If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering. Aldo Leopold, Round River, 1993.
Blue Jones Bush Medicine Garden at the Captain Roland Roberts House Environmental Center
The Richard Blue Jones Bush Medicine Garden was created in the yard to the rear of the Captain Roberts House Environmental Center in order to preserve the medicinal plants of the Bahamas. Island medicine man Richard Jones-known to all as Blue-dedicated his time and energy to collect, identify, and plant the garden.
The concept was first hatched years ago when Deandra Rollins donated her time to provide a plan for landscaping the yard around the Captain Roberts House. She designated an area as a Bush Medicine Garden in a written plan for the property. DeeVon Quirolo followed the plan by planting natives in the yard, purchased locally at the Island Roots Festival fair and a local nursery. The existing sugar apple and sour orange trees survived various storms and hurricanes as did the lignum vitae tree donated by Bill and Leslie of Munjack Cay.
These plants thrived, but the energy to establish the bush medicine garden did not happen until Joanie Freeman and Dave Redding were at the Captain Roberts House volunteering as docents in 2008. With the cooperation and support of David Bethell, Joanie contacted Blue and got the ball rolling. Mandy Roberts designed a wonderful sign for it and many other volunteers pitched in to establish the medicinal garden
The result is a native plants garden with signs and an accompanying brochure identifying the plants and their medicinal properties. This is the bush medicine that Bahamians depended upon before modern drug stores were located on the island. This heritage is preserved through the knowledge of special masters such as Blue Jones. His vast understanding of the plants, and where they still grow on the island of Green Turtle, is unmatched by anyone else. We are thankful that he was willing to make this project a reality. As time goes on, the wild landscapes that contain these plants may be developed and the wisdom of their uses forgotten but for this project.
When visiting Green Turtle Cay, be sure to stop by the Captain Roberts House and check out the Medicine Garden.
Visit the Blue Jones Native Medicine Gardenin the back yard of the Capt. Roberts House. It features native bush medicine plants and there is also a guide you can read to find out what valuable medicinal remedies they provide
Entrance to the Blue Jones Bahamas Bush Medicine Garden at the rear of the Capt Roberts House
Close up view of Blue Jones Bush Medicine Garden at Capt. Roberts House.
Close up new plants of Blue Jones Bush Medicine Garden
Left to right: Blue Jones, Docent Manager Joanie Freeman (center) and Alton Lowe at Medicine Garden Opening Event
Blue Jones, the local Green Turtle resident and Bahamas Bush Medicine Man who designed and created the Bush Medicine Garden at Capt. Roberts, speaking at the Opening Event
Visitors to the garden during the Opening Ceremony March 2008
Please click any image to open it in a new window.