Mamiku Botanical Gardens is divided into different-themed areas separated by woodland walks - Mystic Garden with the Orchids growing naturally, Secret Garden, Grandpa's Old House with all the medicinal herbs and their uses, Veronica's Garden and the Casse which is like a mini rain forest with a natural spring running through.
Different birds may be seen – 3 different species of Humming Birds, the endangered White Breasted Thrasher, the Golden Oriole, the Black Finch and many others.
The Gardens are part of the Mamiku Plantation. Back in the early 1700 the King of France Louis XIV granted the Baron de Micoud this piece of land and the Sugar era began. Sugar was to continue for the next 150 years or so. This period in Mamiku’s history was torn with strife and wars between the French and the English. The history is intriguing, the gardens are unique, Rum tasting and the Rum Punch are fun.
The ruins of the Baron’s home are at present under an archeological dig and many artifacts have been discovered.
Hikes starts off from the famous Mamiku Gardens - Up Tamarind Hill to the archeological site and follow along on part of the trail taken by the Brigands (Freedom Fighters). This leads into the interior of St. Lucia - see wonderful views of the rugged East Coast, Praslin Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Break away from the Brigand’s trail and hike down into the valley. Hike through a Mango Grove and if weather permits swim in Mamiku River. Return back to the Gardens for a picnic lunch.
In 2007 Veronica Shingleton-Smith was awarded the St. Lucia Medal of Merit Gold for her contribution in the field of Horticulture.
Mamiku Gardens is partially wheelchair accessible and has a handicapped bathroom. There is a ramp onto the balcony from were a large part of the gardens can be seen. The tranquil atmosphere of the gardens can be appreciated from the balcony.
Veronica, a landscaper designer, has worked for the last 45 years creating gardens around Saint Lucia, the Caribbean and the U.S.A. Her dream was to create her very own garden, a place of natural beauty, blending the flower gardens within the woodlands of indigenous trees. A garden where overseas visitor’s from around the world and Saint Lucian garden lovers could together enjoy Mamiku Gardens.
With the great support of Veronica’s husband, Michael, and their 4 children Impy, James, Richard and Stephen work began on Mamiku Gardens in early 1997.
During this period of very hard work, everybody involved experienced deep feelings of peace and happiness, explained may be by the following story.
The past history of Mamiku Estate dating back to the 1740’s and the French Revolution was a period of great stress, involving captured African slaves working a sugar plantation owned by a French aristocrat, the Baron de Micoud and culminating in Wars between the English and the French, on the site of the Estate Great House. Many soldiers of both armies, some of them slaves, were killed in the “ Battle of the Brigands”, which took place on the hill-top of Mamiku Gardens.
We feel the spirits of the long gone Soldiers, Slaves and early French Settlers were now at peace, because we were remembering them.
Mamiku Botanical Gardens opened its doors in December 1997.
Michael Shingleton-Smith was born November 24th, 1927 on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia to British parents Sybil and Henry.
Though born in Saint Lucia, Michael was educated in the United Kingdom and attended Cheltenham College, and then McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Michael returned to Saint Lucia in 1948 when his father became ill and subsequently died. Michael then took over
the running of Mamiku Estate.
Veronica Enid James was born February 10th, 1929 in Jerusalem Palestine to British parents Clare and Jimmy. During World War 11 Veronica and her brother attended boarding school in the United Kingdom, later to return to Palestine. Veronica returned to England in 1946 and attended The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) graduating and becoming an actress on the English stage.
A few years later Veronica's father, Col E M V James now stationed on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia as the Commissioner of Police begged his daughter to spend a few weeks holiday with her parents.
Veronica arrived in Saint Lucia late 1951 to visit with her parents, but she met Michael and fell passionately in love. This dashingly handsome man swept her off her feet and the two of them married March 13th, 1952 all ambitions of a career in film out of the window.
To cut a whole lifetime short, Veronica and Michael, together with the encouragement of their 4 children created Mamiku Botanical Garden’s which opened its gates in December 1997. It was Veronica's dream to create her own garden after years of working as a professional Landscape Designer. The seeds to this dream were created in Veronica's childhood on a visit to the Bahai Gardens, on Mount Carmel, Haifa, at the tender age of 4.
Michael had many careers, foremost being a planter running Mamiku Estate. However his true passion was flying and he later became a fully qualified commercial pilot. His other passions were painting and poetry. Michael was an abstract artist and one of his paintings featured prominently on Mamiku's original website. To honour Michael who died in 2006, we post his painting here.
When the Slaves came over to the Islands from Africa, they brought with them a knowledge of many medicinal herbs, and found similar herbs growing in St. Lucia.
Senegal in Africa, which is directly opposite St. Lucia, would have had many similar herbs.
The early Slaves came with nothing except their knowledge of herbal medicine and this knowledge has been handed down from Grandmother, to Daughter, to Granddaughter through the ages.
We at Mamiku Gardens are trying to keep this knowledge alive in our Herbal Medicinal Garden and we have relied on the people from the neighboring villages of Mon Repos and Praslin for this unique knowledge.
Mamiku Gardens is open to the General Public every day, except Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
The opening hours are from 9 AM till 5 PM
A small entrance fee is charged and one can enjoy the gardens for as short or as long a visit as each individual prefers. A plant guide booklet and a map are provided and you are welcome to explore on your own.
For any larger groups looking to visit the gardens, including local Church groups, Schools, Corporate outings, Weddings and other group outings. Contact us for further details and discount rates.
For people who would prefer to go on a guided tour Mamiku Gardens has four (4) set tours.
Mamiku Gardens has a working relationship with many Tour Operators, who have over the years been sending us tours from the Royal Horticultural Society, Garden Lovers Groups, Hiking Groups and Wild life Groups – please continue to book your tours through these Tour Operators.
Some of the smaller Cruise Ships offer our tours for sale on board. Others mention Mamiku Gardens but do not actually offer our tours for sale on board. If your particular cruise ship is not offering our tour, you can book direct with us prior to your arrival in St. Lucia.
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