Lets Check Out the Grave Gardens Dominica


Every time I travel, I am drawn to everyday life: where do people live? Where do you buy? What are you eating? Somehow, I often pass by a cemetery. Over time and during many trips, I began to make observations on the different traditions surrounding the Committal. And as a gardener, I am often attracted by the consideration and/or documentation of the plant life that grows there, as well as the small gardens that families plant on or around individual plots.

In Dominica, I spent more time in cemeteries than usual, because I was specifically looking for traces of my ancestors that I could find. With few resources or space, the burials are regularly turned over to make way for new bodies, so it was rare to find a tombstone more than 20 to 30 years old. Edited to add: the comment below reminded me that Hurricane David completely devastated Dominica in 1979. This would be an important factor in explaining why there were few tombstones before 1980.

I didn’t expect to find anything, but Davin and I looked closely, just in the matter. During my research, I took the time to document some of the interesting things I saw, especially the plants. I thought you might like to see it too, and even though it took me three years to post these photos, I had you in mind when I made them.

The photos below were taken at the Catholic cemetery in Roseau, Dominica. This cemetery was well maintained with clear and easy paths between the graves.

I started with a photo of the cemetery as they approached the entrance from the street. At the front, you will see some pots with different tropical plants. I also took this photo to give you an idea of the surrounding landscape. Dominica is very mountainous. During our three-week stay, we stayed in the hills to the left of this view. We passed two cemeteries every time we went into town, but we couldn’t see them clearly from the main road.

This is a more accurate view when you go through the main entrance. This cemetery was created permanently with small palm trees. I have been to several cemeteries in the Caribbean and this was the most beautiful of all the ones I have seen so far.

These three images show the tricks of each action and how they are built. In many things, the top was filled with earth and there were herbs growing wild or small gardens planted inside as raised beds.

A Coleus is planted on it.

This gaze turns to a wilder part of the cemetery. Here you can see wild grasses growing en masse and a pretty pink vine growing like a weed all over the Island, choking everything that doesn’t move. If you look closely, you can also see a purple spot of Tradescantia pallida aka Purple Heart Plant just outside the grave.

The following photos were taken at the government cemetery across the street. For almost three weeks I walked past this cemetery, but I didn’t go there because I assumed that the name meant that only government officials were buried here. Just before I left, I learned that this is actually the cemetery for anyone who is not Catholic, so I made sure to search by last name.

I took this photo of the double rainbow illuminating the sky above a deposit at the government cemetery on one of our first days in Dominica. I didn’t know it at the time, but with so much humidity and daily light rain and mountain fog, double rainbows are extremely common. I saw one literally every day of the trip!

I think I’ve seen more Dracena in cemeteries than anywhere else. It now makes me laugh when I look at the sad tubular Dracena that I grow in a pot at home compared to the beautiful swollen specimens that I have seen growing there practically without intervention or maintenance. Why do gardeners torment us in this way? Why can’t we just grow plants that work best in our own climate? Of course, when I ask this question, I have to think about the four pots of Anemic Colocasia that I overwinter in the dining room. I go to tropical places and I come back even more determined to surround myself with these plants that have no hope of realizing their potential here.

Unlike the Catholic cemetery, the government or municipal cemetery was a confused mass of unstoppable and invading tribes. I have already said that the difference between gardening here and gardening in Dominica is that we work hard here to grow things. There they work hard so that things do not grow. The tombstones in the city cemetery were covered with plants and there were a lot of graves that I never got to see because I just couldn’t reach them. Fortunately, there are no deadly reptiles or insects in Dominica. I certainly wouldn’t have walked through the big weeds and tall grass if it was in St. Lucia!

Many sites were in poor condition. After long tests and deliberations, we came to the conclusion that it must have been a human bone set aside when a new body was buried on an old grave. It’s a fact of life and passed away, but I’m still surprised at how much it surprised me to see him there.

Despite the chaos, new burial sites have been planted and maintained. It’s a tropical community, but I’m afraid I don’t know its name.

And finally, a cemetery that I spent a day taking a long three-hour walk to the beach. Once again, you will see a magnificent Dracena Stand on the right.

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