The house is a charming gingerbread confection, arranged on terraces stepping down towards the Caribbean sea. It was originally built in the 1960s and the garden has been recently recast.Trees such as Flamboyant and Frangipani have been added to give shade and climbers planted to soften the walls.
The principal garden intervention addresses the house entrance in the creation of a formal courtyard providing the largest flat expanse of garden on this sloping property. Previously this was an open space with vehicle access to the front door. At the client’s suggestion, the cars were pushed away and a new green courtyard made, centred on a water fountain. This is overlooked by a new terrace which gives evening views of the setting sun. The planting is comprised of a restrained palette of plants selected for texture more than flower. Scented Gardenias, ferns, Plumeria and climbing plants are used to create green shady spaces giving respite from the ever-present sun.
Making gardens in this part of the Caribbean is a challenge. There is little soil and very little water in a long dry season. In outlying parts of the garden we have used many cacti and other drought-tolerant plants to reduce water dependency. Large beds of xerophytic plants flank the house on the sloping banks, planted into just inches of soil.
A short walk from the main house is a beach house, owned by the same client and built into a steep cliff. The setting has a distinctly Caribbean feel, and enjoys remarkable views over the sea. The former drive was turned into a garden walk along the spine of the property with the introduction of a water basin, planting and a dining pavilion. Planting is simple throughout; lush, green and jungle-like; distinct from that of the main house. Numerous species of philodendron, alocasia, bananas, palms and local fruit trees - all sourced locally - envelop the terrace walls and buildings.
Drawing by Andy Hamilton