This lecture begins with an overview of the historic gardens of Barbados mentioned by Sir Robert Schomburgk in The History of Barbados (1848).

These were the gardens of Codrington College (the first university in the British West Indies), Welchman Hall Gully (an extensive tropical orchard) and Government House. The most famous was that of Farley Hill, whose owner was host to several Royal visitors.

In the early 20th century a group of ladies known as the Civic Circle, led by the wife of the governor, Lady Carter, landscaped several public spaces – Fountain Gardens in the city of Bridgetown, an esplanade on the sea front and the King George the Fifth Park in the country. Lady Carter herself designed the Queen’s Park on the 14 acre site of the residence of the Commander of the British army, which withdrew from Barbados in 1905. It was not until 1954 that our first botanical garden was created. Andromeda Botanical Gardens were the brainchild of Iris Bayley, later Iris Bannochie, pioneer of our outstanding gold medal showing at Chelsea. The gardens were developed on eight hillside acres around a natural stream, and were bequeathed to the Barbados National Trust when Iris died in 1988.

Sir Henry Fraser is the retired founding Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences and founding Director of the Chronic Disease Research Centre of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. He is the author of more than 100 peer reviewed medical and scientific papers, several hundred other papers, 700 newspaper Sunday columns and many books and articles on Barbadian heritage and architecture.

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