Mamiku Gardens - Beauty & History in Paradise Christmas Beauty (flowers)
Beauty and history in paradise
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.