During a recent trip to Abaco, I was invited to a meeting of the Abaco Horticultural Society at Papillon, the Green Turtle Cay home of Chris Dale.
Tom and I have long admired Papillon, so I was excited to have an opportunity to see the house and explore its gorgeous English garden. Chris has designed a beautiful, meandering outdoor space with cozy seating nooks from which to enjoy dozens of colourful tropical plants and enjoy the ocean breeze.
Richard “Blue” Jones, Green Turtle’s bush medicine expert and founder of the cay’s Bahamian Bush Medicine Garden, was to be the meeting’s keynote speaker. Due to a death in the family, however, he was unable to attend.
Instead, Man-O-War’s Arelia Albury — whose knowledge about Bahamian bush medicine is nothing short of encyclopedic — stepped in. During her presentation, she explained to us how indigenous plants such as aloe vera, fever grass, love vine and cerasee (my grandmother’s all-purpose treatment), have traditionally been used by Bahamians to treat everything from cuts and burns to digestive issues and diabetes.
Informally affiliated with the Horticultural Society of the Bahamas, the Abaco Horticultural Society meets monthly from September to May. Meetings feature topics of interest to Abaco gardeners such as container gardening, soil preparation, types of plants that grow well together, etc. Plant sales and auctions are also held. Club gatherings take place at members’ homes and other venues throughout Abaco and the cays.
The next Abaco Horticultural Society meeting will be held this Saturday, November 14th, 2015 at Pine Woods Nursery (Don McKay Blvd. in Marsh Harbour) at 10 a.m. Topics of discussion will include annuals, perennials, pesticides and fertilizers. As always, the meeting is BYOC – bring your own chair.
Seasonal membership fees for the Abaco Horticultural Society are $40 per couple and $25 per individual. Individual meeting charge for non-members is $5.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.