To celebrate Singapore's 50th Independence anniversary, Audemars Piguet and Gardens by The Bay have come together to commemorate the occasion with the unveiling of Singapore’s only sizable public floral clock. Blending timekeeping precision with botanical artistry, the Floral Clock was unveiled by Minister for National Development, Mr. Khaw Boon Wan, together with Dr. Kiat W. Tan, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, and Mr. Oliviero Bottinelli, Member of the Board of Directors, Audemars Piguet Holding SA. Displayed prominently in the Gardens, at the intersection between the cooled conservatoires and the Supertree Grove, the seven-meter-wide Floral Clock draws inspiration from the signature characteristics of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak collection and fuses traditional and contemporary landscaping elements in its design. Featuring tropical plants with colored foliage and flowers, its plant palette will be refreshed regularly for the public to enjoy.
“We thank Audemars Piguet for this wonderful addition to Gardens by the Bay on the occasion of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee,” said Dr. Kiat W. Tan, CEO of Gardens by the Bay. “For those of us who were fortunate enough to have experienced the floral clocks of the past in Singapore, this floral timepiece will be all the more special. We can now relive and create new memories here at the Gardens as we celebrate with the nation.” Mr. Oliviero Bottinelli, Member of the Board of Directors, Audemars Piguet Holding SA, said “We have been searching for purposeful means of dedicating a unique part of Audemars Piguet back to the nation on this joyous occasion. With the Audemars Piguet Foundation’s commitment to worldwide forest conservation and environmental protection, the Floral Clock was a natural gift to Singapore on its 50th year of independence that we are thrilled to unveil along with Gardens by the Bay.”
An integral part of Singapore’s “City in a Garden” vision, Gardens by the Bay spans a total of 101 hectares of prime land at the heart of Singapore’s new downtown —Marina Bay. Comprising three waterfront gardens —Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central— Gardens by the Bay will be a showcase of horticulture and garden artistry that will bring the world of plants to Singapore and present Singapore to the World. Bay South, the largest at 54 hectares, officially opened on 29 June 2012. Gardens by the Bay was started as a project by the National Parks Board.
Specifications of the Audemars Piguet Floral Clock
The design of the Floral Clock draws inspiration from the signature characteristics of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak collection with its Octagonal bezel, Hexagonal screws and Tapisserie dial. The entire display fuses traditional and contemporary elements of landscaping. The formal, geometric plantings within the clock dial is balanced with a more informal, organic form of landscaping on the periphery. The clock has a diameter of 7 meters and a total area of 270 square meters including its periphery plants. The total area of the clock alone is 39 square meters with 20 square meters for the dial alone which is 5 meters wide. The galvanized steel hands are quite long measuring 2.5 meters —7.5 feet— for the hours hand and 3.3 meters —10 feet— for the minutes and seconds hand. The bezel of the clock is made of granite while the hexagonal screws and hour markers are made of weather resistant stainless steel. The tapisserie dial is composed of tropical plants which are not commonly used in Singapore. About 5,000 tropical annual and perennial plants in more than 20 varieties are found in the display. Some of the plants that are part of the clock include: Cleome hassleriana —Spider Flower— native to South America, the Cleome hassleriana is a fast-growing annual plant that grows up to 1.5 meters tall on rigid stems. The plant produces a sweet fragrance that attracts birds and butterflies, and is commonly known as the Spider Flower for its spider-like flowers. Celosia spicata —Celosia, Cockscomb Flamingo— a heat tolerant annual that is popularly used in displays and arrangements because of its abundant wheat-like pink flower spikes. As with most other annuals, it thrives in a sunny location with well-drained soils. Catharanthus roseus —Madagascar Periwinkle— an evergreen shrub thrives in sunny and well-drained locations, and takes drought conditions well. Under suitable conditions, each plant can grow to more than a meter in height with flowers every day of the year. Newer cultivated varieties are available in different colors of red, pink and white petals with different colored eyes. Extracts of this shrub are used by pharmaceutical companies to produce medical drugs. Perennial Torenia fournieri —Wishbone Flower— a small bushy annual with small delicate flowers that come in various bright colors such as blue, rose, yellow, pink, purple or white, which bloom abundantly in part sun and shade conditions. The name ’Wishbone Flower’ comes from the two short wishbone-shaped curved stamens that are joined at the tip and bees will break the wishbone when they pollinate the flowers. Annual Loropetalum chinense —Chinese Fringe Flower— is a pink-flowered, small purple-leaved evergreen shrub of the witch hazel family. Native to woodlands in China, Southeast Asia and Japan, it can be trained into a low hedge, and typically grows in a rounded multi-stemmed form with ovate leaves that can be easily pruned. Lightly aromatic, the flowers bloom in clusters of four narrow, downward-drooping, strap-shaped petals. Perennial Gomphrena globose —Bachelor's Button— is an old-fashioned annual plant that has been popularly grown for centuries in European and American gardens. The plant thrives in hot and dry conditions, and grows up to 0.4 meters in height and spreads over 0.3 meters wide. It is interestingly called the Bachelor’s Button from the small round-shaped flowers that resemble buttons, which come in purple, white and pink.
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