Displays good enough to eat at NParks' festival

Spotlight on edible plants at this year's Community Garden Festival at HortPark

From green walls you can munch on to a mountain of fruit and vegetables, many of them grown by local gardeners, these exhibits will have pride of place at this year's Community Garden Festival.

The event celebrates the passion and skills of Singapore gardeners, and this year, the spotlight is on edibles, with displays and workshops centred along plants we can eat.

The three-day National Parks Board's (NParks) festival in HortPark at Alexandra Road starts today.

Festival director Dennis Lim said this year's theme of edible plants relates to the increasingly health-conscious Singaporeans.

The event will also showcase the passion and bond between more than 100 community gardeners.

Entry and most activities are free, except for a number of paid workshops.

The festival is the work of more than 100 gardeners under NParks' Community In Bloom (CIB) initiative, which brings together people with a passion for gardening.

There will be five garden displays: 2065; Play Mosaic; Block 50; Talk Bird, Sing Song; and Balik Kampung.

The 2065 garden celebrates Singapore's past 50 years of gardening, and hopes to inspire visitors for the next 50.

It adopts a futuristic theme, showcasing mushrooms in multi-tiered raised planters and mushroom cultivating towers, as well as plants in recycled plastic bottles that were repainted by community gardeners.

Mr Lim Keng Tiong, a 75-year-old retired contractor, helped build the 2065 garden display with other gardeners from Singapore's North-East District.

A gardener of more than 10 years and an NParks CIB Ambassador since 2013, Mr Lim said: "We put in a lot of hard work. But when you see the result, it is so worth it.

"I want nothing more than to see the smiles on people's faces - especially young children's faces."

The festival will also feature landscaped gardens by two local designers and a Japanese designer.

There will also be an innovation and technology showcase, talks and family-friendly activities on all three days, and paid workshops and cooking demonstrations over the weekend.

Visitors can also buy unique plants - such as orchids and succulents - gardening tools and accessories at a retail MarketPlace.

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