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The Civilized Explorer > Martinique > The Beautiful Gardens of Céron
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Our first visit to these beautiful gardens was rained out. We asked for permission to return, and the attendant asked for a specific day, so we said when the sun returns.
The gardens are a part of an old plantation that still has the ruins of the distillery on the grounds. There are signs with explanations of how a distillery was run (in French but with drawings). The signs are integrated into the ruins, so you can see what used to be in the buildings and follow the path of the molasses as it was distilled into rum. The main house is privately occupied and in good repair.
The house sits in the rain forest, and just a few steps into the jungle you lose sight of the house and all civilization. The forest would quickly reclaim the house if left for just a few years.
We followed a path into the forest, where all was green and growing. A river
wound its way very quickly down the hill. The path takes you first away from
the house and its garden, but you wind back around until you enter the garden
from the side away from the house.
You first notice the tree, laden with epiphytes on its branches. It spreads itself over a manicured lawn; on the day of our second visit, the gardeners were hard at work, tending the garden.
For this photograph, we face the way we had come, our backs to the house. You
are looking to the river, which is just a hundred feet or so from the tree and
quite audible, but invisible in all the lush growth.
These lovely orchids are growing out from the trunk of the tree. In the full
view of the previous photograph, they are visible on the right side of the
trunk, but they are hard to distinquish from the bush behind. The trunk of the
tree is nearly white, except for the dark area below the crotch where a large
branch grows out to the right. This area is a path for the flow of water down
the trunk, and the orchids grow there.
We believe this is a red pineapple (Ananas bracteatus). If you know, please
tell us. The red has run down the fruit onto the leaves below it and stained
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