An insider’s guide to Cayman’s plants

 The official launch of a special
guide to Cayman plants was quite naturally, a garden affair, last Friday at
Gardenia Court in Camana Bay Town Centre.

The field guide to Camana Way
provides detailed information on the plants making up a unique collection of
Cayman plant life painstakingly assembled for close to two decades.

Attendees at the cocktail hour watched
a slideshow presentation on the development of Camana Bay and Camana Way’s landscaping
ideas and plants.

A 30ft wide boulevard connecting
Camana Bay’s Town Centre to Seven Mile Beach, Camana Way, is the brainchild of horticulturalist
Sandy Urquhart, who for many years led the Camana Bay design team. His notes
and years of research have gone into producing the pocket-sized guide.

Many of the specimens featured
throughout Camana Way and the plant book are not found in nurseries or documented
in other plant books.

Camana Way showcases and celebrates
the native plants of five Grand Cayman ecosystems.

“The book is a layman’s guide to
native indigenous and endemic plants of the Cayman Islands,” said Mr. Urquhart.

“And all of those plants are in an
urban setting as opposed to a private garden or a botanic park.”

The book is divided into five
sections representing five ecosystems commonly found in Cayman and represented
in Camana Way: the Sandy Beach or Coastal Strand, the Sandy Woodland, the Dry,
Rocky Limestone Woodland, the Moist Woodland and the Seasonally Flooded,
Brackish Woodland.

Wherever possible, the book
describes how each plant was used in the past and its environmental value to
the island.

Mr. Urquhart wants to get people
thinking about the beauty in local plants that have adapted to the conditions
in the Cayman Islands and are perfect for gardens and public spaces.

The pocket garden is also intended
to give people ideas about what kind of plants they do or don’t like to see

“These plants are entirely
accessible to the public, many of them cost next to nothing to plant and grow,”
said Mr. Urquhart.

“Gardeners here in Cayman have no
excuse for not getting a lot of their garden right the first time around.”

Mr. Urquhart also thanked the hard working
staff at the Dart nursery who took years to grow and propagate some of the species
once only found growing in the bush.

 “We are now creating commercial demand for
these plants that was not there before.”

Guided tours of Camana Way will be
taking place on Saturday, 6 March, as a complement to the Garden Club of Grand
Cayman’s Annual Flower Show being held Friday and Saturday at Camana Bay.