Garden Visits: Garden House

The ‘Season’ has started in Barbados, and that is good for me and for our house guests. Until the end of April, there is lots and lots to see and do in Barbados. Between horse racing, polo, concerts, plays, National Trust open houses, etc., etc., Ian and I shall be very busy. Even better, the Barbados Horticultural Society has started their ‘Open Garden’ for the next two months. These are small private gardens that the owners are graciously opening for a small fee allowing the BHS to raise money.

For the first open garden it was the home of Mrs. Jean Robinson, in Constant, St. George.  She is the past president of the BHS and the Co-ordinator of the Barbados exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show from 1988, when the Society first began exhibiting, until her retirement last year. And we all know how Barbados cleans up at Chelsea,  15 Golds, 8 Silver-Gilt, and 1 Silver, quite the record. I got a chance to see a replica of their 2011 Gold winning exhibit when it was displayed at Limegrove Mall this summer.

The garden at Garden House, is over 2 acres of lawns divided by shrub borders. You enter via the poinsettia walk,

and through an opening in the wall.

A path takes you through the first garden room.

In the shrub borders that surround this first garden room there is a lovely combination of Dracaena marginata, Ixora and variegated Mahoe.

The variegated Mahoe up close and personal. We have this plant in my complex as well, and I love it.

The borders surround a beautiful 18th century Bajan house,

 and the vivid colours of the shrubs and trees, whether in flower or not, lend a sparkle to the garden



Bromeliad planter


Loved the Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost’, so striking against the dark  ivy backdrop. 

On one side of the house a lovely lily pool,

and a closeup of the dark tradescantia planted at the base.

Walking back towards the house, you pass this tree, wish I had been there when the orchids were in flower


I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a lot of the material that is used at Chelsea came from this garden, there is so much beautiful foliage that would be perfect in a floral arrangement,

Variegated Heliconia


Red Leafed Banana


Variegated Banana

This is  a yellow leafed form of Crinium, love  it.

In the back 40, were a number of fruit trees and this huge bamboo.

a very handy plant for any floral designer, and you can cut your own canes for staking as well.

Although there is no formal design (and you know how I like that), I was amazed by the colour throughout the garden, and the huge number of plants that I had no idea what they were. (And some I recognized as house plants in Canada).

And how to end a perfect afternoon, but a lovely tea in the shade, how civilized...

14 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Fantastic garden with superb plants, thank you for sharing it with us. I’m sure I have seen the lady in question when I have been watching Chelsea, they always do such a fantastic display don’t they! How wonderful that you ended your tour with tea and cakes, just like we do!

  2. 3

    Great garden, Deborah. One of the things I love about visiting the Caribbean is the different varieties that we usually use as houseplants. And I love to see things like the poinsettia in their natural habitat. Enjoy your garden tours.

  3. 5

    A wonderful escape on a somewhat dreary day. Winter, but where is the snow cover my plants need? A delightful garden. It is refreshing to see so many plants I do not recognize. I am partial to the Mahoe. Reminds me of the variegated Persicaria that I am so fond of. Is this one as ‘rambunctious’ in the garden? Looking forward to future garden visits.

  4. 9

    Marguerite said,

    Wonderful tour, I love that red banana plant, so many big leafed plants there and in striking colours. Can’t wait to see more gardens on the tour.

  5. 11

    garden muses said,

    Gorgeous, lush, overwhelming are some of the adjectives that come to mind after seeing the heliconia, banana, and poinsettia in mass. Thanks for posting!

  6. 13

    Jean said,

    I love garden tours and open garden days; they always teach me something new and provide inspiration. Thanks for taking us along on this one.

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