Eden and Satan Meet at Dominica’s Botantical Gardens

“Don’t touch the fruit of the Cannon Ball Tree! It smells like ‘Satan’s feces.’ ” This statement is the most vivid memory I have of our visit to Dominica’s Botanical Gardens. The warning was delivered in the lilting sing-song voice of our tour guide, and it was met with a resounding round of laughter from our group. But we all steered clear of the Cannon Ball Tree fruit. I did wonder what Satan’s feces smelled like, and how anyone would know, but I wasn’t quite curious enough to find out.

The Cannon Ball Tree

Don’t go near the fruit of the Cannon Ball Tree

The Botanical Gardens lie just outside Roseau, at the base of Morne Bruce, which is the mountain overlooking the town. On our cruise ship tour we had only a fleeting glimpse of the gardens. On another trip, we would spend many hours there exploring. The plantings are extensive, and a captive breeding program provides close up views of the endangered Sisserou and Jacko Parrots. It makes for a perfect picnic spot, as well as a convenient and relaxing stop for birdwatchers visiting Dominica. The plantings encourage a diverse array of birds to visit, so bring your binoculars and listen closely to their songs.

Ficus at Dominica Botanical Gardens

Aerial ficus roots, Dominica Botanical Gardens

The Spiny Bamboo House was an interesting topiary. We were told it was sometimes used for weddings, anniversaries, and other celebrations. We wondered if “other celebrations” included island “religious” ceremonies. Various forms of voodoo (for lack of a better word) are reportedly still practiced in certain areas of this portion of the Caribbean. The bamboo house’s spooky quality was not lost on us.

Bamboo House

The bamboo house is used for celebrations and events

The national tree/flower of Dominica is called the Bwa Kwaib. It sports prolific crimson blooms in the spring, but only after shedding all of its leaves. It was chosen to represent this country because it thrives under the harshest conditions, just like Dominica.

Dominica's National Tree

The Bwa Kwaib tree blooms after all its leaves are lost

According to Frommer’s, the Gardens were established initially to provide Dominica’s farmers with crop diversification. London’s Kew Gardens provided exotic plant seedlings from every tropical outpost to determine what would grow well in Dominica’s climate and soil. The result: everything grew well here.

On your next cruise stop at Dominica, consider a walk to the Botanical Gardens, or take a quick taxi ride there. Pick up a few beers and sandwiches in town and enjoy a nice picnic lunch. The lack of beaches on this island is quite overcome by its incredible natural beauty. I would first encourage a trip to the many waterfalls, rivers, lakes, or the rainforest. If, however, you decide to stay close to Roseau, these Gardens can transport you to a beautiful, tranquil, relaxing Garden of Eden. Just don’t be tempted by the fruit of the Cannon Ball Tree.

Contact me at susan@susanmcdanieltravel.com or 561-841-2224 to plan your trip to Dominica. Or visit my website at

www.susanmcdanieltravel.com  and use the tools there to explore any destination you choose. Travel begins with a dream, and I make dreams reality.

Advertisements

About susanmcdanielcruisenews

Travel consultant and author. Travel consultant specializing in Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, and other tropical destinations, as well as exotic locales, such as Galapagos and Machu Picchu. Also provides customized accessible leisure travel for people with special needs. Loves to introduce people to cruising and arrange family travel. Author of the weight loss book, "Win When You Lose: A Guide to Successful Dieting." Former weight loss counselor/motivational speaker.

Posted on July 21, 2012, in Caribbean, cruise, Dominica, Roseau, shore excursion, tours, travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Double Black Diamond Travel

A professional travel WordPress.com site

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Exploration Abroad

Traveling and learning abroad with Joshua S

5 Things To Do Today

Lifestyle magazine covering hotels, restaurants, travel, food, arts and entertainment

Lovely Shoots

Lovely photographs of the world

Meg Travels

mostly sunny adventures

The Open Suitcase

A Miscellany of Travel Tidbits, Tips and Tales

The Local Traveler NS

Two travelers' tales and reviews from around Nova Scotia

Ed Salvato

Editor in chief, ManAboutWorld, the #1 gay travel magazine for iPad, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones

Seven Sea Journeys ~ A Travel Journal

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going

Dream BIGGER

Create The Life You Want Now!

Capers for Canines (and Other Animals)

My Work with Animals, My Life as an Author

travelola

reflections on travel & expat life in australia

Pictures & Plane Tickets

A Wanderlust inspired Travel Blog

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: