Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Caribbean Gardens

An escape to a tropical landscape

close up of pink cannonball tree flower

Hello, I’m Lisa Remby. I have shared photos of my Zone 6b Massachusetts garden on GPOD before  (A New Garden in Massachusetts). Recently, my husband and I visited two gardens in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a small, tropical, Zone 13 island in the Caribbean. The first, St. Vincent Botanical Gardens, is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, founded in 1765 primarily to provide medicinal plants for the British military. Captain Bligh famously brought the first breadfruit plant to these botanical gardens, and now breadfruit is a staple of the St. Vincent diet. The second, Montreal Gardens, is the private garden of a passionate gardener. The bus ride around the cliffs and over the hills of St. Vincent to this rainforest garden was frightening at times, but I just knew it would be worth the drive. Indeed, it was a leisurely walk through a lush, tropical forest with more flowers and large-leafed plants than I could name or count!

main path through botanical garden with lots of palm trees on both sidesThe main allée of the botanical garden—very parklike in its orientation. There are mountains in the distance, but they were obscured by clouds at that moment. (Clouds typically blow by, and sun is shining in the next moment.)

tree with bright purple flowersJacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia, Zone 10) dot the property at the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens.

close up of pink cannonball tree flowerAs you would expect at any botanical garden, there are quite a few tree species, including palms, pines, and deciduous trees such as the cannonball tree (Couroupita guianensis, Zone 11), which was blooming during our visit. The pollinated flowers produce the fruits that give the cannonball tree its common name. The fruits also grow on the vines along the trunk, not from branches.

scenic view of lush, tropical islandA St. Vincent scenic lookout on the drive to Montreal Gardens.

close up of garden bed with colorful foliage and bright pink flowersA first look at the variety of tropical plants trailside at Montreal Gardens. Coleus is a very popular bedding perennial in the Caribbean.

close up of False birds of paradiseFalse birds of paradise (Heliconia, Zone 10), aka lobster claws, were present along the path—and there were other varieties in orange and pink! Just look at the beautiful variegated greenery on the forest floor.

close up of bright pink and orange tropical flowersHeliconia psittacorum—so vibrant!

close up of pink red wax apple flowerFlower of the red wax apple (Syzygium malaccense)—so pretty, but messy! See the next photo.

garden path covered in bright pink petalsFlowers dropping from the red wax apples—still pretty.

close up of beehive ginger conesThis is beehive ginger (Zingiber spectabilis, Zone 9), which I had never seen before. At first I thought it was a garden ornament. Well, I guess it is!

angels trumpetsThere were several large angel’s trumpets (Brugmansia, Zone 9) or trumpet flower trees at Montreal Gardens. Such a treat!


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  1. nicki_s 03/21/2023

    Thank you for sharing these! Another place to add to my travel wish list.

    1. virtual_flower_garden 03/21/2023

      Yes! It was such an unexpected treat. We also visited a fabulous garden in Barbados. While we were there, I discovered several well-known tropical gardens on that island. One could certainly build a garden tour around those two islands.

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    simplesue 03/21/2023

    Oh so beautiful! You. had me at the acaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia!!! Love those purple blossoms it has. Great photos!

    1. virtual_flower_garden 03/22/2023

      Thank you—it was a fun trip! Happy to share.

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