Nestled in the hills of St. James about 2,000 feet above Montego Bay’s white sand beaches, its frenetic Hip Strip, championship golf courses, and historic great houses is Ahhh…Ras Natango Gallery and Garden. This beautiful oasis with its terraced rock garden sprouting orchids, gladioli, heliconia, nasturtium, convolvulus, beehive ginger, bromeliads, and other flowers, herbs and fruit trees offers sweeping views of Montego Bay. To stroll the garden is to take a walking meditation and was the highlight of my visit. I paused on one of the benches placed strategically in the garden, to take in the view of the lush countryside and Montego Bay.
Bird lovers can spot 18 of Jamaica’s 24 endemic birds or identify them on rocks that were painted by owner and artist Ian Williams.
The gallery is stacked with original artwork and other items created by Ian, Tamika, his wife, and their son, Ayale.
A specially prepared lunch of steamed fish and in-season vegetables, which I ordered when I arrived, was waiting as I left the gallery. It was backed up by a medley of tropical juice made fresh from garden fruits.
Ahhh…Ras Natango Gallery and Garden is lovingly tended by the Williamses and their staff. They proudly share their creation with their community of Camrose and international visitors. Open weekdays 10 to 6, and weekends by appointment. Tel: 876-578-2582. Free shuttle pickup from Montego Bay. Entry $30, lunch $12.