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Saint Lucia: Diamond Botanical Garden

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Diamond Botanical Garden | Saint Lucia | Americas

[Visited: September 2011]

It was warm when we walked from the town of Soufrière towards the east. Soon after leaving the last houses of the town behind us, we reached a turn-off for the Diamond Estate, and entering the estate itself almost felt like entering paradise. Tranquility, an abundance of beautiful flowers, and the sound of tropical birds and splashing water around us all contributed to this feeling. These are old grounds; they were granted to three Devaux brothers in 1713 by king Louis XIV of France in recognition of their services for the country. In 1784, mineral baths were constructed, using the original spring water that originates in this volcanic region. It was intended as a resting place for French troops, where the soldiers could freshen up and revitalize, but it is also claimed that Napoleon and Josephine used the baths on their visit to this former French colony.

Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): White and pink flower in the Diamond Botanical Gardens

After the baths were destroyed during the French revolution of 1789, the baths laid in ruins until mr. du Boulay restored two of the original 12 baths in 1928. His daughter inherited the estate and developed the area into the beautiful place we can see today. We wondered around, admiring the beautiful exotic flowers that were everywhere, and once again marveled at the refined exquisiteness that nature has designed in these delicate creatures which looked like works of art. Pink, red, orange, and white were the dominant colours of heloconias, lilies, and many more flowers. Apart from the flowers, we found different types of ginger, and also fruit and spice trees, and realized again how rich nature is, in providing such an abundance of beautiful and useful flowers and fruits.

Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Small Diamond Fall, a waterfall with warm water coming down from the sulphur springs

A little further upstream the river running through the estate, and after crossing a bridge, we reached the famous mineral baths. Walking a little further upstream, we found the Diamond Fall, a rather small waterfall whose warm, mineral-rich waters have stained the rocky wall behind it with orange and white colours. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to have a dip in the pool here, so we returned to the mineral baths, changed, and stayed in the baths until we could not support the hot water anymore. We gladly believed the promise that we had taken ten years off our actual age, dressed up, and continued exploring the extensive botanical gardens, learning yet more about the many trees and plants we saw on the way.

Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Hot baths were constructed here in the 18th century and can still be used today
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Exotic red flower in the Diamond Botanical Gardens
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Orange and green composition in the Diamond Botanical Gardens
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Hot water stream coming down from the Diamond Fall
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Diamond Fall can be seen in the background at the end of this winding path
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Exotic red flower in the Diamond Botanical Gardens
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Pink flower about to open in the Diamond Botanical Gardens
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Long pointy leaves on one of the many plants in the Diamond Botanical Gardens
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): White and pink tiny flowers in the Diamond Botanical Gardens
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Pink flower in the Diamond Botanical Gardens
Picture of Diamond Botanical Garden (Saint Lucia): Heart-shaped pink flower

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