ABOUT US (ALL OF US)! -
Sharon Cooke is the business owner and curator of Andromeda Botanic Gardens, operating through her company Passiflora Ltd.I took over the management and development of Andromeda Botanic Gardens in February 2014, after being requested to do so by the owners of the property - The Barbados National Trust.
It was an honour!! I couldn't believe it. Andromeda was such a prestigious property. Being responsible for Andromeda was not even a dream. It was something beyond my imagination.
I knew it needed help. The first time I'd visited was as a child in 1977, returning as an adult in 1994. Andromeda had changed but I couldn't articulate what that was - anyway, gardens do change!!
I returned numerous times between 2002 and 2012. Andromeda was silently asking for help. But,
despite that, what struck me, (during and after all those visits, spending so much time there) was that Andromeda Botanic Gardens was easily one of the most incredible gardens I had ever experienced. And here it was...in Barbados!
We wanted Andromeda to be a thriving space for the community of Barbados.
The reality? Andromeda simply was and is not on the radar. This was THE major problem. People do not know we even exist!
THE VISION v THE REALITY
THE REALITY - CHECK
The vision for the whole of Andromeda has evolved. It is a community space for all. It is 'about us'.
2020 Pandemic closures. We reopened in August 2020. Free for locals all the time, not just on selected days and months. They came, literally in their thousands and many donated and kept Andromeda open. 2021 was worse - more pandemic closures, volcanic ash, freak storm, hurricane Elsa, and staff absences due to Covid-19. Andromeda closed for 18 weeks and the strains were immense. But, people donated - locals, overseas, international donors. We survived and we thank every single person and company that helped.
2022 and our vision for Andromeda Botanic Gardens is one of it being a committed community space. Locals will always be able to visit free of charge. They can use the plants in the Ethnobotanical Gardens, free of charge. That knowledge can be shared with others. Courses will take place here. BERP (see our Partner page) will make full use of the Ethnobotanical Garden. The deck there is a multi-use space for all of us. Tai chi, yoga, performances, anything our global community wishes.
I hope locals will continue to visit and donate. I hope overseas paying visitors come and fully enjoy a real Barbadian garden experience but...
ANDROMEDA BOTANIC GARDENS IS MUCH MORE THAN A GARDEN
IT IS A COMMUNITY SPACE FOR US
AS PEOPLE, BARBADIANS, VISITORS.
Bathsheba, St Joseph 248 0190 email@example.com
Open Daily For All: 9.30am (earlier if requested)-4.30pm (last entrance, stay for as long as you wish) and all bank holidays. Just turn up - booking not required. Closed Christmas Day Only.