Dawn from the Lookout Garden, the last installment of the Statia PDC course.
The Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Gardens, managed by STENAPA are a public space with a very different character and function then the previous sites we studied. Located on the Atlantic, windward, side of Statia in the remote south end of the island, the gardens are usually receiving a fair amount of rain while the steady tradewinds provide a constant cooling breeze. However this last winter has been extraordinarily dry and warm. Keeping the display gardens fresh and green is quite challenge.
The gardens also provide a living space for interns and volunteers, which also makes this a unique site to study. Zone analysis shows how zones of usage have areas of overlap, but are also specific to the different types of users of the garden.
Soil samples showed a generally poor soil, typical of volcanic soils. The exceptions were soil from the under the compost bins and one of the veggie patch beds, which showed good nutrient levels and an almost neutral pH.
Design exercises included designing course elements, composting and mulching strategies and zone one elements around the intern house / visitor centre.