Horizon at Sandy Point

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hiding in the bush

Let's take a walk ...
... to look at something that's not on a screen!
My husband, the photographer, says he takes photos of what he wants to keep for himself. That's not completely true, but a way to end discussion about some of his photos that others may consider ordinary or weird. I take photos to tell stories, and impose the plot through selection and sequence. Better photographers are even more clever as they frame, edit and use light from the very inception of each photo in the camera.

Peeping through the bush
Today's story is of an estate in the Santa Cruz valley, one of the oldest cultivated in the Northern Range (the easternmost cordillera of the Andes) of the southernmost island in the Caribbean archipelago, Trinidad. This over-long explanation is for the chance person reading who may not know these islands, far less the valley, and to avoid confusion with other similarly named places wherever the Spaniard colonisers left their marks.

San Antonio Estate in Upper Santa Cruz was surely named in the same era as the valley and may once have grown the traditional crops of this valley, cocoa, coffee and citrus. Today it is a thriving horticultural enterprise, propagating and exhibiting in one of the loveliest gardens in the island. The estate house is a ruin, but its walls and foundations provide the setting for the organised bush which has been allowed to take over. The gardens and the business is wholesome and contemporary, a living extension of the family which takes care of these lands.

Walk with me through the San Antonio gardens, an inspiration in industry and a gentle way to live.

Remains of the old house as backdrop to luxuriant bush!

A frame for a doorway?

Fountain focus
Orange ixora on mildewed wall

A place for contemplation
Pathways and plantings
A grand staircase to frame the wild bamboo on the far hill
San Antonio Nurseries is one of the longest running businesses in the Santa Cruz valley. Its garden shop is well-known for a huge array of plants, and gorgeous orchids. If you want inspiration for your own garden, however small, a visit to the plant shop is a worthwhile adventure.

So many unheralded blooms!

Green on green: the most soothing colour palette
So lovely - so disdained for being politicised!

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