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Orchids, ginger and heliconias yield golden fruit for gardeners
Golden times for Grenada’s gardeners: the Spice Island has been harvesting gold medals for its presentations at the famous Chelsea Flower Show for five years in a row. Not surprising: nowhere else in the Caribbean do they grow orchids, anthuria, heliconia and ornamental bananas more gorgeous than the ones here.

By Bernhard Grdseloff
Fertile soil: Heliconia at Balthazar Estate
Fertile soil: Heliconia at Balthazar Estate
Golden thumb: St. Bernard with ginger lillies
Golden thumb: St. Bernard with ginger lillies

“Grenada was blessed with rich soil, plentiful rainfall and a tropical climate, which promotes rapid plant and vegetation growth,” says Faye Miller, president of the horticultural society. “Although many on the island are not rich in  material things, people make the most of nature’s bounty with well-kept and colourful gardens, which are their pride and joy.”

Tropical flowers are also one of Grenada’s most important exports. “Celebrities like Madonna and Michael Jackson send us orders for exotic floral decorations for special occasions,” reveals Albert St. Bernard. In St.Bernard’s Bay Gardens in the hills above the capital St. George’s there are 15 different varieties of heliconia alone, along with 25 kinds of ginger lily and much more to admire. “In Grenada, visitors can see all of the expensive plants from the flower shops growing in nature.”

  Gardens worth seeing in Grenada 

Bay Gardens: 4-hectare large tropical paradise, laid out jungle-style, featuring tropical plants from all over the world. Open to visitors; US$ 2 admission; guided tours. In St. Paul’s. Call 435 4544 to register.

Balthazar Estate: Commercial flower plantation with diverse collection of heliconias, ginger lilies and ornamental bananas. West of Grenville. Open to visitors. Please call 442 7514. to register.

St. Rose nursery: The Caribbean’s largest selection of plants, including many rare and unusual varieties. Near La Mode, north of St. George’s. Open to visitors during business hours (Mondays to Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Private gardens open only to visitors in organized tours:

Sunnyside Garden: 5 acre large park set around a plantation house built in 1920, with 100 year-old mahogany trees, rare hibiscus varieties, royal palms, and a jungle valley. In St. Paul’s.

Tower House: 100 year-old building with extensive garden. In St. David’s.

Faye Miller‘s private garden with an opulent orchid collection.

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