The Far East Flora Centre sells 1,000 types of flowers and more than 500 plants, a suite of gardening products and home decor items.

The Far East Flora Centre sells 1,000 types of flowers and more than 500 plants, a suite of gardening products and home decor items. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Nature and gardening enthusiasts now have a new attraction to visit, with the opening of an 11-storey floral-themed shopping mall by well-known florist chain Far East Flora.

Address: 435 Clementi Road
Opening Hours: Daily, 8am and 9pm

Wholesale fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables

The Far East Flora Centre – located in Clementi next to the Singapore University of Social Sciences – sells 1,000 types of flowers and more than 500 plants, a suite of gardening products and home decor items. The garden centre also houses a cold warehouse selling fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices.

The building’s facade has lush greenery spilling out of the balconies. Other features include a rooftop garden selling larger plants and edibles, a studio for workshops, a gourmet grocery store and an 80-seater eatery.

The centre, which officially opened on Friday, will also serve as the 58-year-old retailer’s headquarters, with its corporate office taking up three floors.

Far East Flora has six existing nursery outlets in places including Thomson, Queensway and Bedok.

The centre will also serve as the 58-year-old retailer’s headquarters, with its corporate office taking up three floors.
The centre will also serve as the 58-year-old retailer’s headquarters, with its corporate office taking up three floors. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Far East Flora Clementi Centre (Opened Sep 2023)

In setting up the first-of-its-kind centre, Far East Flora seeks to transform the gardening sector here and break the mould of a typical plant nursery, known by its distinctive sprawling layout crowded with potted plants.

“We aim to transform the way people view a plant nursery. It should offer more than just a selection of potted plants or gardening merchandise but instead, a space for our guests to engage with nature, find inspiration for their green spaces and discover the joy of plant care,” said Mr Danny Cheok, managing director and founder of Far East Flora Group.

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The garden centre houses a cold warehouse that sells exotic flowers, fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices.
The garden centre houses a cold warehouse that sells exotic flowers, fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

The garden centre’s launch on 29 September 2023, Friday was attended by Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Sim Ann.

“The Bukit Timah division, in particular, is home to many gardening enthusiasts. Our residents have been looking forward with anticipation as the building began to take form,” said Ms Sim, who is also Senior Minister of State for National Development and Foreign Affairs. 

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The rooftop garden of the Far East Flora Centre is filled with larger ornamental plants and herbs and edibles that need sunlight.
The rooftop garden of the Far East Flora Centre is filled with larger ornamental plants and herbs and edibles that need sunlight. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Far East Flora Founder, Mr Danny Cheok

The building was a vision 30 years in the making for the founder. He planned to build this centre since 1990s.

Far East Flora’s six stores sit on leased land plots, which have to be renewed every few years, and this made Mr Cheok uncertain about business continuity and making heavy investments.

In the 1990s, he planned to build the centre on an industrial property, but he felt the location and size were not good enough. He continued his hunt for a permanent home for his company, and, in 2017, chanced upon a parcel of freehold land at 435 Clementi Road.

“It was a good location and big enough for us. For a really big project like this, only on freehold land – our own land – can we do this,” said Mr Cheok.

Visits to similar garden centres in the United States, Australia and Holland also inspired him to build one in Singapore, to cater to nature and gardening lovers. The garden centre took about three years to build.

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Indoor plants and a suite of gardening tools and ornaments are sold on the first floor of the centre. The potted plants are watered through an automated system.
Indoor plants and a suite of gardening tools and ornaments are sold on the first floor of the centre. The potted plants are watered through an automated system. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Far East Flora Clementi: Water and energy efficienct

Gardening saw a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic as people had more time to tend to their plants while working from home. It also helped with mental resilience and well-being. 

The building is designed to be more water- and energy-efficient. Since the plants and flowers need lots of water, the centre harvests rainwater, and uses an automated rainwater recycling and self-irrigation system.

At night, brighter grow lights are switched on for the plants.
At night, brighter grow lights are switched on for the plants. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
The garden centre’s basement retails exotic flowers such as orchids, pom pom and hydrangea, as well as terrariums.
The garden centre’s basement retails exotic flowers such as orchids, pom pom and hydrangea, as well as terrariums. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

On several floors, giant high-volume, low speed fans are used to minimise use of air-conditioning.

At its opening weekend on the 30 September 2023 weekend, the centre hosted small workshops on mini succulents and flower arrangement. Shoppers also enjoyed some opening promotions and deals for plants and flowers between Sept 30 and Oct 31, 2023.

Far East Flora Clementi is located at 13 Clementi Road, Singapore 129794 and opens between 8am and 9pm daily. Call or WhatsApp 8916 5600.

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This article was first published in The Straits Times.