3 rue du Général de Gaulle
97400 Saint Denis
The Villa  >  the garden

The Creole Garden


The alley way is perfumed by frangipani flowers; ginger torches light up the façade; birds of paradise stand out among the hibiscus beds... The Creole garden is teeming with plants, an arboretum in the image of its owner. The garden at Villa Marie-Lucie has stood firm over the centuries and its dimensions have not changed in 160 years.


Entering through the baro—the Creole name for the gate with high pillars in the middle of the enclosing wall along the street—the visitor is swept up by the vegetation. An alleyway crosses the formal garden, leading directly to the varangue along a little pool with a fountain whose splashing waters gives the site a feeling of serenity and purity. Located in the front of the house, the garden gives you a foretaste, guiding your eyes toward the façades of the traditional house. The flowerbeds are symmetrical, overflowing with flowers, fruit trees, orchids and rare plants forming a space for relaxation—an integral part of the Creole art de vivre. To the left, the visitor can stroll under the foliage to the guest pavilion whose varangue is an invitation to repose.


On the other hand, the visitor can also take a path to explore the surprises that can be found here and there: the steps of the terraces leading to the street, called Guétali here, the rock and shell grotto with the leaves of elephant ear plants piously protecting the Madonna who blesses the site, a bench under a mango tree for some quiet reading—there are many sights to explore along the way. At the back of the garden there is a gym in a country house at the end of the swimming pool to care for the body as well as the soul.