Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Tour Around Spice Garden

We are working around Fort Canning area yesterday. After work, colleague Lolly Pop decided to bring me to ROM area to rub on some auspicious aura as I have been down with luck recently.

Driving test failed again, cut my thumb accidentally and work suddenly have a lot of hick-ups etc incidents are making me on the verge of breaking down. Am grateful that she is doing this for me nevermind that it is a bit orthodox, but sorry I will still blog about what happened during our trip at the Spice Garden. :P

It rained earlier on, thus it was quite a cooling afternoon. It was a bit humid, but still bearable as we climbed up and down the numerous steps to the Spice Garden. Spice Garden is situated near the fort canning and strictly speaking a park with a lot of tropical plants, some of which are spices that are commonly used for cooking especially in South-East Asia countries.

Just to name some of the spicies that we have seen, Vanila, Chili Padi, Laksa Leaves, Curry Leaves, SiChuan Pepper plant, Cinnimon tree etc. I managed to take some pictures of the more unusual plants.

1. Unknown plant

Didn't manage to find the sign on what is the name of this plant, but they sure looked like small pineapples.

Me to Lolly Pop : " Hey this plant look cute, the berries like fruits looked like miniture pineapples !"

Lolly Pop (examine closely) and said:" Oh ya, they are pineapples what..."

Me (looked shocked) said: " Pineapples don't grow on bushes like this..."

Lolly Pop (without thinking) exclaimed:" Ya, ya, wrong. Pineapples grows on trees !!!" and points to a tree near-by trying to locate a pineapple fruit.

Me (dropped jaw) shoot back: " Lolly Pop, Pineapples don't grow on trees !!! "

Lolly Pop (looked serious) argues :" Ya, Pineapples grows on trees what!!!"

Me (throw her a dirty look while trying hard not to laugh out loud) : "来来来, 捏死我算了 !Pineapples grows on bushes, but their leaves are harder and has sharp edges... You are so funny... Are you trying to cheer me up?"

Lolly Pop (think hard) tone down:" Oh, now that you mentioned... I remember seeing in Survival series that Pineapples does grow on bushes. . . Well, erm~ I forgot lah... Sorry... "

Me (looked at her skeptically ) asked:" You sure you passed and completed your degree...?"

Lolly Pop shoot back:" Yes I did, but not in bottany. I am better with numbers! :P"

Below is the real pineapple plant ! The fruit will grow in the middle of the plant when it matures.

2. Mugwort

Ever heard of absinthe? It is a banned high proof alcohol that is rumoured to cause illusion when drank. This is the plant that give it the bitter flavour. The sign said it can be used to flavour fat meats and fish and that people sometimes used it as a cheap alternative to replace tobacco because of the aroma.

If I remembered correctly, chinese people used it to boil soup - supposely good for headache or something. We pluck a leaf each for good luck as the sign also said it can ward of evil spirits and wild animals during the medival times.

Wang Wang ~!!!

3. Can you spot the living thing?

Halfway through our walk, we spotted this:

See, sharp-eyed me spotted a lizard among the bushes.

3. Basil and Betel Palm

Didn't take a picture of the Betel palm, but have to mention it as there is part two of Lolly Pop. Below is the picture of a basil plant. I grow that at home too. I like to add into Stir-fried Chicken with Soy Sauce to give it a exotic taste. It can be added to spaghetti sauce as well.

Pointed to purple leaves that looked like basil plant, Lolly Pop said:" Hey, this is the betel nut plant and those are their leaves which people chew on. "

Me(stared at her amazingly) pointed at the Betal Palm sign and asked: " Lolly Pop, can you read carefully on what does the sign says?"

Lolly Pop (Read carefully) said:" Correct what, they said Betel Palm plant what !"

Me (give up totally) stressed:" Yes, Betel "Palm" so it should be the palm-looking tree behind not those basil-looking bushes.... "

Lolly Pop smiles and rebutted :" I am just a city girl what ! Is normal that I don't know all this ..."

(* * ) Am thinking now, perhaps she is trying to cheer me up. Then again, she looked so serious and alway rebutted at full force, maybe not... Hmmm.

4. Cocao

Sings: "Wouldn't it be nice if we were older, then we wouldn't have to wait so long ~ Wouldn't it be nice ~?"

The lengendary cocao tree. I managed to find fruits on the tree as well. The seeds are what we used to make chocolates ! They seems to be able to grow quite well in Singapore's tropical climate. Maybe we should have a plantation of Cocao in Lim Chu Kang etc and produce Made-in-Singapore chocolates for tourists ! This will be unique !!!

5. Cola Nitida

Sings : "Whenever there is a pool, there's always a filrt. Everytime, there's school, there's always be homework. Always Coca Cola !"

Spotted the plant with the name Cola Nitida. Originated from Africa. It was not stated clearly, but is this what they used to make cola thus the drink is named Cola ?

The explantory sign does sound like it.

"Cola nuts contains caffeine. Used historically to increase physical excertion, enduring fatique without food and simulating a weak heart. . . "

The funny thing about the cola nuts is that Africans used to send nuts to people as invitation or congratulatory gestures. Imagine us sending nuts to guests instead of invitation cards or even used it to replace awards... Funny. . . :)

You might be interested with this as well:

Bollywood Farm - Trip Back to Nature

1 comment:

cloudmuse said...

Looks interesting. If you've time, check out the Jacob Ballas Garden at Botanic Gardens. It sounds interesting too.