About The Garden
A visit to the St. George Village Botanical Garden provides an opportunity to learn about the natural beauty and history of the Virgin Islands.
St. George Village Botanical Garden is dedicated to conservation and preservation of both the historical and living collections on its grounds.
The Garden’s mission is to conserve the native plant species of St. Croix, as well as threatened species of other Caribbean islands suited to local environmental conditions. In addition, the Garden preserves the ethno-botanical history of St. Croix through living, graphic and structural displays.
Through its gardens and collections, it is a center of education for better understanding, not only of the island’s botanical heritage, but also the horticultural potential for contemporary gardening in the Virgin Islands.
Around 500 BC, a group of Ameridians called Caribs made their way up the Lesser Antilles from Saladero, in the basin of the Orinoco River, Venezuela. The Saladoids carried crops such as peanuts, hot peppers, sweet potatoes, pineapples, and especially cassava, from South America through the Caribbean island chain. Very likely, these Amerindians chose to build a settlement at our St. George site because of its fresh water stream, now called Mint Gut. This would have given them access to the south shore of the island via canoe and thus provided a means to travel easily through the center of the island. The Saladoid inhabitants occupied this site until about 1,000 A.D. when they apparently dispersed to other island locations.
Under Danish rule around 1750, sugarcane was first planted on this site. For the next 200 years, sugarcane dominated all the activity on Estate St. George. A series of Danish owners, including such prominent men as John Heyliger and Peter Oxholm, controlled the working farm, the sugarcane “factory,” and the land’s enslaved and freed workers.During the early part of the 20th Century, as the profits from sugar production declined, cattle replaced sugarcane on Estate St. George. By the early 1970s much of the land fell into disuse, and dense tropical vegetation began to reclaim much of the property and buildings. In 1972, a parcel of land was donated to the St Croix Garden Club in order to establish what is today the St. George Village Botanical Garden.
Our Plant Collections
There are over 1500 varieties of plants in the Garden. Take a glimpse at some of our collections:
The Library is currently housed in a post-Emancipation workers’ cottage which was restored in the early 1980’s, and consists of approximately 500 volumes. While small, the library contains specialized reference materials covering Caribbean flora and history.
The general interest library volumes are available to members by appointment. An online listing of the library’s holdings is planned for the future.
Our Historical Collection
Our collection includes artifacts ranging from pre-Columbians through the plantation era.