I have been a regular visitor to Bermuda since 1968. Yesterday, I had the experience of walking past the half-completed maintenance area inside the Botanical Gardens’ boundaries. This site is a mess and a safety hazard.
I was surprised to see that the safety gates to the site were left completely unlocked. I was able to go in right to that large tank and open the tank hatch on a swivel and peeked inside. What an attractive nuisance for a child to climb in and fall.
Then there are the stairs that wrap around the tank. Another hazard. There is also a large, ground-level hatch at the entrance, behind an opened chain-link gate that could probably be lifted open as well. Who knows what dangers wait there?
Additionally, the land that it sits on looks like a desert, littered with trash and sheet metal waste.
It also behoves me to comment on the condition of the Botanical Gardens. Bermuda has a gem here. Please take care of it. I have walked through it all, every garden, every path, asphalt and dirt.
So many areas are weedy and overgrown. So many buildings need paint and repairs. So much debris needs to be cleared out. I have never seen more than one person working on a garden bed.
I wonder how many people visit the Botanical Gardens. There are so many possibilities here — a child’s garden (with playful fountains), an orchid garden, a white garden, a red garden, any colour garden, a community vegetable garden to name a few.
Make it a place that Bermudians are proud of.
Not sure who the head gardener is, but they should visit Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. It is ever-changing, from season to season. People come back over and over to see what is new.
Courses are offered for want-to-be gardeners as well as experienced ones. So many ideas there. And I would guess that someone at Longwood Gardens would love to visit Bermuda to help out.
Also, I believe I saw a croquet court there as well, if that is the large level area in the front lawn of Camden. Are there regular matches? This is a nice way to get more people involved. Croquet and afternoon tea? How Bermudian can you get?
I am not saying that Bermuda needs to spend a fortune to make the gardens world class overnight. Take it a step at a time. Lay out a plan.
Have Bermudians look it over. Get their feedback. Get them involved. Get Bermudian gardeners involved. Many of them have fabulous gardens.
Above all, if possible, keep the Government out of it. In my experience, they lack imagination while always figuring how they can profit in the meantime. Use the money recovered from the scrapping of the tank to get started if it can no longer be used and that entire barren area should be sodded to conform and blend into the existing lawns of the Botanical Gardens.