Barbados – The Garden of the Caribbean
If you adore all things flora and love wallowing in the fragrance and beauty of fabulous gardens, then you’ll find it hard not to fall in love with Barbados. This tropical island is a botanical paradise, with lush greenery and a kaleidoscope of colour dressing the majestical landscape. And all across the island, you’ll find some of the finest gardens in the Caribbean. Here, we’ll look at some of the ones you simply should not miss.
If you look on Trip Advisor for Barbados’ most popular attraction, you’ll find it’s not a beach or a historical site but Hunte’s Gardens. Located right in the centre of the island, away from the busy beaches and resorts, this is a man-made haven, created in a huge, limestone sinkhole, slap bang in the heart of the tropical forest.
50 metres deep and 150 metres wide, this fertile crater is home to some of the most exquisite gardens you are ever likely to see. Plants of all kinds populate the terraced slopes and their coral stone walls, bursting out onto the tangle of footpaths.
All this is embellished with sculptures, some classical, some whimsical, that hide quietly to surprise you as you turn a corner. Elsewhere, the magical atmosphere is continued along pathways that take you to a fountain, a Buddhist shrine or a stone seat where you can breathe in the calm and beauty of this fantastical place.
Andromeda Botanical Garden
On the rugged east coast of Barbados, you’ll find the town of Bathsheba, famous for the giant barrel waves that bombard its shores and which attract the world’s best surfers. A little further along is the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, considered by many to be the world’s finest, post-war gardens.
Created by RHS Veitch medal winner, Iris Bannochie, on land which had belonged to her family for centuries, these historic gardens give visitors the rare chance to see over 1200 species of tropical trees and flowering plants. Indeed, the majority of these were introduced to the island for the first time by Bannochie herself and as such, it’s unlikely that such a unique collection exists anywhere else.
It’s not just the flora that can be seen here, either. Andromeda is also home to wild hummingbirds, tropical dragonflies and the island’s famous green monkeys. There are also some fantastic sea views.
The Flower Forest Botanical Gardens
For sheer peace and tranquillity, spend an afternoon exploring the wandering pathways of the 53-acre Flower Forest in the Island’s Scotland District.
Built on the grounds of the former Richmond sugar plantation, at over 800 feet above sea level, it offers stunning, panoramic views of the east coast together with an array of fascinating flora, including exotic palms, colourful shrubs and a rainbow of delightful, tropical orchids.
Barbados Open Gardens
Besides public gardens, Barbados has some exceptional private gardens to its credit, many of which would never be available for the public to visit if it was not for the efforts of the Barbadian Horticultural Society.
Every year, the society hosts its open garden season where visitors get the rare opportunity to look around these special creations. While some gardens open every year, some only do so occasionally. Each garden is only open for one day but, over February and March, around half a dozen places are available to view.
The Barbadian Horticultural Society has an exceptional reputation. It takes part in the UK’s Royal Horticultural Show (Chelsea Flower Show) each year and frequently comes away with gold medals. You can take it for granted, therefore, that the gardens it chooses for its open garden season are definitely worth a visit.
If you are visiting during January, make sure you go to the BHS Annual Show at the Balls Plantation in Christ Church.
Royal Westmoreland Estate
For those lucky enough to spend their holidays at the Royal Westmoreland, Barbados’ majestical flora is right on your doorstep. Our exclusive villas and apartments are scattered amongst the lush verdant gardens and mature, tropical landscape of our beautiful 750-acre estate. Add to this the breath-taking views of the west coast and its glorious evening sunsets and you’ll find it the perfect place for a quiet walk or even a round of golf on our world-class golf course.
Barbados has everything a flower enthusiast would want to find. It has sublime gardens featuring native, tropical flora together with rare species collected from around the world. These have been lovingly put together by highly creative designers and, in many cases, entrusted to the expert care of the Barbadian Horticultural Society.
If you are looking for luxury accommodation in beautiful surroundings on your next visit to Barbados, take a look at the villas and apartments here at the Royal Westmoreland.