After years of preparation, research and creation, Deshaies Jardin Botanique opened on April 1, 2001. Designers, landscape professionals and nature lovers have created a 5-hectare, high-quality floral and animal park. Along a 1.5 km trail, the Botanical Garden presents an impressive array of tropical flowers and plants including over 1000 species such as bougainvillea, hibiscus and porcelain roses but also a rich selection of trees including a Cheese tree, Baobab, Mapou, sausage tree, bread tree, Banian, Kapok Cheese and Araucaria without forgetting the Talipot, the only palm tree of its kind in Guadeloupe.
The park was designed to allow visitors to discover the richness of Caribbean flora and the art of enhancing it. The park offers 15 different themes and there is a clear harmony and logic in the circuit layout.
– Water-lily pond:
An over 50-meter long artificial pond located at the entrance to the park has a magnificent collection of water lilies, papyrus and aquatic plants and is also inhabited by Koi Carps.
After the security gate is locked behind you, about thirty lorikeets – small, brightly-colored Australian parrots – welcome visitors and may even sit on their heads for a photo.
In a half shaded, half sunny passage, blooming orchids climb and intermingle among the trees. Different species offer a graceful, rich, colorful spectacle. Fans of these flowers are aware of their fragility and appreciate the beauty of the varieties presented.
– Hibiscus and bougainvillea:
A colorful alley opens to offer visitors a remarkable palette of colors. The collection of varieties present will not fail to impress you.
A wide, airy space overlooking the Caribbean has a multitude of trees in its landscape: Royal Palm, Bombax, Baobab, Jacaranda, Breadframe, Lawyers, Calliandra and Araucaria.
This tree near the panoramic restaurant with its impressive shape and hundreds of aerial roots that form its trunk was one of Coluche’s favorite places.
The 10-meter waterfall just below the restaurant, that mixes natural and artificial rocks, enchants visitors who can cross the water below on a small wooden bridge. The tradition is to throw a coin in the water to have one’s wish come true.
A few meters from the waterfall is an enclosure reserved for 14 Caribbean red flamingos imported from Cuba. These are “pioneers” for a reintroduction of the species onto the island. Before the 1940s, the flamingos lived in the Saint François region.
A bamboo forest inside the landscape isolates visitors from the rest of the park. They provide a charming, fresh setting and are several meters high. Different bamboo species are represented including Bambusa Vulgaris, Multiplex, Aztecs, …
A 60-meter long stream accompanies visitors along their circuit to provide a serene atmosphere amplified by the sound of water that flows at 150 cubic meters per hour.
– Water wall:
A 25-meter long water-vegetation wall surprises the visitor and encourages the growth of aquatic plants such as blue-flowered water hyacinths and numerous epiphytes (bromeliads, orchids and papyrus).
– Parrot village:
In this “village” composed of 6 small houses in local colors, the inhabitants are none other than ARAS parrots. These flamboyantly-feathered birds, who live here in open pens, are one of the symbols of the equatorial rainforest.
– Palm grove:
An alley with different varieties of palm trees is an idyllic reminder of the islands’ traditional landscape. The Royal Double Palm impresses with its originality. Visitors pass under a vine-covered arbor that has a refreshing misting system.
This palm tree, the only one of its kind in Guadeloupe, is a native of Sri Lanka. With a lifespan of 80 to 100 years, it dies after producing its only flower. The one in the park, about thirty years old, has provided an undeniable magnificence for a few decades and its “offspring” on the ground below it will follow it after it dies.
From the lush island vegetation, the circuit takes us to an arid desert zone. Dozens of cacti species with fairly long spines stand in a Mexican setting where Pachypodium (Madagascar palm) and Nolina beaucarnéa (Elephant’s foot) coexist.
– Fern alley:
The Botanical Garden designers could not forget to present the incredible beauty of tree ferns to the public. Since these ferns only bloom at 500 meters or higher and since the park is only 110 meters above sea level, it was necessary to reconstruct a wet, cool mountain climate by installing a computer-programmed misting and irrigation system. At the foot of these ferns many bromeliads and epiphytic plants have been planted such as the philodendron giganteum.
– A high-tech irrigation system:
Technologically, irrigation is a real innovation in the garden. To overcome the excessive heat and maintain the optimum humidity needed for tropical vegetation, an aerial misting system has been programmed by computer. This American process has been used since the late 1980s in the south of France and became world-famous during the 1992 Seville World’s Fair.