This weekend’s visitors to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park were greeted with an array of colourful blooms at the Orchid Show and Sale organised by the Park in association with the Cayman Islands Orchid Society.
While the show’s display was on a smaller scale due to the ongoing limitations of plant importation, Park staff and volunteers worked hard to ensure the event went on as usual, much to the delight of orchid-lovers island wide.
“Setting up the display is a big part of this event. I want to personally thank the Cayman Islands Orchid Society and our volunteers who work behind the scenes to make sure every plant is meticulously cared for, readying them for public viewing,” said John Lawrus, Botanic Park General Manager.
Held on Saturday and Sunday, 27th and 28th March from 9:00am to 4:00pm the annual show and fundraising sale hosts a stunning exhibition of multiple orchid species including locally grown orchids and some indigenous to the Cayman Islands.
“The main display set up on the inside of the Park’s Kirkland Nixon Visitor Centre is curated with privately owned orchids from members of the Cayman Islands Orchid Society,” said Nick Johnson, Botanic Park Horticultural Manager.
Speaking with visitors, Mr. Johnson explained the show’s judging criteria.
“They are first grouped in the same genus. Once grouped, we then look at how many flower spikes the plant has; whether it has been staked and what the staking looks like. We also judge on the choice of pot, how the leaf looks; how the plant on a whole is being presented, and if there is any pest or disease on it,” said Mr. Johnson.
Judges included Mr. Johnson himself, a member of the Orchid Society and accredited judge of the Jamaica Orchid Society and the American Orchid Society, Mr. Claude Hamilton of Hamlyn Orchids, who participated via video messaging from Jamaica.
Eighteen orchids in all received winning ribbons, placing either first, second or third in each of the six categories. Best in Show went Thalia Foster with her Guarianthe skinneri.
Organizers are pleased to partner once again with long time sponsors. “We really appreciate the long-standing support of our sponsors, DMS Broadcasting, Cayman Airways, Sticks and Stones, the Department of Tourism and Vigoro Nursery; without whom, we could not put on a show of such calibre for the public to enjoy,” said Mr. Lawrus.
Mr. Lawrus also wishes to thank the public for the continued support of the efforts of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. “We exceeded our expectations on all accounts and because of the huge turnout, we were able to sell all of the orchids! We look froward to doing it all again next year.”
Proceeds from this year’s Orchid Show and Sale will go towards continued development of both the Orchid Conservation Area and the new Children’s Garden.
To learn how you can make a donation to either initiative, kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 947-9462.