Saturday, 7 February 2015

An Englishman's Garden in the rainforest

We had another great sail across the famous Bequia  Channel to St Vincent. One long beat and we were off Young's Island waiting for a pilot to guide us through the reef by the southwest entrance, which is marked on the sailing guide with a skull and crossbones and do not enter. We slowly followed Michael through without incident and berth in Blue Lagoon Marina for the weekend. 
A strategic move to charge the batteries, clean the boat and pick up our guests when they arrive on Sunday night.

Within a few minutes of arriving, our neighbour Nancy invited us to a party she was having on her boat the following night. A sensible way of not disturbing neighbours; getting them to join in. It also meant we met a lot of people over the next few days, which made the marina stay more enjoyable.
We were chatting over coffee with some of our new friends when we mentioned we wanted to visit Montreal Gardens, as we had read about how wonderful it was. Coincidence or fate, who knows, but our companion was the owner's brother who stays on the island during the winter. He and his wife kindly offered to take us there the next day. An excursion which turned out to be a highlight of our adventure this year. Penny and Jon picked us up the next morning and we had an scenic drive up into the hills. Into Mesopotamia area of St Vincent, which is fertile and cultivated.

The garden has been designed and created by Timothy Vaughn, a British man who trained at Kew and Wisely. He bought the citrus grove twenty years ago and has transformed it into an amazing place surrounded by rainforest and with the backdrop of a volcano. All the more amazing is that it had to all be done by hand.

Now Darrell and I love to visit gardens, but both of us were blown away by this one. The colours of the follage, the beautiful flowers, the rugged landscape and the glorious trees had us enthralled. We could have stayed all day wandering the different paths. Even the rain didn't dampen our spirits, as there were shelters built along the paths. These gardens are such a gem, but very little is done by St Vincent to celebrate them. It was a privilege to spend time there, meet its creator and chat to him.

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