All the countries within CARICOM are now represented in the CARICOM Garden.
Still under construction, the garden, which is one of the components in the National Botanical Gardens at Waterford, St. Michael, features a chain of rock formations in the shape of each CARICOM country, with plants and flowers from each nation planted on the inside.
Countries represented in the CARICOM Garden are: Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Belize, Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Haiti, Montserrat and Suriname.
Project Co-ordinator, Ryan Als, said work on the CARICOM Garden should be finished by the end of the financial year, while work on the National Botanical Gardens was ongoing.
He made this disclosure during a recent site visit to the National Botanical Gardens to update officials on the progress and plan the way forward for further work.
The CARICOM Garden is expected to reflect on the specificities of Caribbean plants, as those plants define the culture and character of the Caribbean.
As a result, the map of Barbados will feature a Baobab tree; St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be represented by a Breadfruit tree; Trinidad and Tobago by the Pink Poui; St. Lucia by the Calabash; Grenada by the Nutmeg; Antigua and Barbuda by the Whitewood; St. Kitts and Nevis by the Flamboyant or Flame Tree and Jamaica by the Blue Maho.
Montserrat, Haiti and Dominica do not have national trees, but the latter is represented by the Coconut Palm.
Mr. Als also pointed out that a strong maintenance programme was being planned for the garden to maintain and protect the trees from pests, disease, theft, livestock damage and vandalism.
Meanwhile, plans to create other areas of interest in the National Botanical Gardens are also progressing.
Those plans include an expanded orchard at the 242 acre woodland and pastureland and a koi pond. It will also feature a rain garden on which construction is expected to start soon, and a desert garden which will feature succulents and desert plants in landscaped beds.