January 03, 2016

Barbados's Orchid World and Tropical Flower Garden


A Tropical Garden in Barbados


We're firmly entrenched in another long Toronto winter so any flower pictures I post in the near future have to originate from a local Conservatory or more balmier locations. I think Barbados would be classified as "balmy" when Linda and I visited the island during our Southern Caribbean cruise last October: sunny, hot and humid. After waking up in Bridgetown (the ship travels between islands while you're asleep, so civilized!), we took part in an excursion which included a short visit to "Orchid World."

According to this link, "Orchid World is located on six acres surrounded by sugarcane in the heart of the Barbados countryside. With an elevation of 810 ft a number of vantage points allow you to take in the view. The location is ideal for growing and displaying the more than 20,000 Orchids."

For the record, I didn't see 20,000 orchids blooming but to be reasonable it just depends on the timing of your visit. It was still very interesting to see orchids growing and blooming bareroot as I'll show you below.

(I'm not obsessed with orchids although I can easily see how and why many are entranced with all things Vanda, Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Dendrobium, et al. I wrote a book review a while ago about Eric Hansen's "Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust and Lunacy" It's a great read and you don't have to have the "fever" to understand the lengths some people will go to collect, grow and display these plants. Lord, you can replace "orchid" with "hosta" in the title and it would still make perfect sense!)

It was a self-guided tour, more or less, and while I wished more orchids were blooming (so that I could take more photos!), it was still very nice to see splashes of colour and work off the large breakfast we had on the cruise ship. Here are some highlights from our visit to this "bajan" tropical garden which will especially help northern gardeners get through yet another long winter.

Enjoy!


Dendrobium bigibbum Cooktown orchid at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Dendrobium bigibbum (Cooktown orchid) 
at Orchid World, Barbados 


Heliconia psittacorum at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Heliconia psittacorum 
at Orchid World, Barbados 




Hibiscus rosa-sinensis white tropical hibiscus at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (white tropical hibiscus) 
at Orchid World, Barbados




Linda at the waterfall Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Linda at the waterfall 
in Orchid World,  Barbados

My better half, enduring yet another "photo op" request!






Moses-in-a-Basket Rhoeo discolor at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Moses-in-a-Basket (Rhoeo discolor)
 at Orchid World,  Barbados 

Moses-in-a blanket aka boat lily has many different common and botanical names. I absolutely love the variegation and it seems to be a highly effective groundcover. Too bad we're stuck with Pachysandra, Lamium, etc. up here.



Moses-in-a-Basket Tradescantia spathacea at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Moses-in-a-Basket (Tradescantia spathacea)
 at Orchid World, Barbados




Moth orchid Phalaenopsis at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis)
 at Orchid World, Barbados

Ubiquitous due to the ease of propagating via tissue culture, Phalaenopsis come to mind for most people when they think of orchids.




Narrow leaf croton Codiaeum at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Narrow leaf croton (Codiaeum
at Orchid World, Barbados 



Narrow leaf croton Codiaeum Aureum-macalatum at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Narrow leaf croton (Codiaeum aureum-macalatum
at Orchid World, Barbados 




Ornamental pineapple ananas bracteatus at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Ornamental pineapple (Ananas bracteatus)
 at Orchid World Barbados 


I love the form and texture of this banana. I'd put it in large blue container with Canna "Tropicanna" to make a strong statement!





Orthosiphon stamineus Cat's whiskers at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Orthosiphon stamineus (Cat's whiskers) 
at Orchid World,  Barbados. 

The common name for this plant is appropriate!



Palms at Orchid World in Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Palms at Orchid World in Barbados 


Papilionanthe teres at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Papilionanthe teres 
at Orchid World,  Barbados


Red vanda at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Red Vanda at Orchid World, Barbados




Strobilanthes dyerianus Persian Shield at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Strobilanthes dyerianus (Persian Shield) 
at Orchid World,  Barbados 

I've seen Persian Shield sold here in Toronto as an annual and is much nicer than run-of-the mill begonias or geraniums.








Vanda coerulea at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Vanda coerulea at Orchid World, Barbados

Vanda coerulea Blue Vanda at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Vanda coerulea (Blue Vanda) 
at Orchid World, Barbados

Aren't the blue and spotted pattern wonderful? Well, I think they are!


Waterfall at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Waterfall at Orchid World, Barbados




Waterfall fish pond at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Waterfall and fish pond 
at Orchid World, Barbados 


The "Fish Whisperer" in action! The goldfish were not impressed.




Yellow and purple Cattleya at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow and purple Cattleya 
at Orchid World,  Barbados



Dwarf Poinciana Caesalpinia pulcherrima at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Dwarf Poinciana (Caesalpinia pulcherrima
at Orchid World,  Barbados




 Acalypha wilkesiana Jacob's coat at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 Acalypha wilkesiana (Jacob's Coat) 
at Orchid World, Barbados





 Agaves succulents cacti at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 Agaves, succulents and cacti 
at Orchid World, Barbados




 Screened display area at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 Screened display area 
at Orchid World, Barbados

Here's one of the screened rooms which provide shade and protection from birds.





Aechmea bromeliad flowers at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Aechmea bromeliad flowers 
at Orchid World, Barbados 





Alternanthera ficoidea 'Party Time' Joseph's Coat at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Alternanthera ficoidea 'Party Time' (Joseph's Coat) 
at Orchid World, Barbados 




Aranthera at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Aranthera at Orchid World, Barbados 




Bareroot orchids on display at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Bareroot orchids on display
 at Orchid World, Barbados 


Don't try this at home unless you can provide the humidity! Proof that orchids are epiphytes or plants that grow harmlessly upon another plant (such as a tree) and receive their moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around it. Some specimens were blooming although I didn't get a good shot, They were simply hung from wire hooks and seemed happy as can be.



Birdhouses at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Birdhouses at Orchid World, Barbados 


Birdhouses at Orchid World in Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Birdhouses at Orchid World in Barbados 




Boat Lily Tradescantia spathacea at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Boat Lily (Tradescantia spathacea
at Orchid World, Barbados


Cattleya labiata var. semi-alba at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Cattleya labiata var. semi-alba 
at Orchid World,  Barbados


Clerodendrum thomsoniae Bleeding heart vine at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Clerodendrum thomsoniae (Bleeding heart vine)
 at Orchid World,  Barbados




Container of canna lilies at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Container of canna lilies 
at Orchid World, Barbados


One group of cannas that doesn't have to be overwintered or trashed, as in the case for us who grow cannas over the summer and have to deal with them in November.



Cooktown orchid Dendrobium at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Cooktown orchid (Dendrobium
at Orchid World, Barbados

I find the markings and colour combination on this "purple and vanilla" Dendrobium very appealing! 




Cooktown orchid Dendrobium bigibbum  at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Cooktown orchid (Dendrobium bigibbum
 at Orchid World, Barbados 




Dendrobium bigibbum Cooktown orchid  at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Dendrobium bigibbum (Cooktown orchid)  
at Orchid World, Barbados 




Elephant Ear Alocasia at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Elephant Ear (Alocasia) at Orchid World, Barbados


Crested Euphorbia at Orchid World Barbados by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Crested Euphorbia at Orchid World, Barbados 
This Euphorbia reminded me of coral, so bizarre.