It is hard to believe that where Hunte’s Gardens now stands used to be a sinkhole, and indeed was still a sinkhole until Anthony Hunte bought it, and the adjacent land and house back in 1990. Secondly it hard to believe that the garden that now greets you as you step through the majestic stone pillars at the entrance has been the vision and work of the same man.
Anthony is lovely Bajan who is more than happy to not only tell you about the garden and its history, but to also take the time to ask you questions too. As we sat on the balcony of the old stable block enjoying a much needed rum punch and slice of warm orange and cranberry cake with him, Anthony made the point of asking every guest who wander by not only their names but where they from and what they did back at home. Not just as lip service but to then spark a conversation. “oh you’re from Canada? What do you think about the fact it cannabis is now legal?”.
Hunte’s Gardens is truly beautiful. Magnificent palm trees reach up from the bottom of the sink hole high up Into the sky. Chairs and tables are dotted about in shady places, inviting you to stop a while. There is a secret covered area displaying some of Anthony’s auction finds, along side comfortable chairs and sofas. It is not unusual for you to find people here with books and picnics, sitting for hours enjoying the sounds of a Bach piano concerto wafting up from the valley below. Or to the birds in the trees above.
It costs just US$15 to get in and there is no limit on how long you can stay, in fact if you don’t stay for a while and then join Anthony for tea on the verandah we get the feeling he would be mightily offended.
When you purchase your ticket you are given a sheet with a list of all the numbered exhibits so you know either the name of the plant, or something about the object. Orchids, stone buddhas, ferns, lime trees, heliconadas amongst some of the things you will find.
And if you look very carefully just by the entrance you will also find an old weigh station where the horse drawn carts used to come in from the fields, laden with sugar cane ready to be weighed. It all still works but is now behind the undergrowth so don’t be afraid to have a little nosey through the trees on your way out.