By Antonio Ramblés
Barbados’ Andromeda Gardens
What happens when a traditional English garden is infused with a big dose of the tropics?
The answer is Barbados’ Andromeda Botanic Gardens, and you don’t have to be a horticulturist to appreciate the beauty of this six acre tropical garden in St. Joseph Parish overlooking the island’s ruggedly scenic east coast.
The garden was started as a private plant collection around the home of local horticulturist Iris Bannochie in 1954.
First opened to the public during a ‘70s fund raising event, the garden has ever since remained open to the public, and Mrs. Bannochie later willed it to the Barbados National Trust, which now manages it.
Here there are over 600 different species of plants including native banyan, more than 60 different species of palm, cacti, and ferns set among pools and waterfalls fed by a stream that flows through the property.
At the heart of this botanical wonderland, though, are its startlingly brilliant and inventively shaped flowers.
Gardening enthusiasts will doubtless recognize many of them, an amazing number of which are varieties of orchids so unlike each other that it’s hard to believe that they’re all of the same species.
For garden-challenged people like me, it’s enough to wander the garden and take in its beauty without benefit of much introduction, and each of the pictures here is certainly worth a thousand words!