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Read on for facts on the "Green Lung of Paget" by Val Wallace

 

 

The Green Lung of Paget – the Bermuda Botanical Gardens

Why We Must Work Together To Save It

Facts taken from the Botanical Gardens (BG) Park Management Plan 2004 by Val Wallace - Paget Resident – September 2006

 

  1. The Bermuda Botanical Gardens are visited by 200,000 locals and visitors annually. The BG is the largest legally protected open space in the central parishes. At 36 acres, it is the fifth largest National Park in Bermuda. With the average size of Bermuda’s 70 plus Parks less than three acres, this is hugely important because it is WHOLE.

 

  1. The BG is UNIQUE within the Bermuda National Parks System because of its’ history, facilities, programs and dedicated staff. It has a dual role. The BG is a place of research, development and education as a Botanical Garden, and is a passive park / community centre for special events for people from all walks of life.

 

  1. The history of the gardens dates back to 1898, so the gardens are 108 years old. Starting with just ten central acres of what was already Public Gardens, 1912 saw the BG double in size with the addition of the Montrose estate.

 

  1. In 1962, three acres was lost to the hospital for a major expansion. Four years later, this was rectified by Government adding the Camden Estate of some 16 ½ acres, bringing it to its present 36 acre size.

 

  1. The BG, (largely due to its size), provides a significant ecological habitat for insects, amphibians, and land birds.

 

  1. Many trees in the BG are hundreds of years old. The BG is home to some of the few mature Cedar trees that survived the Scale Insect Attack in 1948 – in fact, the BG provided the thousands of seedlings needed to save Bermuda’s soil at the time. Today the BG has a successful Bluebird Trail, with boxes made by children attending Botanical Summer Camps.

 

  1. Known as the Agricultural Station at the time, the Botanical Gardens has been home to the Department of Agriculture since its inception in 1912 – its name was changed to Bermuda Botanical Gardens in 1958. Early research at the Agricultural Station into Lily culture, onions, and potatoes helped to make Bermuda an agricultural success in the 1930’s when over 3,000 acres of Bermuda was under cultivation as arable land. The legacy of agriculture continues today with vegetable trial gardens, an extensive reference library for farmers, the Plant Protection Lab, and a Quarantine facility.

 

  1. The First Agricultural Exhibition (now known as the Annual Exhibition) was held in 1922.

 

  1. It would be very expensive to move the collections and the gardens and build new facilities for them – Government House Grounds are a possibility but they are not open to the public, and many plants would be lost in the process, because they either cannot be moved physically, or they are too mature.

 

 

 

 

Collections                                          Gardens         

Palm                                                    Formal

Cacti                                                    Economic

Cycad                                                  Butterfly

Cassia                                                  Fruit Orchard

Plumeria                                              Cottage

Fern                                                     Garden of Peace

Vine                                                    Sensory

Ficus                                                    Hibiscus

Bamboo                                               Rose

Rock

  1. Formal groups with an active interest who use the Botanical Gardens on a regular basis for meetings or activities include

 

The Blind                                                  Bermuda Botanical Society

Bermuda Rose Society                             Bermuda African Violet Society

Bermuda Orchid Society                          Bermuda Garden Club

Bermuda Audubon Society                      Bermuda National Trust

Eden Project                                             Greenrock

Keep Bermuda Beautiful                          Save Open Spaces

Bermuda Zoological Society                    BotCampers

Masterworks Art Gallery                          Bermuda Farmers Association

Bermuda Beekeepers Association                        SPCA

Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau          Bermuda Cat Fanciers                       

Bermuda Equestrian Federation               Driving Horse and Pony Association Dog Training Club of Bermuda                   Bermuda Kennel Club                       

Bermuda All Breed Club                          Bermuda Hunt Club

Good Dog 101                                          International Dog Event Association (IDEA)

Bermuda Bird Fanciers                             Bermuda Poultry Fanciers

Meet A Mum Association (MAMA)        La Leche League

Fun Run Group                                         Bermuda Fishermen Committee

Camden / Premier’s Residence                 Ikebana International

Lobster Fishermen Committee                  Learning Through Landscapes

Bermuda Canine Education Club             Bermuda Bonsai Club

Bermuda Fruit Growers                           

 

11. Informal users include walking clubs, cyclists, parents with young children, senior citizens (Camden Teas), Youth groups, Brownies, Scouts, Guides, School classes, tourists, taxi drivers, local amateur gardeners, Diabetes Association (DeFeat Diabetes walks), Landscaping companies, local plant nurseries (importation of plants), animal lovers (importation of pets), wedding photographers, memorial plantings, botanical artists, tai chi, yoga, joggers, neighbours, extended Bermuda families celebrating birthdays, staff and patients of the King Edward Memorial Hospital.

 

12. Government departments located within the gardens include Environmental Protection, Parks Department staff (including some 90 employees and their maintenance section), and Agriculture. Future plans are for a Children’s Discovery Garden, an After School Care Program, a Walk-through Butterfly Garden, a Curious and Carnivorous Plant Collection, and an Agricultural Museum

 

Please take an hour of your time to do one of their fascinating hour-long tours from the Visitor Centre every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:30 a.m. (If there is public demand, additional tours can be scheduled on other days, including weekends. Call 236-5291 or 236-5902).

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