St. John botanist Gary Ray gave an extremely informative Power Point presentation on the natural plants of St. John at the St. John School of the Arts on Wednesday evening, February 13, as part of the eighth annual St. John Arts Festival.
It was surprising to learn of so many beautiful indigenous flowering plants and trees which withstand the rigorous climactic conditions of St. John without artificial irrigation.
One could in fact have an equally interesting and beautiful garden made up of such plants without the expense of importing mainland species, often with their stowaway pests which in turn require pesticides to eradicate.
Moreover, foreign-made, wooden pallets shredded for mulch are yet another source of destructive plant adversaries.
Gary Ray showed his passion for the sanctity of this jewel of an island with its naturally balanced eco-system before the intrusion of humankind.
I am sure if he gave the same talk to a wider audience, such as through the History Channel, it would open many people’s eyes to the generally unnoticed wealth of plants available to make a more durable natural garden that any gardener would be proud of.
In addition to spreading the word, Gary has started a wholesale nursery as a first step toward introducing St. John plants to local retailers and landscapers.
For those interested in receiving more information from Gary, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.