Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ahhh Ras Natango Garden and Gallery,

View of garden and house (partially hidden)
I recently visited Ahhh Ras Natango Garden and Gallery, the brainchild of Tamika and Ian Williams, who on Monday were declared  the TripAdvisor 2013 Winner, and were awarded a Certificate of Excellence. This premier attraction is in Camrose, on the right hand side of the road running from Montego Bay, through Granville to Kempshot. A steep driveway leads to the house and the amazing garden, built into a hillside where you would think any kind of cultivation would be washed away. However with skillful use of terracing, suitable habitats for a wide variety of tropical and temperate plants have been created, alongside walkways which allow the visitor to admire them. Among the plants grown for their flowers and foliage are Iris, Coleus, Nasturtium, Aquilegia, Roses, Orchids, Crotons, Kalanchoe – Mother of Thousands (which if you’re not careful will take over your whole garden) Anthuriums, Bromedliads, Impatiens, Red Ginger, Cockscomb, Moses-in-a-Basket (Rhoeo) and many more. You can see Tamika’s beautiful photos of her flowers on Ahhh’s facebook page.
Beside the walkways are whimsical touches such as unusual carvings of animals including sharks and snakes, a miniature village, Jurassic Park, and the Zen Garden.
The Village

The Waterfall
At the far end is a waterfall, not less attractive for being man-made. You can relax in comfortable seats near the waterfall, soothed by the gentle sound of water, and take in the breathtaking vista of Montego Bay and the Caribbean Sea.  Stately cedars and other native trees enhance the view.
View of Montego Bay
I must also mention the compost heap, in which garden waste breaks down to form a natural soil-conditioner. I was heartened to hear that no garden waste is burnt here, and neighbours are encouraged to do likewise. 
The Art Gallery and Gift Shop occupy rooms on the ground floor of the house. The Gift Shop was placed 1st among shops of this kind in Jamaica, mainly because all the merchandise is made locally and no pressure is put on visitors to buy. The Art Gallery is filled with paintings of flowers, people and scenery, by Ian and his son Ayale, who show great versatility.
     The beauty of the garden is complemented by the friendliness and courteousness of the staff working there. My thanks to Tensie, who showed us around the garden, and to Marcia who came with us to Buckingham Primary School, where I was to do a book reading.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It sounds just lovely! I have followed them on Facebook for a while and am amazed at the range of flowers that they grow up there - often shared on my Facebook page! I must visit them soon. Congratulations to the Williams on their certificate - TripAdvisor is a very influential travel website so it is really worth something. And they sound such lovely people!