DPM Heng Swee Keat at the Singapore Garden Festival Awards Night

DPM Heng Swee Keat | 29 July 2022

Speech by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat at the Singapore Garden Festival Awards Night on 29 July 2022.

Mr Desmond Lee,
Minister for National Development 

Mr Kenneth Er,
CEO, NParks

Professor Leo Tan,
Chairman, Garden City Fund

Ladies and Gentlemen

A warm welcome to the Awards Night of the 8th Singapore Garden Festival. 

Singapore Garden Festival 

We started this biennial Festival back in 2006, to celebrate and nurture our national passion for gardening and horticulture. It is the first show to bring together international award-winning landscape and garden designers, florists, and horticulturists. Over time, it has become one of the top garden and flower shows globally, attracting both local and international visitors. 

The previous edition of the Festival in 2020 was unfortunately cancelled because of COVID-19. But one silver lining is that during the pandemic, many of us developed a newfound appreciation for our green spaces. Many also took to gardening. In fact, research showed that those who garden 1 to 4 hours a week often had better mental resilience!  With Singapore opening up, I am delighted that we are able to bring back the Festival after a 4-year hiatus, and welcome international visitors.  

Festival Highlights

There are a number of exciting “firsts” in this year’s Festival. 

This is the first time that we are having the Festival across two locations, at Singapore Botanic Gardens and Orchard Road. 

Singapore Botanic Gardens is the site of Singapore’s earliest garden and flower shows. It is a wonderful garden, and our first UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a most fitting venue for the Singapore Garden Festival, and I am glad that we are doing so for the first time this year. 

The second location is Orchard Road, where we are this evening. Orchard Road is a more unexpected but no less appropriate. As its name suggests – Orchard Road used to be lined with nutmeg and clove plantations and filled with fruit orchards. The Festival will bring nature into the retail experience at Orchard - as you shop at ION Orchard or Ngee Ann City, you can enjoy the beautiful flower displays, and participate in gardening activities. Beyond the festival, we also have plans to transform Orchard Road into a lush green urban corridor.  

By having the Festival across these two venues, we hope that this will make the event even more accessible, and inspire more people to pick up and appreciate gardening.  

This is also the first time that the Festival is introducing a new segment: the ‘Floral Fiesta’. This live challenge will see amateur creators, budding florists, and floral hobbyists come together to create floral arrangements based on a wide variety of themes.

Over the next two weeks, there are many exciting activities lined-up, including several competitions held at the Botanic Gardens and along Orchard Road. Tonight, we are presenting the awards for two of these competitions. 


The first set of awards that we are giving out tonight is for the Community Garden Edibles Competition.  Community gardening is not just a therapeutic and healthy social pursuit, it also produces tasty and nutritious edibles.  This competition has provided an excellent opportunity for local gardening communities to showcase their harvests, exchange ideas, and learn new horticultural skills. I hope it will inspire more of you to take up gardening.  

The second set of awards is for the highly anticipated Show Garden Competition. This has always been a crowd favourite, with renowned, award-winning local and international landscape designers taking part. This year, we have designers from Singapore, Australia, France, and the UK. I should also say that these creations would not have been possible without the close partnership between the designers and our local landscape companies, who have helped to translate design ideas from paper to reality. Through such collaborations, the Festival promotes the exchange of professional expertise in the landscape industry. Congratulations to all award winners! 

Singapore Green Plan 

The common thread that runs through the Festival is community and stewardship.  Indeed, whether it is greening our estates or community gardening, each one of us can play our part. As a city, we must also continue to find ways to live in harmony with nature. In this way, we can continue to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, and also contribute to our “30 by 30” goal to strengthen food security.  

Gardening is also a wonderful way for communities to bond. In my ward in East Coast, and in other constituencies, community gardens are blossoming and flourishing. Across the island, we now have over 1,800 community gardens and nearly 2,200 allotment garden plots in 25 Parks. I am confident that the Festival will further galvanise this growing interest in community gardening. 


Let me conclude by also thanking all of you who have helped make the Singapore Garden Festival possible. 

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers for contributing your time and effort, designers and competitors who have taken the time to share their talent, sponsors who helped the festival run smoothly, and our participants, who are the heartbeat of the festival. Your passion is inspiring and an indispensable part of the Festival.  

I wish all of you a wonderful time at the Festival, and a good evening ahead.