Posts tagged Drax Hall

Top 11 of ’11

In case you were curious, I certainly was. These were the 11 posts written in 2011, that had the most page views. I was surprised that so many of them have to do with Barbados, not quite sure why I was surprised, I guess because I feel like my blog is about my garden, although now it feels more like about my life. And my life is now in Barbados, it least for the next two years. And I only like to write about personal things, not take a picture from the internet, and write a brief paragraph about it like some bloggers do. My blog has become a journal, a snapshot of what is happening in my life at this time, and that certainly includes Barbados.

1.  The Magnificent Seven

I was surprised this one was the number one post of 2011. I wrote 2 posts on my trip to Trinidad, but the post about the seven amazing houses was the most popular. It was certainly one of the most interesting things for me, I am sure you all know I love old houses, look at Kilbourne Grove.

2. Gardening in a Cold Climate

My visit to the amazing garden of Brian Bixley was sparked by reading a review of his book by Kathy Purdy on her website. Luckily I was in Canada for his first open garden of the year (you all know I love bulbs), and took a million photographs. Kathy was kind enough to post a link from her blog to mine, and she became my second largest referral site in 2011. Thanks Kathy.

3. Pride of Barbados

After gardening (and floral design) for soooo many years, it is disconcerting to live in a country where I only recognize 10% of the vegetation. It is fascinating for me (and I hope you) to discover new plants.

4. Gotta Have It: Bougainvillea

I have long loved bougs, and was super excited to find them in full flower when we moved here last December. The flowering seemed to go on and on and on. Luckily, I was given one for our terrace here, and have found it a super easy plant to grow, just wish they were hardy in Canada.

5. It’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to


What I left behind!


This post was a bit of a moan for me, sorry about that. At the time I was feeling a bit unhappy, leaving my friends, family, job, home and garden, to live in Barbados. When we moved to London, I was beyond excited, but that was LONDON, I could work, travel to Europe, and I am a bit of a city girl at heart. However, after spending most of the spring and fall in Canada, when I wanted to be there, and spending the winter in Barbados (who wouldn’t), I have adjusted.

6. St. Nicholas Abbey

Back to point number one, I love old houses. And Barbados has 2 of the 3 Jacobean houses in the Western hemisphere. St. Nicholas Abbey was sooo gorgeous.

7. Drax Hall

Funny that the second Jacobean house in Barbados was the next most popular post. This one is not open to the public, so we were only able to see the grounds.

8. Ah, Life!

For some reason, some of you wanted to know a little bit more about me, so I gave you a lot more, more than you asked for, sorry about that, I do like to ramble. Here is the story of my thoughts about moving to Barbados.

9. Pots, Pots, Pots!

Frank Kershaw was my garden design teacher at George Brown College and he opened his garden to the public. There was so much to see, I had to break it down into a couple of posts, but his pots were the most popular.

10. Porters Great House

Barbados has its own National Trust, and during the ‘season’ a number of homes opened to raise money for it. This was the only home I visited in 2011, but hope to visit more this year. I was surprised more people did not read Part 2, where I talk about the garden, that is where my true love lies.

11. I’m going home

Not sure why this one was so popular, unless you were happy to see me head back to my ‘forever’ home.  I certainly was.

There you have it, my most popular posts in 2011, what will 2012 hold…


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Drax Hall

Now for the contrast.

Before my MIL arrived, Ian and I had started with Hike Barbados. Every Sunday, they have a different hike, a great way to see the island. You can go on the 6:00 a.m. hike or the 3:30, both lasting for 3 hours.Funnily enough we had just gone on the Drax Hall hike.

As I said in the St. Nicholas Abbey post, there are only three Jacobean houses in the Western Hemisphere. Two in Barbados, and one in Virginia.

Drax Hall is still owned by the original family that built it in 1650’s.  It is the largest and oldest working plantation in Barbados. It is not open to the public, but they allowed Hike Barbados participants to park at the plantation while we were on the hike.

Wish I had taken a picture of the front of the house

Some of the buildings are not being used anymore and have fallen into disrepair.

I wish that Kilbourne Grove had a couple of these to design the garden around.

Ian, glad that he is not digging a garden border in front of these walls!

The windmill, without the top.

At one time the number of windmills in Barbados was second only to Holland, but now there is only one working windmill on the island. You see a large number of them when you are driving around. A gentleman at St. Nicholas Abbey told us a story about how children would grab the bottom of the blades when it went around, twisting their grip as the blade rose higher. Scary!

We started walking down the farm road through the sugar cane fields.

Here you see the just planted fields, and on the other side were the older fields. They are over your head, so you cannot see anything when you look around. In a month, the harvest will start. It will look quite different when the fields are cut to the ground.

 Drax Hall is near the middle of the island. You can see how much higher up it is, great views and always a nice breeze.

As I said earlier, there are 5:oo hikes and then the 3:30 ones. When we went on this we attended the 3:30. If we had been thinking, 3 hours from 3:30 is 6:30. Sunset is at 6:00.

Getting dark!

 That meant hiking in the dark, luckily someone lent us a flashlight, otherwise we would probably still be out in the cane field.

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