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Lady Allen is Friends of Hope Gardens patron

Published:Sunday | April 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Lady Allen, the new patron of the Friends of Hope Gardens, gets a lesson in fruit of the sausage tree in the Butterfly Gardens from Kirk Watson, nursery supervisor at Hope Gardens, and Derrick Simon, assistant estate manager at the gardens. - Contributed

Her Excellency Lady Allen, wife of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen has agreed to be the patron for the Friends of Hope Gardens. The friends are a group of concerned citizens who are determined to restore the Royal Botanic Gardens at Hope to its former glory.

Recently, the friends invited Lady Allen to tour the gardens and Kirk Watson, who is in charge of the nursery, gave Her Excellency a brief history lesson on some of the plants, shrubs and trees along the tour path.

Improvement plans for Hope Gardens include restoration of the old ruined house which was the first home of the Ministry of Agriculture. Once restored, this old building is slated to become an open-air chapel, as well as a visitors' centre and the starting point for all who wish to tour the gardens. Plans are also under way for an all-year tour and bookings for various types of functions are now being accepted.

Chairman of the Friends of Hope Gardens, Lisa Johnston, is delighted that Lady Allen has accepted the invitation to be patron and is confident that her involvement will help the gardens to once more become the self-sustaining, viable, vibrant and attractive venue for Jamaicans at home and abroad. The friends are committed to bringing back the Hope.