I grew up hearing people say the best things in life are free or close to free…LOL… & the older I have become is the more I believe this to be true. Visiting the Hope Botanical Gardens also known as the Royal Botanical Gardens is something I have been doing for years and as one of Jamaica’s oldest attractions I am happy to see the maintenance of this gem which is actually a Jamaica National Heritage Trust site. The Garden is currently ran by the Nature Preservation Foundation.
A Little History Lesson…
The Royal Botanical Gardens, commonly called “Hope Gardens”, occupies 200 acres of land in the Ligunaea Plains of urban St Andrew. The gardens were established in 1873 on a section of land from the estate of Major Richard Hope, one of the original English colonisers who arrived with the invading force of Penn and Venables. Today the gardens are the largest public green space in the Kingston metropolitan region, and are home to Jamaica’s most popular collection of endemic and exotic botanical collections. Of particular interest is the Cassia siamea grove by the main entrance, which was planted in 1907, and the other mini-gardens within the park – notably the cacti garden, with its rare varietals; the bougainvillea walk with its magnificent explosions of tropical colours; the annual gardens, with numerous species of exotic flowers; the sunken gardens and the lily pond.
The lily pond mentioned in this excerpt was incorporated into the Harmonious Enjoyment Garden or Chinese Garden which was officially opened in 2015.
The 600,000 square feet garden, a gift to Jamaica by the People’s Republic of China, was handed over to [former] Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on August 19, 2015.
It depicts the vast gardens of the Chinese emperors and members of the imperial family, and possesses several historical and oriental features.
Why Hope Gardens?
Hope Gardens is a very versatile space. I have attended baby showers, concerts, parties, picnics and photo shoots there as well as seen weddings hosted there. Beyond the gardens you will find the Hope Zoo, Band Stand & Fun Land.
The space is free for picnics and small events but the bigger events attract a cost.
The Hope Gardens opening hours are Mondays – Sundays 5:30 AM & closing hours are 6:00 PM – October – February & 6:30 PM – March – September. The gardens is open on all public holidays, except National Labour Day & National Heroes’ Day.
The Harmonious Enjoyment Garden is a very beautiful and I think it would be the perfect spot for an engagement shoot, birthday shoot or look book. There is a small cost of $150 JMD (for adults) to enter the Harmonious Enjoyment Garden which aids with maintenance. You have the option of getting a guided tour. The next time I visit I will definitely use a tour guide.
The opening hours are Monday to Friday, 10: 00 am to 4:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 4: 00 pm.
Here is a vlog from my last visit:
Thanks for trekking with me, until next time walk good…
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