Created: Jul 19, 2021 8:00 AM
Bermuda, with a landmass of 21 square miles and a population of around 63,000, can, in most areas, hold its head up high.
The Covid has hurt the economy and Bermudians have suffered in many ways. Fortunately, we are surrounded by the ocean and our climate is pleasant most of the year.
By now you are probably thinking that there must be a “but” ahead, and you are right!
In times of difficulty our island landscape becomes a haven of peace and tranquility that can be visited and explored to bring us back to the reality of life and Mother Nature – who is usually personified as a woman – is presented as a guiding force. of creation. Discussion about this is another topic â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦ ..
Most properties have their own garden or land for relaxing or working to create a flower garden or vegetable patch or for spending leisure time.
We also have the Botanical Gardens and Arboretum – as well as little green enclaves along our coastline and tucked away in hidden corners – which I would say aren’t being used as much as they could be.
Add to that the railroad tracks, Fort Scaur, Spittal Pond, several small forts and parks in Hamilton and St George’s and let’s not forget the Royal Naval Dockyard – not bad for a small island.
However, are these areas sufficiently used by locals and tourists to educate, enjoy, learn and relax? If not, why not is the question.
Unfortunately, many of these areas are run down. Yes, we had a bad year in 2020 but this problem has been around for some time.
As a tourist island with limited space, all people should be encouraged to use, learn and enjoy these areas. Unfortunately, we missed this exercise; at the botanical gardens and the arboretum, the grounds are in a very poor state of repair and maintenance.
The Botanical Garden should, I believe, grow as many plants as possible in Bermuda with an emphasis on plants from the days of the island’s settlers to the present day – what an education for our young students, locals and tourists alike, l story brought to life – with information about the elevated platforms detailing use, provenance, etc.
The same approach should apply to the Arboretum, which should house specimens of as many trees as possible that grow in Bermuda. Rail trails could be planted with endemic and native plants, again with information boards to interest and educate. The National Trust does an excellent job of maintaining nature reserves and providing a haven of peace and tranquility to visitors; there is also the bonus linked to the history of associated buildings.
It’s a shame that many of these areas aren’t visited or even highlighted as places to visit. The more they are visited, the more interest will be generated in both, encouraging others to visit. In tandem with the interest will come a higher level of maintenance; one will feed on the other.
If not used, there is a good chance that many of these areas will deteriorate and be overwhelmed by “invasive species” which over time will overpopulate the areas to the point where no one is interested.
Time and the tide wait for no one, and Mother Nature has her own mind. If we don’t plan our approach to keep the landscape healthy and robust, it will regress in due course.
This year has so far been unusual; the winter was longer and very uncertain, while summer growth and flowering were a month later than normal.
There has been a growth spurt over the past month for both “garden” plants and invasive species; this should remind us that we are approaching hurricane season with the prospect of serious damage in heavily populated growing areas, especially forested areas.
Now is the time to take stock of gardens and woodlands to determine the need to reduce the potential for storm damage by cutting down and pruning heavily wooded areas with excessive foliage.
In short, what you see is what you get; maintenance which covers pruning, mowing, pests, disease and weed control, fertilization, etc., is the name of the game both for a well presented landscape and to keep costs down. to come up.
Malcolm Griffiths is a qualified horticulturist and member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture in the UK. He is also past president of the Bermuda Horticultural Society, the Bermuda Orchid Society, and the Bermuda Botanical Society.
The grounds of the Botanic Gardens and Arboretum are in a very poor state of repair and maintenance, said Malcolm Griffiths