Stop To Smell
The Flowers In Jamaica
The tropical climate, cooled by ocean breezes, of Jamaica assures the
growth of many fragrant and beautiful flowers. Jamaica is full of gardens,
open to the public, in which to relax and smell the flowers, watch the
birds flitting here and there, and enjoy the surrounding views of open
sky and lush, tropical vegetation. There are also professional flower
nurseries that can be toured, as Jamaica exports a large number of flowers.
Cranbrook Flower Forest is a wonderful example of what Jamaica has to
offer those who choose to take the time to smell the flowers while on
their Jamaican holiday. It is found at Llandovery, which is near Saint
Anne’s Bay and located on what was once, during the colonial area, a
water mill. It is open every day from 9am to 5pm, and does charge an
admission fee, which includes a guided tour conducted by its knowledgeable
staff. The fee is $6 for those 12 years of age and older and $3 for
those under 12.
It is a professional nursery, growing an incredible variety of flowers
on 130 acres. Many of these flowers are exported to the United States.
There are greenhouses to be toured, with orchids and anthuriums, as
well as beautiful outside gardens for wandering and relaxing. In addition
to the gardens, there are numerous other sights to be seen, including
waterfalls, natural rain forest growth, fountains and peaceful bodies
of water. There are trails that can be explored, and for those who’d
like to do so by horseback, the charge is $30 for a 2-hour excursion.
In the hills of Saint Andrew, Jamaica, visitors can enjoy a unique botanical
experience at the Cinchona Botanical Gardens. This place is of historical
relevance as well, as it has been in operation since 1868. In addition
to a wide diversity of plant life, its altitude – which starts at 4,500
feet and extends to about 5,500 feet above sea level – offers panoramic
views of the surrounding countryside.
Castleton Gardens is another remarkable, historic botanical garden site
in Jamaica. It has been serving as a botanical garden site since 1862,
and many of the plants species that were brought to the island, such
as the tangerine, navel orange and Bombay Mango, were tried out first
in this site to see if they would be able to survive in and adapt to
the local climate. In addition to many, and often unusual, species of
plants able to be seen at this 30-acre site, visitors will also see
a wide variety of birds and other creatures. There are plenty of places
for relaxing and swimming is also available.
Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo offers both beautiful floral and tropical
plants, as well as a small zoo. Located in Saint Andrew parish, on Old
hope Road, these gardens were once a part of the Hope Estate. In 1881,
a segment was bought by the Jamaican government to serve as an experimental
garden, to try out new varieties of export crops, particularly new strains
of sugar cane and coffee. Today, it is an attractive and quiet place,
wonderful for spending a relaxing afternoon.
The gardens Jamaica are a spectacular visual experience. They are also,
however, an important part of the history of Jamaica. A trip to Jamaica
should definitely include some time among the flowers.
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