Chelsea International Horticultural Show 2011
In this article, I am diverting from my comments on the Grenada Boys Secondary School Song to another aspect of the fruits of the ‘vibrant fecundity’ of Grenada, the country. The phrase was uttered more than 20 years ago by a visiting Lady Member of the British House of Lords, who had an interest in Agriculture. Some visitors, entranced by the beauty of islands like Grenada, elevate their descriptions to high levels, for example, they say ‘this is a paradise’. I have never welcomed what seemed to me to be an implicit comparison with their own country. And flowers do have a way of diverting attention from other country issues. This Baroness (whose name, with apologies, I cannot recall) was more mundane in her description, and frankly for me hit the right button.
The Baroness was invited to the Mirabeau Agricultural Station to see a research plot of the flowers you see exhibited at the Chelsea Show. Mirabeau is prone to rainfall, and that morning was no surprise. I remember many of us standing under the wide branches of a tall mango tree, one so tall that no fruit fell from it that did not burst open. The atmosphere was not only warm, but also carried with it that smell that comes from decaying leaves on damp earth. But the red and pinks of Ginger Lilies and Heliconia elevated our spirits.
My colleague, Daniel Lewis, then Flowers Agronomist of the Ministry of Agriculture, presented the Baroness with a bunch of mixed flowers and the words ‘Lovely flowers for a lovely lady”. At which she immediately quipped: “Stay around, boy, stay around”. Good enough for starting the day with a good laugh. She then proceeded with a short speech in which she mentioned that she could almost feel the “vibrant fecundity” which she was seeing around her. That struck a strong chord in me – it was a different and wider view to see Grenada as productive rather than paradisiacal.
Every year over the last nine years, Grenadian pride has been on exhibit, and winning at the Chelsea International Horticultural Show. Every year, not only has the mix of products been startling, but the arrangements have also been brilliant. To me, the soul behind the production and display of Grenada’s flora is no better described than by that term “vibrant fecundity”. Stay long enough just looking at the mixes in the Grenada pictures, and you will feel the ‘vibrant fecundity’ of Grenada, the pride of the producers, and the brilliance of the organizers. Then inspect the natural beauty of the individual flowers and ornamental plants. Brilliant, vibrant fecundity indeed!
For my part, the GBSS, the GBSS Hostel and others of that type are other aspects of that vibrant fecundity of Grenada. Think about it!