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A proud people with an appreciation for all things aesthetically pleasing, Barbadians take beautifying their homes seriously. Indeed, it isn’t rare to see the homes of everyday Bajans surrounded by meticulously maintained flowers and plants. This pride in gardening goes beyond our gardens all the way to England, where Barbados regularly takes home top awards at the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, a prestigious international competition in the world of horticulture.
Barbados is one of the best islands to visit for tropical flora in the Caribbean region, as beautiful gardens are everywhere, bursting with a myriad of colour. Read on and we’ll tell you more about the types of flowers that you will typically find in many Barbadian gardens around the island.
Bougainvillea is a small flower that can either grow as a bush or on a vine. These seemingly delicate flowers are tougher than they look, multiplying quickly and creating a beautiful explosion of colour wherever they are found. They are also hardy flowers, with an incredible ability to survive even during droughts in our hot climate.
What we call the ginger lily here is actually formally known as Alpinia purpurata. The petals form a vertical, cone-like shape, and are usually seen in pink, red and white. Because of their vertical height, they are a popular addition to floral displays, bringing a sense of dimension and composition to arrangements.
A popular flower seen throughout the island is the hibiscus. It’s relatively easy to cultivate, grows as a bush, and is used frequently in landscaping to soften the appearance of hedges as it looks very attractive dancing in the wind. Some people are also fond of boiling the flower to make hibiscus tea, as it is believed to have medicinal value due to its content of vitamin C.
At Christmas time, you can look forward to seeing these beautiful deep-red flowers in many floral displays. In fact, the poinsettia carries the same prestige in the Caribbean as the holly does in temperate climates with regard to bringing to mind the holiday season.
Pride of Barbados
Our National Flower which also appears on our Coat of Arms, the Pride of Barbados is a small flower native to the Americas whose official name is Caesalpinia pulcherrima. The petals are orange-red on the inside fanning out to yellow on the tips, and are popular in decorations in November for Independence.
Where to find them
If you are interested in seeing all of these flowers and varieties in one place, then a visit to Andromeda Botanic Gardens, Hunte’s Gardens or Flower Forest, all located in St. Joseph, is in order as each of these experiences boast colourful gardens for one and all to enjoy.
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