The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Creole Cottage Garden in Haiti

The Proud Gardener at Rest

The Chartreuse-edged coleus looks like a Choice Cultivar from Landcraft Environments

Wonderful Textures and Contrasts

I have just returned from a week-long eye mission to Cap Haitien, Haiti. On Wednesday, we visited a small village on the outskirts of town. We did our work in a church, but I couldn't help noticing this garden next door.

The modest house without plumbing had a tidy, well-kept mixed hedge that intrigued me so I asked the woman at the gate if I might enter. She was a bit shy at first but was pleased to invite me into her garden. Inside the hedge, there was a small seating area where her family gathered to sit and talk. I immediately saw the usefulness of a hedge to create privacy in the center of this bustling village. The hedge included a plant that looked very much like boxwood. I wondered if it was a relative of Lonicera nitida because earlier in the year it had white fragrant flowers.

I was surprised to find the diversity of plants and the skillfulness in which they were combined in her humble garden. It reminded me of a Gertrude Jekyll quote which I paraphrase: it is not the size of the gardener's pocketbook but the size of her heart that makes a beautiful garden.


  1. Michael, I love the photo of the "proud gardener at rest!" It reminded me so much of the presentation we both heard by Jill Nokes on the dirt gardeners of rural Texas. And, how true it is that beautiful gardens are born out of passion!--Joe

  2. Joe,
    This garden is right up Jill's alley. I agree, the best gardens are created by passionate, and perhaps slightly crazed, gardeners. Does that sound familiar?? BTW, I have been loving your blog, Notes From Juniper Hill!! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Sometimes I appreciate more what people can accomplish without a "gardening budget". Anyone with money can through some towards a landscape and a landscape designer. But I like it when people garden, because that is just what they like to do.

  4. Les,
    I couldn't agree with you more. I have always maintained that not having enough money was the best thing that happened to my garden. It made me work more slowly and thoughtfully. Early on, I had a lot of bad ideas that I am glad I could never afford to implement.



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