Posts tagged magnificent seven

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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The Magnificent Seven

Perhaps you could fill me in, why do you want to live in a new house? I know they are (practically) maintenance free, but in my (oh so humble opinion) they lack soul. Ian and I are both in love with old houses. They have so much character. They are all individual, (just like people), everyone has something unique about them. The building materials are more luxurious, real wood floors, instead of laminate, plaster walls instead of drywall.  There my mini rant is over.

On my tourist map of Port Of Spain in Trinidad, there was something labeled the Magnificent Seven. As I continued my walk around Queens Park Savannah, a huge building appeared on the horizon. It was the first of the seven, Queen’s Royal college. 

 Built in 1902 in the German Renaissance style, it cost 15,000 pounds to build.

 It is the leading secondary school for boys in Trinidad.

Beside it is Hayes court which was built to be the residence of the Anglian Bishop.

It was named after Bishop Thomas Hayes when is was built in 1904, but he died before the building was completed.

Number 3 is called Millefleur (great name for a garden blog).

It was built in 1904 in French Provincial style. In 1979 the government of Trinidad and Tobago purchased it for $1,000,000, to be used as offices for the National Security council.

However it is not occupied and certainly not maintained. Such a shame,

look at the gorgeous iron fretwork.

At Number 4, is another French style house also built in 1904. On the map it is labeled Rumor, but when I researched it on line, it was called Roomor.

 The name comes from combining names of the owners, Roodal (who bought it in 1940) and the present day owners (Morgan).

It is still a private home.

The Archbishop’s Residence is number 5.

It is of Indian style, built in 1903 for the 5th Archbishop of Port of Spain. It is the official residence of the Roman catholic archbishop.

White Hall is the Prime Ministers office.

 Built of coral stone in 1904 and refered to as Moorish Mediterranean style,

 it is now closed for renovations. This was my favourite,

it reminds me of the houses near where I lived in Holland Park.

As is number 7, Stollymeyer’s Castle.

This house was patterned after a wing of Balmoral when it was built in 1904.  The owners wife Mrs. Stollmeyer found the house a bit busy, and gave it to her son and new daughter in law when they were married. The new bride called it Killarney, but in 1940, when the US Forces were using it as a base, they began to refer to it as a castle.

It is now part of the Prime Ministers offices, and undergoing renovations. They had the property all boarded up at street level

so I was only able to get a photo of the top.

Looks like the very early 1900’s were a very busy time in Port of Spain.  Can you imagine what it must have looked like with all of these houses being built at approx the same time?

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