hands-on projects such as mangrove clean-ups, gardening and nature guide training.
The Nature Society (Singapore) is dedicated to preserving biodiversity.

The Nature Society's stand was popular
It all amounted to quite a busy afternoon!


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