Singapore Topiary!

I never think of “Singapore” and “artfully carved ornamental shrubbery” in the same breath, largely because tropical rainforests don’t lend themselves to being politely shaped. So I was surprised and delighted to stumble on the topiary section of Gardens by the Bay.

This remarkable garden landscape features eight animals from Southeast Asia, including a tree shrew …

… a rhinoceros beetle …

… a pangolin …

… a fruit bat, a hornbill, and a binturong:

These animals all stand ringed in a circle around a large display of fig wasps …

… and figs (including one that you can crawl inside) …

… to show visitors the ways in which the lives of all of these animals are intricately interconnected.

A giant multi-story orangutan towers over the scene:

The topiaries themselves are largely crafted out of Indian laurel, though the hornbill and the orangutan are studded with air plants:

This is a wonderful spot to visit, though it’s tucked into a corner of the garden that many visitors are likely to miss. If you do make it and find yourself wishing for more traditional garden offerings, the Fruit and Flower garden is right next door!

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