Mamiku Gar­dens - Beauty & His­tory in Par­adise Christ­mas Beauty (flow­ers)

Beauty and his­tory in par­adise

Tropical Traveller Magazine - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

Set amid ba­nana, trop­i­cal fruit and flower or­chards, Mamiku Gar­dens is a botan­i­cal gar­den that can be en­joyed by young and old, his­to­ri­ans and na­ture lovers alike. The gar­dens have been de­signed and man­i­cured with a tremen­dous amount of skill and flair, and the 22 acre prop­erty is a ver­i­ta­ble cor­nu­copia of trop­i­cal blooms, or­chids, wood­lands and an ex­ca­vated his­tor­i­cal site which dates back to the 18th cen­tury.

Hard to imag­ine that a place of such peace was once the scene of bloody bat­tles that took place be­tween the English and French in their strug­gle to pos­sess the strate­gic vil­lage of Praslin and the is­land of Saint Lu­cia dur­ing the 18th and 19th cen­turies.

Lo­cated close to Den­nery and only twenty min­utes drive from He­wanorra Air­port, the Mamiku Gar­dens tour be­gins at the gate­house which of­fers a guide­book to the 300 dif­fer­ent trop­i­cal plants, trees and bril­liant flow­ers that grow around this haven of ex­otic flora.

There are sev­eral themed ar­eas, and the Mys­tic Gar­den is just one; keep a keen eye out for hum­ming­birds which stop by to feast on the colour­ful flow­ers. Rest a while on rus­tic benches made by lo­cal crafts­men from bay and white cedar and en­joy a real se­cret gar­den where the bird­song is the sin­gu­lar sound­track.

Through the branches of the Neem Tree, the pale green and white ginger­bread of the pretty Cre­ole-style “Bri­g­ands’ Bar” can be seen; its name refers to the 18th cen­tury Saint Lu­cian rebels who de­fended this part of the is­land by at­tack­ing Bri­tish in­ter­ests. The Bri­g­ands’ Bar is the per­fect stop after a walk or a hike through Mamiku, and it con­tains some fas­ci­nat­ing ex­hibits and ar­ti­facts ex­ca­vated around the for­mer plan­ta­tion.

Take the trail up to Grandpa’s House and on the way you’ll find the “lang llang tree” also known as the Per­fume Tree. It takes over 30lbs of dried flow­ers boiled in large vats of wa­ter to form just one ounce of oil. Along the way there are signs to the ba­nana walk, which takes vis­i­tors through the his­tory of the is­land’s “green gold” of for­mer years. A three mile hike for the more ad­ven­tur­ous hiker takes in the breathtaking views of Praslin Bay and the white­caps of the At­lantic, be­fore of­fer­ing a re­fresh­ing swim in the crys­tal clear Mamiku River.

Up the gen­tly wind­ing trail to the top of Tamarind Hill you will find the the ru­ins of the 18th cen­tury home of Madame de Mi­coud, an artist’s im­pres­sion of which hangs among the ex­hibits along with elab­o­rate brass arte­facts, old mus­ket parts and mil­i­tary uni­form but­tons. De­spite the bu­colic beauty and tran­quil­ity of to­day’s Mamiku, the his­tory of Madame de Mi­coud’s beloved plan­ta­tion gives a chill­ing re­minder of the tur­bu­lent pe­riod when Saint Lu­cia was the prize in an on­go­ing war be­tween the Bri­tish and French.

Be­tween the cap­ti­vat­ing views, the com­pelling his­tory and the seren­ity of the beau­ti­ful gar­dens, there is much to en­joy at Mamiku. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion please con­tact Mamiku Gar­dens at 455-3729.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.