I’m so over the rain in London. So over it, I tell you. For this week’s ‘how does your garden grow’ post, I can’t muster up the enthusiasm to photograph yet more raindrops on roses (or raindrops on grasses, leaves or anything else). Let’s escape to a happier time and a sunnier clime!
In April, on our trip to Jamaica, Mr. and N and I visited some of the plantations near our resort. The children did not accompany us because they could not be parted from the pool at the hotel.
Although Prospect Plantation was established in 1721 as a working plantation, nowadays, the main crop is tourism. Sir Harold Mitchell, a Scottish businessman, bought the plantation in the 1930’s and his descendants still own it. In the past, the 1000 acre plantation grew a variety of spices and fruits, such as allspice, bananas and cocoa. On the grounds, there are still some exhibits of crops that used to be grown for profit, such as these pineapples.
After seeing the grounds, visitors can take a tour of the Great House. This photo shows the pillared drive to the front of the house.
The back of the house has a beautiful veranda. I could sit here for hours sipping Pimms. After enough Pimms, I wouldn’t even notice the mosquito bites. Supposedly on a clear day, you can see all the way to Cuba which is 90 miles away.
Most of the rooms are not open to the public which is kind of lame in my humble opinion.
The most interesting tidbit of information was that people would send their broken china back to England to get stapled together. The cost of shipping and stapling was still cheaper than buying new china. It was so very different from the throw-away culture of today.
The best part of the house is the spectacular view from the porch.
The gardens are something special. Lady Mitchell was big on gardening and she succeeded in recreating a traditional English garden in the tropics.
There are statues, meandering paths, fountains and tropical plants galore.
The British owners of the house entertained many famous people, some of which planted trees in commemoration of their visit. The great and the good varied from Henry Kissinger to Charlie Chaplin. This giant mahogany tree in the front yard was planted by Winston Churchill in 1953.
FYI, we toured the plantation by jitney. Mr. N and I opted not to ride on the camels or take a Segway tour. I’m sure the children would have enjoyed both alternatives. The tour also includes a demonstration of coconut tree climbing and sampling local fruits. The highlight for me, though, was definitely the gardens.
We visited the Good Hope Plantation at the recommendation of the concierge at the resort where we were staying, Beaches Boscobel in Ocho Rios.
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