Giant fern, lillies and ground cover with flagstone pathways just made for wandering. (Picture by Heather-Lynn Evanson.)
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THE PEACOCK DARTED into the undergrowth as a woman trailed it, camera at the ready.
It emerged from the shadows as more people aimed their cameras at it, hoping for a spectacular showing.
But the peacock did not oblige. Instead, it nestled in the shade of some foliage, its glossy emerald green and blue plumage standing out against the coal black earth, making a mockery of any attempts to blend in.
The exotic bird, either Wilson or Willow, one of two peacocks in the garden of Julie Landis, was one of the main attractions at the recent Barbados Horticultural Society’s Open Garden at Eden Crest in Kendal, St John.
The 2.2-acre garden was chock-full of wonders – from the long walk down a gently sloping road with what looked like seasoning growing in the centre as a line of stately palms marched alongside and seemingly guided the way within, to a garden bed where the dropped petals of a tree created a fuchsia-coloured carpet, to the tortoises happily munching away oblivious to the people snapping away above.
Flowers popped out from cracks in the flagstones, in gaily painted clay pots, or stood guard around the trunks of towering trees as Woman’s Tongue kept up its incessant “chatter”.
“It’s so beautiful,” said an English visitor. “I will be going around again.”
Ole Dam Mikkelsen pronounced: “It’s a nice place; a nice variety.”
But for one man, Robin, the peacocks were the game changer.
“I love the peacocks. I do a lot of travelling and the last time I saw peacocks I was in Cartagena, Spain,” he said.
And the woman who has put 14 years’ toil into the garden was pleased with the response.
This was the third showing for the Landis garden with its mainly local trees, shrubs and flowers.
“It’s a lot of hard work and we don’t have a full-time gardener,” she said. “It’s just my helper Reyhana Grace and my nephew Jawwaad Noel. But then you see the smiles on everybody’s faces, and it’s also so relaxing to sit and have a cup of tea.”
Landis, (at left), admits there is no set strategy behind the design.
“I see a spot and I say that would do well and then if it doesn’t do well, we move.
“So I really don’t have like a plan. As the day goes, or weeks or months, I plant like that,” she said with a laugh.
Grace said: “She would go out one morning and she would stand in an empty spot and she would see a whole picture. ‘We are putting this here, we are putting that there’ and then she puts it and if it doesn’t work, she moves it.”
As for the peacocks, Landis explained she got her first one from the Lauries when they were unable to take it into a residential neighbourhood. Two peahens and another peacock followed, but rats set upon the peahens as they were nesting.
“I was so upset,” she said. (HLH)