Sunday, March 23, 2014


Back in January I had the opportunity to take a most unexpected garden tour. After all, when you go to an airport you expect to sit in the departure lounge and wait; maybe drink a cup of coffee or browse the bookstore. You do not expect to visit a garden. To do so would be a gardener's dream.

But this is Changi Airport, Singapore and they do things differently here. They even print a brochure on all the gardens you can visit. Let's see there are 5 gardens in Terminal 1, where we are waiting for our flight,  and the one I am making a bee line for is the Cactus Garden.

Cactus in Singapore? Where the humidity is shy of 100%. It must be indoors like the welcome air conditioned Dome in Garden on the Bay, which I will post about later.

Amazingly the garden is outside.

I sometimes think that you just can't go wrong when designing with agaves and cactus.

Throw in a few rocks and a few tree ferns and other ancient plants.

Maybe the odd metal sculpture like this saguaro.

Mulch with rocks and overlay with a few mat-forming sedums.

Maybe add some additional protection from the rain.

Add a few sculptures.

Is this like house leeks planted on the roofs of houses in England to ward away evil spirits?

I only had 10 minutes to rush around but if I am ever there again I will make a point of arriving with plenty of time to spare so I can visit all the gardens of Changi. In Terminal 1 additional to the Cactus Garden there is a Sculptural Tree Garden and a Lily Pad garden, Terminal 2 has a Bamboo Garden and a Sunflower Garden. Terminal 3 has a Butterfly Garden and Fern Garden. I won't even mention the pool, movie theatre etc. Who needs Duty Free!


  1. This is incredible! One could spend quite a bit of vacation time just exploring the airport! Thanks for taking us along! (Next time, can you bring the bigger suitcase? I had a heck of a time squeezing into your carry on!)

  2. An amazing find in such a crowded place. How fun you could take a few minutes to see this and the plants seem to be in beautiful condition despite the humidity. It seems many airports are becoming destinations but this one has gone above and beyond with the gardens.

  3. How fabulous! All airports should have gardens, flying would be a lot less stressful.

  4. Wow awesome! What a great idea and thanks for sharing the photos -

  5. Really nice! I'm happy when an airport has a decent restaurant, but now that I know what's possible...

    Love the saguaro sculptures!

  6. How clever of the designers. The inside of a plane is just about the precise opposite of a garden now that I think about it. I agree with danger garden - a garden (and the time to enjoy it) might just be the perfect antidote to all the technical stressors of air travel.

  7. How wonderful! Why can't US airports follow suit?! It would take the sting out of an experience that's becoming increasingly more difficult.

  8. Wow!!! I can´t believe you can find all those things in an airport!! It bet it is easier to lose one's flight at that airport!! thanks for the tour, it is awesome!

  9. Holy cow! I can't believe how many plants I recognize, and outdoors in that humidity, to boot! Amazing! I love that the Singapore airport promotes travelers going outside. I cannot even tell you how stir-crazy I get stuck inside on long layovers. I really appreciate their priorities!

  10. Now, that's the way to do an airport. Not just a lot of concrete.

  11. I wish more places were so enlightened.