I would like to take you on a tour of the ‘Garden Dung a Bank’. ‘Dunk a Bank’ is a name my daddy made up because of its location in the village. This garden sits behind the main road to the community below an embankment. The roadway is mostly loose gravel, and care must be taken not to lose control of your footing when walking, especially in not so comfortable shoes. My father was always making up names of places and people and used them on a regular basis in his conversations. Some would comment that he was a man of parables and talked in codes.
This garden sanctuary ‘Dung a Bank’ is nurtured and cared for by my favorite sister-in-law who has been in the family forever. Like me, she too is an avid gardener who just loves to grow just about everything. She is not afraid of tilling the soil and playing in the dirt.
In 2013 I visited this garden and was able to capture a lot of memories through my camera lens. The travel by air over the ocean, hills, and dales, is an Island Paradise in view, that is spectacular to the eye. The blue-green coral waters is an invitation to an another world of ecosystem beneath.
From a distance, the tiny images of homes through the hills overlooking the Caribbean Sea is in sight. The mountain ranges in some areas give a clear view of the wide ocean below.
The mere voyage from the city through the remote country roads affords the view of plantations great and small. Despite the bumpy ride along pot holed streets, the presence of animals grazing on the banks along the way lend itself to inspiring thoughts and seeing new things.
Until you have experienced this journey you might never understand how one could just find themselves engulfed in the beauty of nature and relaxation. That has happened to me every time I visit. The rest and relaxation, listening to nature, experiencing the breeze that comes by periodically, and of course, the delicious meals cooked up by family there, offered more tranquil therapy to body, mind, and soul. As you take this tour with me I’m hoping that you will enjoy the view.
On approaching the estate one cannot help but notice the lush greenery behind the fence. Without this fence, the flowers, fruit trees, and crops in this wonderful habitat would be imminent for destruction and be at a loss.
It was a rather warm afternoon as I wandered through the estate to explore and see what I could find intriguing. I was rather fascinated by the palm tree with its brilliant display of scarlet red seeds and branches spreading out like the coconut tree. This palm tree resembles the Carpentaria Palm (Carpentaria acuminata), not sure if that is the same species growing here.
The flower garden had a variety of unusual plants, flowers with an array of shapes, colors, and textures.
[Pictures coming soon]
Fruit trees were not in shortage and food sources were in abundance.
Overlooking the porch the ackee tree was in plain view. I have had my fair share of ackee for breakfast while I was here.
Sugar cane was plentiful and the sweet sugar cane juices running down my hands called for a refreshing ‘aah’, ‘so good’.
When was the last time you ate a guava? Last time I recalled eating one was back in the late 1980’s.
On seeing that there were fruits on the guava tree I went searching for a ripe one. I found a few and quickly devoured the fruits. The taste was just like I remembered. The fleshy pink meat with seeds on the inside was gone in a few minutes.
June Plums! I have not had these in years. It has really been a long time since I have had so much fun exploring, and the desire to come back to this garden sanctuary is definitely in the future.
I didn’t have to wander too far from the house when this banana bunch leaning over the fence caught my attention.
The sound of pots and pans clanging in the downstairs kitchen before the rise of the sun woke me up in the mornings. The aroma of good country cooking wet my appetite and going to investigate could not be resisted. On approaching the large dining area downstairs I could hear my nieces chattering and laughing in the kitchen. The dining table was spread with delectable continental breakfast in an elegant fashion. The Ritz Calton dining could not afford us such luxury. We didn’t partake of wine or any strong drink, instead, we had refreshing coconut water, and good ole’ chocolate tea. We didn’t eat caviar but had a lot of ackee with salt fish (Jamaica’s National Dish), roasted breadfruit, avocado, bananas, apples, pineapple. All of the above and more traditional Jamaica breakfast food and fruits from the garden.
Amidst lush plantation settings, a rather pleasant atmosphere and perfect seating for everyone to sit comfortably to eat and catch up on the years we missed being together as a family.
It wasn’t long before the room was full with hungry taste buds and mouths to dive into the delicacy that was displayed on the ‘Greene’s family dining table’. The table and chairs were decorated with fine linen fashioned by my sister-in-law, the home maker. The chairs were decked out in skirts, not to mention the gas cylinder all dressed up in a similar fashion. The food dished up by some of the best family cooks was delicious.
Lunch and dinner time was no different. Everyone gathered in a similar fashion and we all sat down not only to eat and drink but to talk and catch up with everyone.
You might be wondering why I am not in any of the pictures; but how could I be when I was busy capturing what was happening and satisfying my taste bud craves?
With each stroll and camera in hand, I was able to capture a lot of memories in this Garden Paradise.