Visiting My Friend’s Garden – Jamaica Observer


Dedicated and efficient gardener Everton Johnson aka ‘Spragga’ is seen pruning the shade vandas. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Thank you to everyone who liked and shared my garden tour which was featured on August 7th and 14th, respectively. The video on the Jamaica Observerit is Youtube the channel garnered over 1,000 views in five plus days, which I’m grateful for. I am touched and inspired by your positive comments and encouraged to share my friend’s garden which I recently spruce up as he prepared to host a family reunion.

My friend and her husband are both plant enthusiasts and we share the same passion for gardening. They are ably assisted by their dedicated and efficient gardener Everton Johnson, aka “Spragga”, who was caretaker of their dream home during construction. Spragga is therefore referred to as a founding member of their family and in our Jamaican patois is often referred to as “man a yaad”. My friend loves tropical flowers – heliconias, birds of paradise and russet lilies; she also likes orchids, especially vandas. She cuts the flowers from her heliconias and places them in a special vase inside her house.

A section of the Exotic Palm Collection consisting of Bismarck, Triangle, Fan, Fishtail, Areca, Cardboard and Foxtail palms with the recently commissioned panel listing the names of the palms and hanging from the Bismarck palm. The palms are color coded to match the names on the sign. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

When they finished building their dream home, they hired famed landscaper (a friend of mine) Stephen Jones of blessed memory to landscape the exterior and interior gardens.

They refer to the inner garden as their sanctuary where they have tea and cocktails with friends and family. This interior garden is designed around a koi pond (comprising 26 koi) under a bridge above which gives access to the main entrance of the house; has a stunning waterfall where an artistic feature in the form of a bird perched at the top (made of metal in a bronze/gold patina accented with large diamond shaped stones) greets you as you enter through the front door to the garden. This feature, she advised, keeps birds that would come down to the pond to eat the kois away. There are hanging ferns, semi-shaded vandas, phalaenopsis, ground orchids, prayer plants (calathea), caladiums, elephant ears (Alocasia Sanderiana), hydrangeas, ZeeZee, to name a few. name a few. Selected plants and succulents are displayed in decorative Mexican pottery and Talavera pieces are strategically placed to accent the garden. I designed and installed a succulent garden and a dry riverbed near the koi pond. There’s also a strategically placed birdcage that houses Romeo and Juliet or Michelle and Jordan, as they’re affectionately known. These birds were given to them by their son.

Its sun vanda collection is strategically placed by the pool. There is also a man’s head planter with pampas grass adorning this area. The male planter is affectionately called Percy. Percy is named after Spragga who said it reminded him of the Percy Junor bust located at Spaldings Hospital, where he was born.

They also have three dogs – Drogba, Zena and Bruno, their affectionate but crossed “security detail”.

The main front garden is indeed a show-stopper! It features a wide variety of perennial shrubs, annuals and bromeliads. There is also a collection of exotic palms (namely Bismarck — Bismarckia Nobilis, Triangle — Dypsis Decaryl; Foxtail — Wodyetia Bifurcata; Fish Tail — Caryota Mitis; Areca — Arecaceae; Cardboard — Zaceamia Furfura; Fan — Licuala Ramsayi; Christmas — Adonidia) strategically planted, which provides a canopy for the garden and complements its ambience. My friend told me that she recently ordered a sign that lists the names of palm trees. The sign hangs from the Bismarck palm. The palms are color coded to match the names on the sign. She said it became necessary because she often forgets names when people enquire. What innovation! That’s what I’m referring to when I say “own the garden”. The property is well fruited – soursop, pomegranate, sweetsop, banana, nutmeg (still to wear) as well as ackee, mangoes and otaheite apples hanging from the neighbors’ yard (it pays to “live well wid yu neba” ) .

I hope you enjoyed the visit. Happy gardening!

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

Multi-award winning gardener Sharon Cain welcomes the SO team to her friends’ indoor garden. Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

Bismarckia nobilis otherwise called bismarck palm is known for its striking foliage color and texture. It is an evergreen palm adorned with a thick trunk topped by a broad rounded head of magnificent stiff, intense steel-blue, fan-shaped fronds, 4 feet long and wide (120 cm). Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

The cardboard palm, commonly known as Zamia furfuracea leaflets, is bright green and oval, and has a slightly fuzzy, cardboard-like feel. Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

Fan palmNaphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

Heliconias are perennial herbs with stout or reed-like stems. The simple banana-like leaves sometimes have a copper sheen and the midrib can be ivory and pink. Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

Lampshade vandaNaphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

Sunpatients are an impatiens hybrid that can handle full sun in containers and flower beds. Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

A section of the inner garden that Cain’s friend calls their sanctuary. This interior garden is designed around a koi pond comprising 26 koi under a bridge above which gives access to the main entrance of the house; has a stunning waterfall where an artistic feature in the form of a bird perched at the top (made of metal in a bronze/gold patina accented with large diamond shaped stones) greets you as you enter the front door to the garden. Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

The aviary that houses Romeo (left) and Juliet or Jordan and Michelle as they are affectionately known. Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

The man-headed planter, affectionately called Percy, is adorned with pampas grass. Percy is named after Spragga, who said it reminded him of the bust of Percy Junor located at Spaldings Hospital, where he was born. Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

Plants and succulents are displayed in decorative Mexican pottery. Naphtali Junior

Visiting My Friend's Garden - Jamaica Observer

The recently commissioned panel that lists the names of the palms and hangs on the Bismarck palm. The palms are color coded to match the names on the sign. Naphtali Junior




insideheadline

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button