Annual show and sale runs Saturday and Sunday
Staff and volunteers have been busy this week unpacking shipments of well over a thousand orchids and arranging them in time for the annual show and sale at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park this weekend.
Park manager John Lawrus hopes the event will bring out not only orchid enthusiasts, but also people who might wonder why this particular plant attracts so much attention. Even better, with recent rains during a normally dry season, the entire park is especially worth seeing because “Everything is looking good right now,” he reported.
The price of admission is the same as always, so visitors can spend the whole day if they wish – enjoying an array of orchids displayed by members of the Cayman Orchid Society in the Visitors Center, inspecting the plants for sale in tents outside, then exploring the park’s regular features that include a cactus garden, traditional yard plants, the color-themed gardens and palm tree walk.
For those with a high energy level, the nature trail provides an opportunity to see the variety of trees, shrubs and vines that are typical in Cayman’s terrain. A barbecue stand will cater to anyone who develops an appetite from all the activity.
Mr. Lawrus said the park holds the show each year in partnership with the Orchid Society as a joint fundraiser to benefit the ongoing development of the Orchid Boardwalk feature in the park and to promote the conservation of local orchids by showcasing the beauty of this plant family.
Orchids for sale will have come from Jamaica, Florida and Hawaii. They represent many regions of the world and are not commonly available on island, Mr. Lawrus noted. Well over a hundred species and hybrids will be represented in the sale.
This year, there will many orchids for sale that are not in bloom. The advantage to purchasers is better value because they won’t have to pay the full blooming-size price. The disadvantage, of course, is not seeing the flower. But Mr. Lawrus expects that most of the plants will be accompanied by a photograph of their flower.
Also, since the orchids on display in the Visitors Center will be labeled, viewers need only note the names of what they like and then see if their choices are available in the sale area. There is a better than good chance they will be: Mr. Lawrus says most of the plants in the show were probably purchased at shows in years past. The show gives Orchid Society members a chance to show what they have accomplished with their individual nurturing techniques.
As in past years, there will be talks and demonstrations throughout the day by knowledgeable orchid growers willing to share their experiences and expertise.
The orchid show and sale runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 1 and 2. Admission is $8 for adults; children under 12 are free.