During the late 1800s, thanks to the success of a number of industries — wrecking, sponging and agriculture among them — Green Turtle Cay enjoyed a true golden age.
The streets of New Plymouth were lined with grand homes, two and three stories tall. Each yard boasted a lush garden overflowing with bougainvillea, frangipani, hibiscus, and night-blooming jasmine.
Perhaps not surprising, given that their British ancestors valued the flower for its beauty and perfume and used it to make medicines and teas, many Loyalist gardens in Abaco featured roses. Prized varieties were passed on by family members and neighbours.
As I’ve written before, we’re in the middle of refurbishing the Albert Lowe Museum.
And that includes restoring the garden to what it would have looked like when the house was first built by Loyalist settlers in 1825.
The centerpiece will be a rose garden, stocked with as many varieties of roses as possible, particularly those indigenous to the Bahamas.
Over the past few months, artist and museum founder Alton Lowe and tour guide, Esther Bethel (both of whom have incredible green thumbs!) have been busy collecting and rooting rose bush clippings for the museum garden.
They’d like to include as many types of roses as possible, particularly those varieties native to the Bahamas.
If you’ve got clippings or rose bushes you’d like to contribute to the museum’s newly refurbished rose garden, please let me know, or contact the museum directly at (242) 365-4094.