Landscaping in the Turks and Caicos
How the White Villas collection planned and created their gardens
When we acquired the land for our White Villas project, it was far from what it looks like today. Initially too low, we had to backfill with a few hundred quarry loads to raise the land, and consequently remove the existing environment.
Planning and planting on Providenciales
The funny thing about the Turks and Caicos is that while it’s a white sand, turquoise water paradise, its soil is actually quite poor. For travellers, sunshine is wonderful but with so little rain, creating a lush, vibrant scenery was an expensive challenge. We needed advice. Landscaping company Nature Splendor helped draw a structured, logical plan, to create the gardens we imagined, in a smart area-sensitive way.
Dividing the grounds by sections—private gardens, play area, parking lot, desert garden, outdoor cinema and sports facilities—Nature Splendor’s insightful owner Denis submitted a plan that positioned all the elements we’d need for gardens and landscaping: terraces, paths, hedges, flower beds, large trees, fruit trees, and more.
Matching architecture and landscaping
When the time came to choose plants, we were reminded how tricky it was. Island weather is unique so understanding the soil and anticipating the higher saline air winds on our side of the island, left us with limited choices for trees and shrubs. To match the clean, simple lines we chose for our White villas architecture, we thought desert plants would be best. Aside from the look, requiring less water and maintenance was appealing in the long term. Nature Splendor proposed a xeriscaping type garden, where landscaping includes slow-growing, drought-tolerant plants to conserve water and reduce yard trimmings. Zen, uncluttered and easier to tend, it was perfect for the environment we had envisioned.
Though a more obvious choice, the xeriscaping still required a lot of time, work and money. First, several containers filled with trees and shrubs were imported from Florida. Then, because any tropical destination needs the quintessential palm trees, we acquired large coconut palms from the local nursery.
Foliage for every space
It was important for us to create a sense of privacy for our cluster of villas. Intimacy matters to our guests and with this in mind, we chose green buttonwood hedges to separate each vacation home. Within each villa parameter, guests are surrounded by colorful bougainvillea, as well as several other plants. And though each garden is unique, we wanted a signature shrub that would be present on the grounds of every accommodation. In this case, the magnificent Silver Bismark palm tree was chosen to adorn each villa space. With its silvery foliage and large imposing leaves, it’s a natural centerpiece admired by all.
Keeping things fresh
Co-owner Pina also wanted fruit trees. And though several tropical fruit trees are surprisingly not very successful in Turks and Caicos, Nature Splendor chose the right ones based on their experience. They even took it a step further by bringing in lesser known fruit for the area. We’re pleased to say our orange, lemon, lime, sapodilla, star fruit, strawberry guava, banana, plantain, Barbados cherry and coconut trees are all doing very well. And as an added bonus, fresh picked fruit is an integral part of the ingredients used by the White Villas chef when planning guest menus.
The White Villas gardens are young and promising. To date, it’s been more than 5,000 plants requiring more than half a year of planting and irrigation work. With a full-time gardener and thousands of dollars invested in necessary irrigation each month, we look forward to healthy growth and enchanting our visitors with beautiful surroundings that foster rest and relaxation.
Simon and Karim