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In this week’s ‘Memories of Casa de Campo’ post Carol Burke our wonderful weekly columnist reminisces about the beauty of Casa de Campo – the beautiful gardens, and all the different trees and flowers. Driving around Casa de Campo in the golf cart was always a great pastime. Occasionally I would see a beautiful rainbow over Casa de Campo, and all the time there were the amazing, colorful flowering trees.
One of my favorite trees was the Mother of Chocolate tree which was always full of pink flowers wafting a fragrance of chocolate through the air.
The gardens of Casa de Campo are among the most beautiful in the world. There are birds, fruit trees, comfy palapas, and cool turquoise swimming pools everywhere in Casa.
Some of Casa’s gardens are hidden behind high stone walls. One of these gardens has a secret garden door that opens onto a meandering path to the Teeth of the Dog golf course. I often walked by this intriguing garden wall with my dog Daisy.
Nearby, along the road from Punta Aguila in Casa de Campo there was a farm garden where people could stop to buy vegetables every day. We often bought our salad makings from the farmer there.
Even Altos de Chavon had its memorable gardens. My favorite was in the Colinas of Chavon, built along the cliffs above the Chavon River. The scene it created was a fantastic contrast between a wild jungle above the green Chavon, and the calmness of a civilized flower garden.
One Altos de Chavon garden produced food for the restaurants. It was a vegetable garden within a walled in piece of land behind the Piazzetta, near the Altos de Chavon swimming pool. The chefs of Piazzetta, Casa del Rio, and El Sombrero consulted with the gardeners to produce delectable edibles for their respective restaurants.
There was another vegetable garden near the Fitness Center in Casa de Campo which produced some of the fresh food for the restaurants El Patio, Tropicana, Lago Grill, El Pescador, and the lunchtime sandwich place on the terrace outside the Golf Pro Shop.
One time, the Spanish singer Braulio came to Casa de Campo, and used some vegetables from the garden to help cook in El Patio. The magazine, Vanidades, featured this cooking event in issue no 11 – May 24, 1988.