Grenada – The Spice of the Caribbean
November 2-10th, 2005

November 7th, another jam packed day of gardens for us while the others headed off to hiking, snorkeling, and other activities. The first garden that we visited in the Westerhall and Bay Gardens area was that of Dodie Helgeson, a home high on the hill. You can tell she loves to garden by her front entry gardens…and I loved what she did down the street with all the succulents, agave and cactus - makes a great barrier. Yes, the boat down at the end of the garden is their boat and yes that is their back garden…gorgeous isn’t it. What I loved most about being in Grenada was the people…everyone we met even on the streets were kind and friendly. Everywhere we went with our group; we were greeted warmly and offered food and drink. It was a good thing that Grenada is hilly because we balanced the exercise off with all the food we ate. What I loved here was that they cut the mangrove area down to a nice flat top so it extended the garden right down to the pier and it makes the view back to the house so much prettier.

The next home we visited was Anthony Browne – this one was kind of thrown in for us since we were on the same street and it was a pleasure to visit both Anthony and his garden. You can see his roof top and where the roof top trellis in white is, is his entrance to the house. As you can see, he has a stunning view of the water as well.

The next home was that of Sonia Beatson…again a very unique garden with another stunning view. We enter into the patio area with the hanging orchids. Throughout the whole garden, plants dripping with flowers. I loved the tiles and of course the bench.

We then had a little bit of a break but of course Anne, our very capable coordinator in Grenada, then made a call to see if we could see the building where Sir Daniel Williams, Governor General of Grenada, was going to display his artwork before Hurricane Ivan hit. Needless to say, some were damaged from this and even though the building is there and all ready, he has been too busy with a lot of other things to think about it. So, that being said, we did get to see Sir Daniels Art Gallery, plus get to meet Sir Daniel. In fact he even arranged for two very nice gentlemen to bring us refreshments. I guess I don’t need to tell you that while here in Grenada, it was very warm and very humid…gosh, my skin felt so plump and soft while there.

Then we were off to for lunch at the Petit Bacaye Cottage Hotel where we met the Chelsea Design team including Denis Noel and John Criswick. What a great little hotel this is – not very many rooms, all thatched huts actually and so pretty inside each one…very, very nice and we all agreed this was just the best lunch we had while on the island. They had beautiful water lilies in big steel tubs just outside the restaurant. This is also where we took some group photos of the garden group.

After our lunch, we were off again to Gemmas’ Garden. Now this lady loves her garden and she loves sharing it with others. We were delighted to walk through with her and listen to her story and what gardening means to her. This hibiscus flower was stunning, not white but almost a silver and as big as a dinner plate. Look at the colour of that orchid! Where I have little slugs to deal with, Gemma had these long black things…I have forgotten their name. Her garden was quite steep as you can tell by the stairway up to the top and again looking down, but if you want to visit a garden that is loved and cared for, this is it!

After Gemmas’ garden we then visited the Botanical Gardens. The gardens had suffered some damage from the Hurricane but it sure was a wonderful place to visit. The way plants grow here in Grenada, in no time nature will have covered up all remnants of Ivan. I saw some very interesting plants here…but before you knew it, it was time to leave, get back to the hotel to refresh before leaving for Tower House, an historic home with beautiful gardens for a reception. The house itself was gorgeous, big rooms, high ceilings and a lovely veranda that we sat on big chairs just chatting, and sipping on rum punch. This by the way was the best rum punch I had ever had, and I don’t even like rum.

We are on our way to the Calabash Hotel for a gourmet dinner at the Rhodes Restaurant and then off to sleep a good but short sleep.






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