Thursday, February 27, 2014

.........and Gardens. A Visit to Lunuganga.

After spending Saturday at the temple we booked our tuk tuk to take us to Lunaganga Garden. Our original plan had been to visit Brief Garden but Adrian told us that Lunuganga was even better.

Adrian giving good advice

So Brief Garden was shelved and at nine o'clock on Sunday morning the three of us squeezed into the tuk tuk. Our driver had been arranged by the school so that we would pay local prices not the tourist one. The deal was 1700 LKR about €10. For this the driver would bring us to the garden, wait while we did the tour and then take us home again.

We had a brief stop on the way at this river. We were told there are crocodiles in it but thankfully all that was to be seen this morning were a couple of boats and this man selling his catch.

River looks very peaceful.

When we arrived at the gardens there was little sign of life. This was the country house of Geoffrey Bawa. He started his career as a lawyer but went on to become a very famous Sri Lankan architect.  The gardens were his first love and he experimented here with different types of plants. The gardens were begun in 1947, and Geoffry continued to work on them until his final illness in 1998. After he died in 2003, the property was left to the Lunuganga Trust, who opened the gardens to the public and the house is now a boutique hotel.

The Bell

When we arrived the gates were shut and though there was little sign of life there was another tuk tuk and a car parked outside. Our driver got out and rang the bell perched high over the gate. This was the first of many bells dotted about the property.

 A young man arrived to let us in. He told us we could not see the "house" as the hotel was full but he would give us a guided tour of the garden.

Waiting patiently

Our guide

It was a wonderful tour, we saw many types to trees, lots of water lilies, they are the national flower of Sri Lanka in addition to some of the local wildlife.

The waterlily,  the national flower of Sri Lanka

We also crossed paths with an Australian couple who exchanged words with Sue about the cricket. Australia has obviously beaten England recently.
In addition to this, they gave us the contact gap details of a wonderful lady who organises walking tours in Galle. We plan to go there the weekend after next.

The photos will do the rest of my talking.

Outside the Garden Room

The Glass Room
This used to be a barn and the small building in front was a hen house

Another of the guest rooms.

This room is on three levels!

How many English women does it take to ring a bell?

Jack Fruit. Years ago a hotel we stayed in in Bangkok had notices in the lift forbidding bringing these fruits into the hotel. evidently they smell very bad even though they taste good.

The Water Garden...more seats and bells. 

One of two water monitors that dropped in for a swim.

Back on dry land

The dog cools off. He sat down in the water for several minutes.



Lots of shady walks

Spider webs dotted the grass.

The fruit of the Balsa tree. Evidently, one side is poisonous and the other side edible for the birds!

A frog pops up to say hello

Spot the iguana

Found him

A kingfisher sits in a tree.

Red rice

Old Rubber trees

A horned Pan

Pretty Ferns

The cannonball flower. It smells even better than it looks.

I never saw cotton grow in a pod before!

Ringing the bell again. Where is that cup of tea?

Sue when asked to strike a pose. The hakka maybe?

Leaf of the Breadfruit tree, it made a great fan.
Or used to guide the plane into land.


Older Mangrove

The door to the Cinnamon House
This iguana not to happy with being disturbed.

So he decides to go home.



Almost gone.

Every cow we see here seems to have its own private egret to keep the bugs off.

The main house.

The house faces this view one way

Frangapani tree

This is the view on the opposite side.

Paintings on the outbuildings

This path was made and planted to reduce the road noise

Interesting toilet
I love old pots.

 This is the base of a huge mahogany tree.  Time to leave now.


  1. Looks like a great tour Mary. Beautiful garden with wonderful light, flowers and trees. I would run.....if I saw an iguana, a bite from one of them would not be good!

  2. Amazing flowers - Turkey is going to seem very tame when you get back.


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