Exploring Urban Gardening with Far East Flora
Join PREETHIKA as she discovers the 11-storey Far East Flora building, a botanical gem in Clementi, and takes you through the levels as she learns more about terrariums, potted plants and more!
Preethika D/o Saravanan
Hype Issue #58
November 22, 2023
Our garden city has been stepping up to inculcate a sustainable habit that strengthens Singapore’s food security: urban gardening. In recent years, Singapore’s urban gardening scene has thrived, with many start-ups like Straits Agriculture exploring creative gardening methods such as hydroponics and vertical gardening. Due to land constraints which hinder traditional farming, Singaporeans are getting creative with urban gardening by growing plants in underutilised spaces such as rooftops, balconies, and community spaces.
Regardless of whether you’re on the hunt for your first potted plant or for fresh foods to elevate your dishes, the new botanical haven situated beside The Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) at Clementi Road has everything you need to get started on urban gardening.
A garden-themed cafe at level one, F’east, offers freshly baked croissants, decadent cakes, as well as refreshing sodas. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.
Taking you through the levels
Basement: Beautiful terrariums, exotic flowers, and lifestyle products
As I took the escalator down to the basement, the wide array of orchids captured my attention. Orchids are the ultimate “lazy girl flower” as they require little attention, water, and sunlight. These low-maintenance orchids are perfect for beautifying your window sills even if you don’t have green fingers.
Orchids enjoy good air circulation and thrive in tropical climates like Singapore. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.
Level one: Over 500 potted plant variations and gardening accessories
Endless rows of potted plants and succulents greeted me as I entered level one. For someone new to plants, the variety here astounded me. The ambient lighting and relaxing music also helped me to stay calm in the maze of potted plants.
As I walked further in, there were various gardening tools such as kid-friendly watering cans, pots, and even lights. There were also instructions on the potted plants that informed potential owners about the amount of sunlight, water, and care needed for each plant. As a one-stop shop for all that you need, this level is a definite must-visit for all beginner plant owners.
These woven baskets provide a soft yet sturdy home for potted plants or can even act as a storage basket to hide your mess. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.
Level two: Walk-in cold room featuring 1,000 flowers and unique fresh fruits
If you could only visit one level in the building due to time constraints, it has to be level two. The scent of jasmine flowers hit me just as I walked into the cold room. Even though the chilly room got my hair standing, the low temperature was worth withstanding for the variety of flowers that surrounded me. Not to mention, they are highly affordable as well! Roses, single and dual-coloured carnations, and gerberas start at $5.80, while bright yellow sunflowers start at $12.60.
With proper care and handling, these colourful carnations can last for up to 10 days. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.
You could try bouquet-making by picking your flowers from the cold room, or simply leave it to the professionals at Far East Flora who are located right next door. Alternatively, ready-made bouquets that are neatly decked on the shelves are also available for purchase at a higher price point, starting from $50.
Customise your own bouquet of flowers to your liking and look out for promotions. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.
The in-house florist can make your dream flower arrangements come to life and even give you tips on how to make them last longer. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.
Some of the exotic fruits I found were strawberry apples and Driscoll blueberries.
Similar to strawberry apples, other unique produce like Driscoll blueberries are sold at more affordable prices than in supermarkets. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.
Levels three, four, and five: Event venue and carpark
These levels include a venue space to hold events, as well carpark lots. The building has ample parking space but do come early to grab the flowers and fruits when they’re at their freshest.
Level nine: Aesthetic vivariums and sleek water features
When I got up to level nine, I was immediately attracted to the mini vivariums showcased elegantly on the feature wall. I found that colourful fish coexisting with lush greenery was something that would engage nature enthusiasts of all ages.
The main difference between a vivarium and a terrarium is that a vivarium is designed to house both plants and animals, while a terrarium is typically designed to house plants only.
The feature wall showcases mini animal figurines like dogs and cats to go with the terrariums. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.
Rooftop: Sky garden
The sheltered sky garden is a must-visit if you have a spacious balcony or gardening area. I took my time to walk through the aisles to admire the big pots and planters which are perfect for kickstarting anurban garden. Grow the freshest fruits and herbs with edible plants right at home to taste the difference and take your first step towards sustainability.
The sky garden is still accessible during wet weather as there are sheltered sections on the rooftop. Photo by Preethika D/o Saravanan.