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A Tropical Garden in the Dominican Republic

(For other online garden tours, see the listing at the bottom of this page.)  

crown villas tropical garden This garden is located directly above a beach on the northern shore of the Dominican Republic. Some of the palms are coconut palms.

Oscar de la Renta's garden is probably the most photographed  garden in the Dominican Republic.  It is located in Punta Cana, one of the driest and windiest parts of the country and his garden reflects that.  He even grows barrel cactus -- a plant all too familiar to desert gardeners. 

Much of the rest of the Dominican Republic, however, is a lush tropical jungle that is astonishingly green to eyes accustomed to looking at a sere, brown desert landscape.  The garden we visited is located in the Crown Villas Resort outside of Puerta Plata on the north coast of the island.  (Puerta Plata claims to be where Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World.  Santa Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, also makes this claim and maintains Columbus is buried there.)  To see more of this area click here.

 At the time of our visit we were told by a local gardener that it had rained for 10 straight weeks, making the natural landscape even greener. 

growing fence dominican republic To a desert gardener, it is amazing to see healthy, leafy plants grow with no effort expended by local gardeners.  In fact, we saw several barbed wire fences where the fence "stakes" had begun to grow.

On this page we will share photos of some of the plants we saw during our visit.  The palms, in particular, were especially exotic -- and, unfortunately, we are unable to identify all of them.  There were also plants that we have seen has colorful houseplants that were growing vigorously in the garden.

palm tree multi trunk palm trees dominican republic
These two photos, above, are of beautiful palms that are completely unknown to us as desert gardeners.
travelers palm dominican republic This Travelers Palm, Ravenala madagascariensis, is closely related to the banana and bird-of-paradise.  It requires damp soil and self-seeds prolifically.  Plant one and you may end up with dozens!
ginger plant dominican republic A plant we know!  The ginger plant of Hawaii and Southern California.
banana trees dominican republic Another plant we instantly recognized is the banana tree (not a palm, but a relative of grass)  growing in a neighbor's garden.
red fruit on trees dominican republic The brilliant red fruit on one of the palms was dazzling in its contrast to the intensely green environment.
croton shrub red and yellow leaves This plant, a croton, we have seen in our local garden shop as a houseplant -- which never seems to grow very much.  In the Dominican Republic it is grown as a hedge and reaches about six feet in height.
dominican republic jungle And we leave you with this photo of a swath of natural jungle.  And we wonder what Christopher Columbus, who arrived in this densely green island from the dry, hot climate of Spain, must have thought when he saw this verdant landscape.

 

Take a online preview tour of  tourist destinations in the northern Dominican Republic here.


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Tropical Garden in the Dominican Republic
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