Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trees of the World

In the sweltering temperatures of Singapore, it can be a little hard for me to get in the holiday spirit. So when I heard that the Singapore Botanic Garden was hosting over 300 Christmas trees, I dragged Bryan along, hoping to capture some holiday enthusiasm. We decided to make a date of it, and started out with dinner at Casa Verde.

Casa Verde is a cool place, because it's located just inside the Botanic Gardens, so there's lots of greenery and bird song all around. We ate outside as the sun set and the lights came on in the garden. It was a great backdrop for dinner.
Dinner in a garden

The place has a wood-fired oven, so we got pizzas for dinner. We were both very happy with our pizzas, which is kind of unusual for us. Americans can be very hard to please when it comes to pizza in Asia! It was fun to watch the pizzas being made too!
There's a window to the kitchen so you can watch your pizza being made
Grilled vegetable pizza

It was a nice dinner, and it would have been really romantic, except that it seemed that every child in Singapore had also chosen to eat at Casa Verde that day. So it was pretty loud in there, especially because the two boys at the table next to us were tossing a rugby ball back and forth across the table (Yes, their parents were at the same table. No, they did not do anything to stop it). I think a lot of families had the same idea that we did - to eat dinner then check out the trees - so I'm guessing it's not usually that chaotic.

After dinner we strolled through the gardens. The lit-up trees were part of an event called Trees of the World. Over 300 tropical trees were sponsored by embassies of different countries, companies, and sometimes individual families. Each tree was decorated by the sponsor, so no two were alike. We started out right next to the entrance, where some of the country trees were.
The UK tree
Australia's contribution

Of all the country trees (and there were a lot!), there were two that really stood out. Russia's tree was all about their space accomplishments, and was decorated with rockets, satellites, and astronauts. It was pretty great.
Rocket on Russia's tree
A pretty "stellar" tree

My absolute favorite tree was Uganda's, which was covered in tiny animal ornaments. It was so cute!
Uganda wins "cutest tree," in my opinion. The hippo agrees.

As we walked along, we realized that we had passed the country trees and were looking at trees sponsored by companies. But we never saw a USA tree! So sad! The company trees were beautiful though. Lots of them used everyday products like water bottles or old CDs to make ornaments. I thought that was a neat idea.
Slightly creepy water bottle angels
Creative ornaments
Made from straws!
My favorite ornament! It's just dried glue!!

We noticed several trees that were sponsored by landscaping companies, which seemed like an innovative way to advertise. One even incorporated live orchids into their tree decoration!
Orchid with tree lights shining through

I had a couple other favorites, including one tree decorated entirely with ornaments made from LEGOs and another by a medical supply company that from afar just looked like bright stars, but up close revealed x-rays!
LEGO duckling!
Like Halloween and Christmas combined!

The gardens were decorated beautifully, and it was really nice to walk through them at night. It was easy too - the Botanic Gardens MRT station opened recently, so it's a cinch to get there now! I recommend checking out the Trees of the World while you can - they'll be lit up until January 1st. You can take the MRT and follow the signs to the trees, or you can get a taxi to the Nassim Gate. Visiting the trees might just help you find some holiday spirit, even here in the tropics!


1 comment:

  1. Happy Holidays! visiting via garden girl :) I love this post. I have never been to many places in the world so seeing their tress is a real neat experience. Thanks!
    Ali xo