Andromeda Gardens is a 6-acre (2.4 ha) botanical garden and attractive tourist attraction in the village of Bathsheba, Saint Joseph in Barbados. It is a scenic park with flowering plants and tropical trees and along with Flower Forest it is one of the most alluring parks on the island. Named from the Greek mythological figure of Andromeda it started as a private plant collection around the home of Iris Bannochie, who was the leading expert on horticulture on the island.
Andromeda was first open to the public during a fund raising event hosted by the Barbados Horticultural Society in the 1970s. Andromeda was well received, and has remained open to the public by paid admission since then. Andromeda has over six hundred different species of plants adapted to a range of tropical environments. In 1990, the garden had 40,000 visitors.
The Andromeda Botanic Garden is currently owned by the Barbados National Trust although currently[clarification needed] leased to Perseus Inc. The University of the West Indies (UWI), has responsibility for Research and Educational activities at Andromeda. The University's activities are funded by the Peter Moores Foundation (UK).
The Andromeda Botanic Gardens Educational Program is run in co-ordination with the Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences of the University of the West Indies.
Notable in the gardens is the large talipot palm tree, one of the largest palms in the world.
At the centre of the upper garden, near a grotto-like lily pond is a majestic native banyan. When Queen Ingrid of Denmark visited the garden in 1971, she was served refreshments in a recently built gazebo overlooking the sea. There is a library, classroom, cafeteria and gift shop. In 1991, the palm garden contained over 60 different species of palm.
Iris Bannochie founded the garden in 1954 on land owned by her family since 1740, and showed plants from Andromeda with the Barbados Horticultural Society many times at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London.
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