Nassau Botanical Gardens

On our second day in Nassau, Ian had to work, so I decided to visit the Nassau Botanical Gardens. My map showed it not far from the hotel, so I decided to walk there. Look at this wonderful sculpture

 outside of a company.

And the sidewalk at the street was decorative as well.

When I arrived,

 the main gate was closed,

Main Gates from inside the Botanical Gardens

but a gentleman sweeping the street told me there was a back entrance and showed me the way.  Unfortunately the gardens are closed to the public, and from my understanding had been that way since the hurricane, although I (stupidly) did not ask how long that has been. I tried to find out through Google, but read conflicting reports, could it really have been a few years ago. However the staff were super friendly and one of them decided to show me around.

He was very knowledgeable about trees and hearing I was living in Barbados, decided to test me. I don’t mind admitting I failed miserably, and sometimes the common name caused confusion. For example, in Barbados the Royal Poinciana  is the Flamboyant tree, another case for Latin names being used.

This is the Silk Cotton tree or Ceiba pendantra, it is the largest tree in the gardens. They can grow up to 150 feet and have white flowers that are fragrant at night. But it is the seed pods that are responsible for their common name, they have a fluffy, white, cottony filling that can be used as ‘stuffing’.

But, the hurricane cleanup is still on going, and a lot of the smaller plant material will need to be replanted. So I just enjoyed hearing the stories about the trees (no photos were taken, sorry) and concentrated on the hard landscaping.

This is a staircase to Fort Charlotte. The Garden site was actually used as a quarry when the fort was constructed in the 1780’s .

There are a large number of gates throughout the gardens.

Look at this amazing arch.

No, not at me,

Now look up, see all the conch shells.

Another lovely set of stairs, I think I need some of these at Kilbourne Grove.

A great bench to sit on and rest for a while. I think this could be a DIY.  Another use for those cement balls I want to make.

This obelisk, donated by Delta Airlines, marks the birth of their nation for The Bahamas.

A rock wall, with self sown ferns growing out of it, beside a fresh water pool.

I hope to return to the Bahamas again, hopefully by then, they will have been able to reopen this wonderful space.


20 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Laurrie said,

    How wonderful that you are seeing so many exotic gardens in your travels. And getting a private tour of a closed garden is a coup! Even in its post-hurricane condition, this one looks interesting. I love the stone arches. (The plank resting on three stone balls is so simple and looks so easy to do. Definitely a DIY for me to tackle).

  2. 3

    Donna said,

    I really like the sculpture. What a beautiful place and one filled with much beauty.

  3. 5

    Barbara H. said,

    I’m so glad you got a personal tour. The arch is magnificent and I would have missed the shell ceiling if you hadn’t pointed it out. Thanks!

  4. 7

    I do love a good sculpture, what a fantastic hibiscus! What amazing tree roots on your silk cotton tree, they are quite sculptural by themselves. As you pointed out, if we use latin names, then we are understood the world over as so many plants have so many local names. You were so fortunate in being shown round, hope the garden is open soon again

    • 8

      The roots were amazing, I love the way they look. It just pointed out again, how important latin names are, everytime I was the name of something in Barbados, I spend hours on the internet, finding out what it really is.

  5. 9

    Alistair said,

    What a grand journey you have taken us. That is indeed a very fine sculpture. The Silk Cotton tree with surface roots, very magnificent indeed.

  6. 11

    Marguerite said,

    How fortunate someone was there when you walked up. The rockery and tropical plants are just so enchanting (the wind is howling and the snow blowing here in the maritimes). and those shells, wow, there must be hundreds embedded in that arch.

  7. 13

    The gates and the arch were worth the visit alone especially with a private tour thrown in. What luck.

  8. 15

    oh I hope I will be able to find this person to let me in at our next vacation in Nassau. I never even knew of that Botanical Garden. Thank you for posting about it 🙂

  9. 17

    I agree with Carolyn, those stone arches are gorgeous, and the conch shells adorning the one arch make it extra special. I can’t believe you had the gardens to yourself. So sweet of them to give you a personal behind-the-scenes tour.

  10. 19

    Roy said,

    Hi There Kilbournegrove,
    This might be off topic, however, Wall Street Journal editor called New York Botanical Garden, “A Garden of Earthly Delights.” This was built in Bronx region, in 1891 and covers an area of 250 acres. Nathaniel Lord Britton was the first director of this garden. Different events are organized annually at the New York Botanical Garden, which offers the visitors to learn and explore about different plant varieties.
    Keep up the posts!

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