Did you know that there was a botanical garden in Singapore that pre-dates the present Singapore Botanic Gardens? In fact, the first “Botanical and Experimental Garden” was established Fort Canning Hill back in the 1820s. Visitors to the newly-enhanced Fort Canning Spice Gallery and Spice Garden can learn about the role of the Hill and various spices that were once important to Singapore.
The Spice Garden at Fort Canning Park, located in front of the Registry of Marriages, has been expanded to cover three zones. These are the garden area just before the Gothic gateway arch into Fort Canning Green, the pedestrianised Canning Rise and a Fort Canning Spice Gallery.
Plants at the Fort Canning Spice Garden
This enhanced Spice Garden now houses more than 180 varieties of plants, including herbs and spices.
Among the plants that can be found at the Fort Canning Spice Gardens are chives and crown flower, a perennial shrub which attracts butterflies.
Commercial crops, herbs and spices that can be found at the Garden include pepper, gambier, nutmeg cardamon and a variety of mints such as spearmint.
The Fort Canning Spice Garden is a one-stop place to learn about all sorts of spices, herbs and other plants.
Through various information panels, visitors can learn about the role that spice in Singapore’s history. This include the presence of different spice plantations in Singapore and the role that Fort Canning Park played.
There are also panels where visitors can test their knowledge of spices and tools of the trade.
Fort Canning Spice Gallery
A new Fort Canning Spice Gallery allows visitors to learn about the role of the spice trade in Singapore’s history.
Located along the underpass at the Spice Garden which leads to Singapore Management University, the 350-square-metre Fort Canning Spice Gallery has interactive panels and displays.
There is a mock-up of a spice provision shop. Pull-out canisters with real dried spices allow visitors a chance to view the spices up-close.
Other interactive exhibits include a spinning panel that shows the spices found in popular local dishes and a loudspeaker that responds to voice commands with oral excerpts from those in the spice trade.
To help visitors better visualise what the spice trade was like, there is a terrarium showing shipments of spices making their way through to the shophouses along the Singapore River.
A Spice of the Month will be highlighted at the Spice Gallery. In the future, there will be QR code that visitors can scan to get a recipe they can make at home.
The Spice Gallery is made possible with the support of Nomanbhoy & Sons Pte Ltd, through Garden City Fund, NParks’ registered charity and IPC. Nomanbhoy & Sons is a homegrown spice trading company with over 100 years of history.
The Fort Canning Spice Gallery is open daily from 7 am to 7 pm. Admission is free.
After you visit the Fort Canning Spice Garden, you can also head to the Fort Canning Centre to visit the Fort Canning Heritage Gallery.