The Garden Club of Grand Cayman planted a Mastic tree (Terminalia eriostachya) on the George Hicks Campus in George Town as part of its effort to re-focus attention on native plant landscaping.
The club believes that native trees are better suited to climate conditions here than imports from other tropical countries. Cayman Islands native trees and plants are resistant to hurricanes, salt winds, droughts and local insects, said a press release from the club.
The trees need less care and benefit wildlife, as well as being of historic and cultural interest. Garden Club members grow native trees and plants at their homes from seeds and cuttings and have used them in many of the club’s landscaping projects as well as donating to the National Trust, the Shade Brigade, the Beautification Committee and others, the release said.
Lois Blumenthal, President of the Garden Club, thanked Mr. Rob Bennett for his expertise and willingness to assist with the many landscaping projects the club undertakes.
‘All our members contribute in their own ways,’ she said, ‘But Rob consistently turns up when there are holes to be dug and plants to be moved – and he leads us in both the planning and the implementation of our projects.’
The Black Mastic will grow into a large, impressive tree to provide shade for students and food for Cayman Parrots and other wildlife into the future.
This tree’s beautiful wood was in high demand during the early days and the species was almost exterminated here in the late 1800s by woodcutters. As noted in Wild Trees by Fred Burton, ‘a clear reminder of how vulnerable our native trees are to the activities of man.’
The Garden Club meets on the first Thursday of every month and new members are always welcome. Besides landscaping projects, there is also a strong emphasis on classic floral design and the club holds a yearly Flower Show that meets international standards. Contact [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected] or phone 926-0480 or 916-6784 if you would like to attend the next meeting.