My recent trip to the last Orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden brought many warm memories of my homeland as soon as I entered the show; The Allamanda Flower presentation was a deep reflection of one of my childhood memories.

The Barbados Allamanda FlowersBeing miles away from home of Barbados there many things I miss.  If you have ever been far away from home for long time you can probably relate to the feeling of homesickness.  My recent trip to the last Orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden brought many warm memories of my homeland as soon as I entered the show; The Allamanda Flower presentation was a deep reflection of one of my childhood memories.

When I was a child I spent many days walking home from school up plenty of hills in the island’s afternoon hot sun. The walk was exhausting, lugging a book bag full many school text books and wearing my school uniform and tight English Wallabee shoes until I caught the view of the many beautiful home gardens along the way. The gardens included a variety of flowers including tropicals and fruit trees (which I helped myself to when they were ripe; wink wink) that quickly turned my everyday walk into a relaxing one.  So relaxing I would forget about the scorching sun.

One of the flowers that I loved to see along the way was the Allamanda Flower.  Although not the National Flower of Barbados, (The Bajan Pride also known as Dwarf Poinciana is) the Allamanda flower (not used in arrangements I must add) can be found all throughout the island. It was one of the flowering plants I could find in many gardens on my path home. It also amazed me how its cone like flowers were used by birds for an after rainfall drink. The free garden show was the inspiration to get home and quickly finish my yard chores which included caring for livestock just so I could garden with my grandmother (Mama) and with Shirley Davis, a neighbor across the street. The Davis Family had two of the most beautiful gardens in the neighborhood. Many days I refused to get on the local minibus just so I could walk and take in the floral scenery.

My day sometimes ended with a sea bath in the island’s warm waters and that meant another walk right back down the hill passing other beautiful gardens on the way to the beach.  Walking into the orchid show and seeing some flowers from home especially the Allamanda flower made me reflect on how much I miss home and my evening walks. Hopefully I will be on my way home soon.

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