Gardening in the Tropics -St. Lucia Style


Gardening in St. Lucia

Horses are very common in St. Lucia, but many do not have a good or long life. My wonderful cousin rescues race horses in Pennsylvania to rehabilitate them.

Here in St Lucia, she rescues them from the side of the road where they are tethered and starving. She is a very caring person to rescue horses, but that is not all.


She also rescues abandoned dogs and cats. Her home is filled with loving pets. Many of the homeless animals on St. Lucia are near death from thirst, exposure or starvation.Β  What does this have to do with gardening?


Well, they come to her farm and have their own garden in which to live out their lives. The pasture is enclosed in Bougainvillea and includes many plants flowering, fruited and beautiful. Each horse shown does have health issues, the dark bay in the left rear, having fallen off a cliff head first.

A world-renowned veterinarian and researcher examined this horse and nothing more can be done unfortunately, but keep it safe and comfortable. It will have the best care and a most wonderful life a horse can ask for in its remaining time.


The property on which my cousin has built her home has gorgeous views of the Caribbean and also the Piton Volcanic Rock Mountains, shown below.Β  The view below is from her veranda and looks across the circular driveway overflowing with Sedum spurium encasing the lily pond in the center.


One thing important to do for landscaping in the tropic is to maximize the grand views. This image below is looking out over the small fishing town of Choiseul.


This image below is also a view from the veranda. Tree palms anchor the design which my cousin did on her own. Her 4 acre property extends to the little shack home you see in the distance.


This is the gated entry.



The photo below shows the vehicular access to the barn and riding ring. My cousin is cantering her thoroughbred, above. This horse has a mechanical problem that will be repaired in time. It is undergoing exercises that have been prescribed by the veterinarian I mentioned above.


The stables are beautifully designed and have their own garden landscaping.


The view along the fence is lined with huge Kalanchoe in vibrant colors. Roses line another fence.



The image below shows the foundation planting with hot colors planted heavily with various shrub-sized Croton.


Crown of Thorns is also a prominent plant which her gardener dug up growing wild and transplanted here.



The garden is not even two years old. In this warm, year-round environment, the plants grow fast.


The gardens hold many fruit trees, such as pineapple, orange, lime, lemon, tamarind, grapefruit, papaya, coconut, banana, nutmeg, soursop, and mango.



Her veranda is furnished with many potted plants, most in really unique, handmade containers. You are looking at a baby’s bathtub above. Below, the artist’s husband was the model for this piece.


The paving is natural stone and the concrete path is inlaid with palm frond imprinting.


Now this image is of a bird I chased around for days. The mockingbird was making a mockery of me trying to capture it in a photo. Ha, bird, gotcha.


To see more from this property, like the in-ground pool, see these posts. To see Carolyn’s view of the trip and the information she researched on various tourist spots and communities, see her post, St. Lucia’s Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

Up next, some sites around the local communities and some gardens we visited.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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62 Responses to Gardening in the Tropics -St. Lucia Style

  1. I really admire your cousin for all the rescue work she does. It looks like the horses really live the remainder of their lives in an ideal environment. A small token for the painful life they have had to endure. I have lots of Crown of Thorns as houseplants it is odd to read about them being dug up in the wild and transplanted in the garden. Very lovely gardens!

    • She is an avid animal lover like myself and I am so proud of her for doing what she can to assist these animals. Not many people would open their homes to these animals which no one much cares. She has five dogs that she rescued in St. Lucia and some more in Pennsylvania. She hires a live-in caretaker to watch her farm in PA when she is not there.

  2. Ogee says:

    What a wonderful life…for your cousin and her rescues. Lucky them!

    • All are very fortunate when she rescues them. Too bad there are so many people worldwide that do not care for animals and find it acceptable to tie them in the hot sun by a busy road without food and water, days,or weeks on end. Personally, I could not take seeing this, horses of nothing but skin and bones,

  3. alesiablogs says:

    Please tell your cousin how wonderful I think she is!

  4. Stunning! My words in a comment can’t begin to do it justice, but your words and photos sure have. Your cousin seems like a really special person.

  5. Helene says:

    Hi Donna, I have been away from your blog for a little while but I just red Caroline’s post about the Botanical Garden! How interesting that you both are at Saint Lucia, I have always wanted to go there, because my next door neighbour is from Saint Lucia! He talks a lot about the plants and the sea and the sun but I have never seen any pictures from there so it was nice to see yours and Carolyn’s.

    Your cousin’s projects sounds very interesting, and a very good cause. We have similar horse and donkey sanctuaries here in the UK.

    • We were both in St. Lucia because we went together. I am unclear from your comment if you realized that. πŸ˜€
      You can see much more of our adventures in ST. Lucia here at GWGT in the previous posts if you want more photos. I have underwater images in one post and hummingbirds in another. St. Lucia has so much to see and offer. I am glad upon reading Carolyn’s post you popped in here.

  6. Ah, if your cousin ever needs someone to do house sitting, you can tell her I’m available. Just saying.

  7. What a nice view from the veranda! The view itself is already a fortune. => Waking up to that everyday…wow, it’s a great blessing!

  8. How fortunate a garden to be homing those lucky [in their misfortune] animals, and how fortunate your cousin is to be surrounded by this well deserved beauty.
    Beautiful shots, Donna and thank you for this treat!

