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Welcome to Castleton Garden

Castleton Gardens is located approximately 20 minutes from Kingston and is anchored on a landscape dominated by ravines and tall mountain ranges. This lush, unbelievably beautiful garden is located on 15 acres and is bordered by the main road on one side and a river on the other. The flora includes the most exotic, often indigenous ferns and majestic palms. Annual rainfall here is 45 inches! The picnic areas are sheltered by some of the island's most elegant trees. This is truly a nature-lovers paradise. The gardens at Castleton were established in 1862 to facilitate the relocation of the Bath Botanical Gardens, making it one of the oldest public botanical gardens in the western hemisphere. In just a few years after the move, the gardens at Castleton were the most richly stocked in the Caribbean, boasting over 180 species of palm and at least 400 specimens of other flora. The garden occupies approximately 15 acres of land in the cool, verdant hills of St Mary. It is divided by the main road to Junction with another end adjacent to a rocky river -- known to many as the Wag Water River. Many of the trees and plants introduced to Jamaica were first planted here, most notably the Bombay mango, Navel orange and Tangerine. Other important exotic trees, palms and shrubs in the garden today include: Cestrum Nocturnum (Night Jasmine), Spathodea Campanulata (Flame of the Forest), Litchi Chinensis (Chinese Guinep) and Sanchezia Nobilis (Hummingbird Fountain). The 15-acre gardens are open to the public, and Castleton is a popular picnic spot for Kingstonians eager for a break from the city. The Wag Water River flows through Castleton parallel to the botanical gardens, adding to the serenity and pristine beauty of the area.

Posted by Admin on March 10, 2012 Castleton Garden

The Wag Water River

Castleton Gardens are set deep in a mountain valley and the property is complemented by the Wag Water River which provide a beautiful back drop for relaxation for picnic lovers and vistors to the gardens. The Wag Water River served as a additional bonus to the beautiful garden that settles in the shadow of the majestical Blue Mountain. The Wag Water River flows through Castleton parallel to the botanical gardens, adding serenity and pristine beauty of the area. Since the principal range of mountains runs from west to east, the rivers which start on their slopes, generally flow north or south. Most of the rivers in Jamaica are not navigable. The height of the mountains causes them to run swiftly in deep beds, and their courses are sometimes broken by waterfalls. The Wag Water (formerly Agua Alta) rises in the mountains of St. Andrew and flows through the parish of St. Mary, entering the sea west of Annotto Bay. The Community of Castleton enjoy the beauty of both Castleton Garden and the Wag Water River. Castleton Garden also enjoy the distinction of have two rivers -- the Ginger River and the Wag Water River combining just before it flow through the Garden property. Some of the main tributaries into the Wag Water River are Flint River, Ginger River, Ugly River (very cold) and many smaller springs and brooks as it race toward the Caribbean Sea. This watershed encompasses North west St. Andrew and South St. Mary, and runs from upper St. Andrew to Annotto Bay. The main tributaries are important in that they feed the Hermitage Dam, which provide drinking water for Kingston. This dam is fed by Ginger River and Flint River The Wag Water watershed are better suite for crops like coffee, banana, plantain, yams, hot peppers and mixed vegetables. The Wag Water River might be the main reason for the success of the Garden which soon became the most richly stocked gardens in the Caribbean and one of the truly spectacular gardens of the Western Hemisphere.

Posted by Admin on March 8, 2012 The Wag Water River

Beautiful Palm Trees

Castleton is one of four botanical gardens in the island and was donated to the government in 1869 by an English Colonel named Castle. It was intended to be an area to preserve plants introduced into the island. In its heyday this former sugar plantation was one of the great gardens of the hemisphere with a rich variety of plants. It had more than 4,000 species of plants from a great English garden at Kew. In 1897 there were 180 species of palms there. With many of the species being lost in hurricanes over the years, and with little money to replace them, the Castleton is not what it used to be. For example, there are only 60 varieties of palms now and it has moved from having thousands of plant species to about 300. It once had a staff of 30, now there are six. The Garden has the most plam three anywhere in the western hemisphere.

Posted by Admin on March 8, 2012 Comments