by Jackie Garbarino
Shop and Volunteer Manager
These pictures tell the story of a magical transformation of the back section of the garden from a mass of weeds and rocks into a green sculpture using plants, trees, rocks, metal and gravel.
Conrad Baron designed and is implementing Phase II of the garden with input from Bryan Manco. Baron and his crew created a drought resistant oasis. Seamus Day is making new garden benches.
Of course we are in the baby stages and the plants and trees must grow to maturity before we can enjoy the full beauty and fruits of their efforts.
The purpose is not just aesthetic but also educational. There will be an outdoor classroom to inspire students and our local gardeners to grow their own fruits & vegetables.
Recently children in the Junior Warden Summer Program assisted Mr. Baron and Mr. Manco in planting banana trees and other plants. So the educational aspect has already begun. Many of the plants will attract butterflies so we will have a butterfly garden to enjoy also.
A large black cast iron pot, found somewhere between Salt Cay, Simpson Hill and North Creek depending on the local historian, will be a focal point in the back garden.
It may have been used for whaling on Salt Cay, cooking food for slaves, boiling pig parts or washing clothes in Grand Turk. This pot probably was used for all of the above at some point. What we do know is that it was not used to roast a missionary!
Our director Pat Saxton had a vision to transform the arboretum into a botanical and cultural garden. She obtained funds from the Grand Turk Cruise Center and Turks & Caicos Government Infrastructure Fund, the Memorial Bench Fund, and the Turks & Caicos National Museum Foundation.
The garden, in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs, has received seedlings from the Royal Botanical Garden (Kew Gardens) in the UK to help rescue some of the endangered and endemic plants, so that we can enjoy them for generations to come. We thank all for helping to turn a vision into a spectacular reality.
We look forward to museum members and visitors visiting the new and improved Turks & Caicos National Museum’s Botanical and Cultural Garden. We know you will enjoy it and appreciate it.