  9. Christy says:

    God bless your cousin. I wish I could meet her! However since she reads your posts I am sending her a big “thank you” hug from TN. There are too many abandoned and abused animals and it’s so wonderful to “meet” someone that helps them. We made the decision to leave our estate to the ASPCA. Anyway….(I get all caught up in the animals)…her gardens are breathtaking. It’s wonderful to have the fruit trees in the garden and I bet their fragrance combined with the sea air is fabulous and so refreshing.

    • I am sure she will be happy for all those loving what she does for animals. There was a chicken crossing the road as she was driving rather fast down the road and I sheepishly mentioned if she likes chickens too. Of course she does and would have them at her farm if she did not have cats and dogs that would kill them.

  10. Barbara is a true animal lover that’s for sure. I think she would feed all the horses and dogs on St. Lucia is she could and she actually makes a pretty good job of it with the dogs and all the dog food she puts out. The animals there are lucky to have her.

  11. igardendaily says:

    Gorgeous photos of what looks to have been a wonderful trip. My favorite is the shot of the large gold flower with the fence and peak blended into the background. I noticed the same during my trip to Fiji that many horses were starving and wandering around the roads and villages. Although it seems there would be SO MUCH for them to eat in a tropical landscape, I think many of the grasses/plants do not have enough of the nutrients horses need to be healthy. Anyway, I do admire your cousin for her efforts to help the forlorn animals in St. Lucia and also her talents in creating such a beautiful residence.

    • On St. Lucia, the horses don’t roam. They are tied beside the road. Some are sold to neighboring islands and taken by boat to become food. Others are stolen by chopping off their heads and taking the body for meat. The head is left tethered. It is the stark reality of residents without.

  12. Great Captures! I love checking out the different green spaces and gardens when traveling – you never know what will catch your eye:) Happy Hump Day

  13. Phil Lanoue says:

    Wow what an amazing property and life!
    Good on her for caring for the poor animals.

  14. It always amazes me to see what I think of as houseplants growing outside. Great photos!

  15. Patty says:

    What an amazing property, and such a kind soul as the owner. I could feel the warmth today looking at the marvelous photos.

  16. Karen says:

    Such a stunning property, and the views are really great. But the animals caught my heart with this post. It’s always good to hear about someone rescuing and looking after animals.

  17. janechese says:

    Good to hear of the animals being rescued and like to hear their stories. An amazing area to graze in the midst of the bougainvilias-a little bit of heaven.

  18. Les says:

    Thanks for sharing you vacation photos, I look forward to the rest. The tropical scenes, the colors and the blooms are soul warming.

    • Thanks, Les. The rest were previously posted though and this post had some listed. The next post is commentary but does have some images from St.Lucia towns for pictorial support to my post, but the post is not about St. Lucia.

  19. Karen says:

    The photos of this place are beautiful, it’s haunting, it’s beauty is marred by the cruelty of human beings. I don’t think I could live with it. I guess I would be like your cousin. What else can you do. The image of the mockingbird is really great.

  20. HolleyGarden says:

    I am amazed at how fast the plants grow! Only two years! And those plants are almost to the roofline! Your cousin sounds like a very special and kind person.

    • It really takes a special person to do what she is doing. She spends quite a bit in Vet care and imports hay from PA that she grows on her farm there. She ships them by container at a great cost. I could see a magazine picking up her story, it is so compelling and heart wrenching.

  21. gardeningshoe says:

    How wonderful! Such fabulous photos of a beautiful place. Your cousin is clearly a deeply caring person and those animals are so fortunate to have found their way to her. I love the speed with which the plants have established, but with that kind of growth rate, it must be hard work to keep the weeds under control.

    • My cousin has two hired helpers, one for the gardening and weeding, the other to care for the horses, like mucking stalls and putting them out to the pasture. He does much more too, like fixing equipment and maintenance.

  22. Pat says:

    What wonderful rescue work your cousin does at her beautiful home. It’s hard to imagine people or animals starving in such a lush climate with a long growing season.

    • The reason so many are without food and water is that they are tied by rope or chain. The horses, cows, goats and sheep can only reach a small circle of grasses. Most of these animals are food for people too, so it is not much of a life anyway.

  23. I have enjoyed reading this post so much. The environment the horses are living in can only be beneficial to their last years. The photography is terrific.

  24. Bless you both and the wonderful rescue work! May it continue and set an example. Animals are innocent creatures, and this work reminds us all that angles are in their midst.

  25. Your cousin is truly living the dream life. To live on an island with such a stunning view and get to ride horses throughout the day. Sheer heaven, along with beautiful decorations from mother nature. Your photos are glorious!

  26. debsgarden says:

    Your cousin has created a paradise for humans, as well as horses. I am sure the rescued animals enrich her life, even as she has been a blessing to them. I love all the colorful blooms, especially the bougainvillea.

  27. flora says:

    what a beautiful place Sta, Lucia is! your cousin is awesome and her home is beautiful!

  28. Beautiful place!! Lovely flowers!!!

  29. Your cousin is one special person who has found her paradise…what a beautiful place to live.

  30. I think your cousin has found a beautiful place to love and care for all those animals. She is a good soul and has a paradise to share with these lucky creatures.

  31. elizz says:

    the horses and all the animals your cousin rescued are all very lucky.. the garden is one such great place to live and i bet the animals are all very happy.

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