Hotel: Farm Lodge Country House Hotel
We have approximately 11 acres of landscaped gardens and farmland. When we acquired the property, the gardens in the immediate vicinity of the house were all overgrown. Before work could start on the renovations we had to clear the land around the house for access. Then, in parallel with the renovation works, we started to plant flowerbeds and a lawn. Over time, we discovered that the frontage was on 3 levels. The 2nd level is accessed by some very old red stone steps which we reinstated. They had probably been used to access a croquet lawn and a tennis court from an earlier era. The lower 3rd lawn may well have been a bowls lawn.
The East India Company brought coffee to the island in 1734. This was the original strain from Ethiopia and is green-tipped Yemeni Bourbon Arabica. In the Middle East, this strain has been cross-pollinated and degraded by other varieties. However, as St Helena is too distant for bees to reach, the island still boasts the original strain, maintaining its pedigree. This variety is still produced at Farm Lodge.
The garden has many assorted and various plants from all over the world. Darwin called at St Helena in 1836 on his way north en route to England during his worldwide expedition. He noted the presence of English varieties including oaks and other fir trees such as pines.
During his visit, he also noted the presence of camellias from Japan, willows from Australia, pampas grass from South America; bougainvillaea, hibiscus, frangipani and breadfruit from the Pacific, as well as several other varieties such as banana etc. He may have introduced some other species.