November 16, 2020

A visit to Spring Valley Farm is always a joy and filled with inspiration for my designs.  Just a 6 minute flight from our little Mustique airport to mainland St. Vincent, and a 15 minute drive up into the mountains, and there we enter another world.  One of tranquility, a oneness with nature and a great escape and adventure.  Spring Valley Farm is not so much a farm as a rain forest.  the vast majority of the land is left alone, interspersed with little plantations of mango, avocado, cocoa and papaya to name but a few, and of course Bananas!  And it was the aim of this particular visit, to get to know the banana tree so I could make it my next design.  


In the picture below my nephews forage for fruit to fill their baskets.  I think they've met their match here!

As I have mentioned before, I like to understand how a plant works, How the branches grow from the trunk, and the fruit from the branches etc before I feel I can simplify it down to make a repeat design that is easy on the eye and not too fussy.

Here I am sitting above a small valley filled with banana trees.  Each tree provides just one bunch of bananas and then dies, but it sends up a baby plant at its roots beforehand so the cycle goes on.

You can see the trunks of coconut trees dotted throughout the banana field.  These are the remains of the coconut plantation that the whole estate used to be back in the 1950s.  But by the 1980s Bananas had taken over and the production of bananas contributed 60% of the export earnings of St. Vincent.  They were the single largest economic activity on the island until 1995 when the United States complained to the WTO that the EU banana regime discriminated against Latin American producers. A series of legal rulings followed and an uncertainty grew amongst the banana producers.  Also ravaged by disease, pests and hurricanes, banana production fell from almost 80,000 tonnes to 37,000 in 1999.  At the same time as banana production in St. Vincent declined, South American exports were rapidly growing, gaining economies of scale and thus out-competing the smaller Vincentian farms.

We now aim to plant fruit trees of all types in mixed orchards.  The larger trees provide shelter for the smaller ones and the intercropping prevents pests from devastating  a whole orchard in one go.

Below is the repeat print we ended up with for linen and for swim.

I kept the repeat print for linen and swim pretty simple but decided to go bolder and more dramatic when designing the silk sarong.
This year we introduced the Ruffle Bandeau.  It is a great accompaniment to the sarong and makes for a very chic outfit indeed!

Below is the Short "cosima" Kaftan in chiffon Silk, worn by Gabija at our photoshoot on the point between Gelliceaux and Lagoon Bay.  Gabi had just returned from Carnival with a magnificent hair-style.  I'm not sure who's was more impressive, hers or Ryan's?


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in DIARY

Blues Festival

January 31, 2023

Mustique Blues Festival 2023Fun times at the Mustique Blue's Festival - alive and kicking at Basil's Bar on Mustique - find your perfect festival wear too....

Read More

Turtle Trellis

January 24, 2023

Turtle Trellis pink print on linen shirtTurtle Trellis print - we are delighted to share with you the inspiration behind Lotty's new design. Originated on Mustique and based on the green turtles that come to the island ...

Read More

January blues

January 17, 2023

Dazzling blue plain shirtWell, we saw off Blue Monday! Blue Monday, you ask? According to press reports the most unhappy Monday of the year fell yesterday, Monday 16th January .... we hope to cheer you up with some of our beautiful blues...

Read More

Join the Pink House Mustique family for news, special offers and our latest styles

You may unsubscribe at any time. To see our privacy policy click here