A trip to BarbadosOn the tour of Barbados botanical gardens came first the famous Andromeda Gardens, those created by Iris Bailey Bannochie, a leading expert in tropical horticulture and a founding member of the Barbados National Trust. The experience had certainly been pleasant, but we had seen many such gardens around the tropics. The Flower Forest, instead, we had left it for last. Little did we know that in the midst of the hills of the Scotland District lurked a garden of wonders. Brilliant minds have arranged in an only seemingly wild way this rare collection of exotic plants and flowers, gathered from the four corners of the planet, from the Pacific islands to India, from Africa to South America, from the remotest corners of Malaysian forests to Mexican grasslands. The result is an enchanted, one-of-a-kind setting: under a canopy formed by royal palms, frangipani and flamboyant trees twenty meters and more tall, Asian heliconias and liliums explode along with the showy, psychedelic torch ginger flower. But what is most striking is the order in the clutter, the balance of form and the extraordinary color harmony of an environment that, despite the hand of man, is a pure expression of tropical exuberance. From Liv’s lookout, where the trail makes a sweeping curve, the view is one to take one’s breath away: an up and down of hills carpeted with meadows and palm trees, culminating in the 340 meters of the island’s highest point, pompously named Mount Hillaby. In the background is the majestic Atlantic and Long Pond Beach.