Several members of my extended family are enthusiastic and successful gardeners. Me? I’m no expert on growing things but I love flowers, particularly tropical varieties, and I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with photographing them.
Turns out we may all have inherited our interest in gardens and gardening from my great-grandmother. According to my cousin, Alton Lowe, Ma May had a passion for growing things, and her garden was one of the most beautiful on Green Turtle Cay. Any time you passed, Alton says, you’d see her outside, tending her plants.
Along with roses and carnations, Ma May grew fragrant gardenias, several types of jasmine, pomegranates and grapes. She even introduced shrimp flowers to the island.
That she was able to keep such a lush garden surprised me, given how rocky the yard is at Fish Hooks. But apparently the hard ground was no match for my great-grandmother. She simply cut holes in the rock and filled them with soil.
Ma May maintained her garden even after she moved to Nassau. Early each summer, she’d return to Green Turtle Cay bearing baskets brimming with plants and clippings.
Thankfully, it seems Alton has also inherited the family passion for gardening. He’s generously offered to supply clippings when we’re ready, so that, in addition to restoring her house, we can bring Ma May’s beautiful garden back to life.