Posts tagged Barbados Horticultural Society

The Year in Review 2012

Another year has come and gone, we are now 2/3’s of the way through our posting in Barbados, where does the time go!


I visited the Barbados Horticulture Society Garden Show for the first time. What beautiful hibiscus!


Ian had to go to Nassau on business, so I tagged along. Another country to add to my count.


A week long cruise to five different Caribbean islands bumped up my country count some more.


Had my first face to face visit with the fabulous Mr. T.


Back  to visit Brian Bixleys garden, I know feel the need for Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Multiplex’, or double bloodroot.


My white eremurus finally bloomed, only took 2 years.


Lots of garden visiting going on, this was an amazing garden in Rosedale.


Trying to keep up my design skills, despite not working for two years.


Yikes, hard to see all my freshly applied gravel

Yikes, hard to see all my freshly applied gravel

Spent most of my first weeks at home, weeding.


Got to see a tiny bit of fall colour before we headed back to Barbados.


Perfected the art of Sundowners, or cocktails to you northern folks.


Christmas on the island, what a glorious feeling.

Interested in what happened last year? You can read about it here, 2010 here.


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Garden Visits: Glendale

Yes, I am back, hope you didn’t miss me too much, lol.  I know that you are waiting anxiously to hear all about my cruise, and I will fulfill your every desire, but first I have to let you know what I did before I left.

Lucky me, I got to visit one more garden for the Barbados Horticulture Society before the Open Garden program was finished for the season. For the season! Where has the time gone? Yikes, a side effect of getting old(er).

This was the garden of Mrs Audrey Thomas. Her garden overlooks the Rockley Golf Course and is a rainbow of colours.

  There are water features, a wall garden, a terraced flower garden and a Fernery.

The Wall

 is a mix of a succulents and flowering plants in an astonishing array of pots and baskets.

I could not imagine how many hours it would take to water all those pots, and I am sure that it is every day, the sun here can be so hot and pots dry out so fast. 

 This is such a great idea for an ‘older’ gardener,  able to garden at shoulder height, certainly is back saving and you can constantly add and move plants. These were my favourite, I love succulents,

And this one, I know I should know the name of this plant, but I am having a memory lapse, anyone else know it?

According to the Barbados Horticulture Society

 the Terrace Garden was referred to by Peter Seabrook as a “Chocolate Box Garden” when he filmed it for “Victory Garden” on PBS in Boston. 

The blaze of colour is created with annuals and shrubs.

Mrs Thomas is one of the main growers of the huge variety of beautiful and unusual foliage that has been packed and shipped for the Barbados exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show in London for the past 23 years.  As I have said before,  Barbados is a constant winner at Chelsea, and have a record to be very proud of.

Look at the beautiful bougainvillea at the front of her house.

 Not only is are the leaves variegated, but some of the flowers are two-tone as well.

 And it is gorgeous against the blue of the pergola, really shows it off.

The Fernery

 is filled with a large number of shade loving plants.

 Look at these wall, I know I have seen those building materials before, just not sure what they are. 

 The plants are sheltered from the sun with a shade cloth roof.

Although there are two water features in the Fernery,

 I found this one fascinating.

 I had noticed a large number of metal pots around the garden, and I wondered where Mrs. Thomas had found them. Talking to one of the volunteers at the garden, I found out where they came from. At first I wasn’t sure if I should share the info. I wanted to design something at KG and astonish you with my brilliance. But, it might be many years before we are able to come across, and I couldn’t leave you hanging like that.  They are discs from a plow.

Genius, I am sure my father has an old one around somewhere…


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BHS Garden Show

Yes, I am finally home from The Bahamas, and I had been going to share some of my experiences there, but the Barbados Horticultural Society Garden Show was on this weekend, and as I was away on Saturday, I thought that I had better visit on Sunday, the last day.  My friend David was in from St. Lucia, so Ian was happy, (he was spared the experience), and we drove to the show early in the morning. And a good thing it was too, the heavens opened up in the afternoon and it would not have been a pleasant experience.

David taking a photo of the Bismarck Palm, Bismarckia nobilis, my favourite palm, (and his too)!

These two beautiful Clerodendrons were right at the entrance, one a shrub, and the other, the “Bleeding Heart’ vine.

Cleradendron quadriloculare

Clerodendron thomsoniae

This is not a ‘garden’ show like Chelsea or Canada Blooms, no display gardens to visit, but they had some lovely plant, veg and flower displays in the buildings.

 And certainly lots of plant vendors outside, you could find almost anything you wanted. Although I am greedy, I restrained myself, the terrace is not that large, and I am sure Ian appreciates being able to walk around it, so I just purchased a few herbs.

I loved how a lot of the cut flowers in the competition were displayed against a black background, it certainly set them off for photos.

Such great colours in the hibiscus.

I remember when the red seemed to be the only colour you could purchase, now look at them,

 the plant hybridizers have certainly been busy.

And look at the display by the Barbados Orchid Society

 it makes me want to go out and buy a ton of orchids, of course Ian would kill them while I am in Canada, that would be a problem, and not to be able to bring them back,  would break my heart.

Epc. Rene Marques

Such amazing varieties.

I am sure that Barry would appreciate this table more than I do, maybe next year he can be here for the show.

I have always had a thing for caladiums, they certainly did very well on my terrace in Toronto

Caladium 'White Wing'

 And look at some of these lovely varieties, maybe when I return home, I shall purchase some of these.

This plant blew me away,

Strelitzia Nicholai

 I love the combo of dark and light, had a black and white garden, dogs, and bedroom when I lived in Kingston. I can envision all kinds of floral designs I could come up with around this flower, Strelitzia Nicholai.

Another plant I have always wanted to try growing are bonsai

Ficus phillipiensis

 however, driving back and forth every weekend between Toronto and Kilbourne Grove, made them very impractical for that lifestyle. But when I am retired….

But, in my mind, I have saved the best for last, the floral design. Although there were a lot of beautiful arrangements, I loved the all green. When I was designing, you arranged your greenery first.

There are so many beautiful ones,the arrangement could be wonderful on its own,  sometimes I didn’t even want to add flowers.

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Into the Light

I am surprised at how much I miss flowering arranging. I kind of fell into it as a career, but like most gardeners probably would, I really enjoyed playing with flowers. Where I live has beautiful gardens, with a huge team of gardeners, but I think they would frown on me outside with secateurs. But, I always have my eyes peeled for any interesting arrangements.

So you can imagine my surprise when I walked into Limegrove Mall in Holetown. The Barbados Horticultural Society was kind enough to realize that since I couldn’t get to the Chelsea Flower Show this year, they would bring it to me, at least a copy of their gold winning design.  Everyone on Barbados is very proud of them, I am constantly told at how they are always winning gold medals, and well deserved.  BHS has been competing for just over 20 years, and has 15 gold medals, that is amazing.

I tried to find out a bit more about this arrangement via Google, but failed miserably. All I could find was a couple of sentences by a local newspaper. The arrangement titled ‘Into the Light’ shows darkness moving into light through colour, style and movement.

Who know, maybe one day I will be part of the Barbados Horticultural Society’s team for Chelsea Flower Show, never say never!

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