Gardens in paradise:
Flower show, plant sale in May

“Living in Paradise” is something beyond what we think everyday – it’s this year’s theme for the Garden Club of Cayman’s flower show and plant sale. 

The event on May 3-4 pays homage to the club’s founders, whose mandate in 1957 was to promote interest in gardening, horticulture and flower arranging.  

Governor Helen Kilpatrick will open the show, which will be hosted at the home and gardens of Joyce Dunbar in West Bay. 

History 

The club’s founders met at the old Seaview Hotel, according to Jill Wood, club president.  

“Mrs. [Dorothy] Roulstone, who was the owner of the Seaview Hotel, had a guest who noticed how the coconut trees were dying from a disease, and upon his return to Costa Rica, he sent a shipment of blight-resistant dwarf coconut trees. They grew to a good height here and the majority of Cayman’s present coconut trees are from that stock,” she says.  

The club at the time consisted of a small group of dedicated gardeners, she said, including Allan Donald, Velda Bodden, Corinne Thompson, Olive Hind, Lily McTaggart, Ena Watler and Queenie Bodden, in addition to Mrs. Roulstone. 

Moving forward 

The club still follows the same traditions as its founders and is actively involved in nurturing interest and knowledge of gardening, as well as the enjoyment of the natural beauty of the Cayman Islands.  

An important part of their work has always been to undertake projects that beautify the community. In the early days, this began with plantings at the post office and the library. Last year, landscaping was completed at the new extension of the Pines Retirement Home, and planting continued at Bonaventure Home for Boys, Nadine Andreas Foster Home, Mission House in Bodden Town, and at the Cayman Islands Tourism Association building on West Bay Road.  

Club members also support the rich horticultural heritage of the Cayman Islands by promoting the preservation of native plants, recently procuring a rare bromeliad nicknamed “Old George,” which is indigenous to the islands. Some of these plants will be donated to the National Trust for further propagation throughout Grand Cayman.  

The flower show raises money to support these projects. 

 Joyce Dunbar’s residence is at 495 North West Point Road, West Bay. The event is free and open to the public. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 3, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 4. Non-members can also participate by entering either potted plants or cut specimens or demonstrate their talents in floral design. For more information, to register as an exhibitor, or to enter the artistic division for floral design, call 925-4375. 

Dwarf-Coconut-Tree-S

Founders of the Garden Club of Grand Cayman are said to be responsible for bringing dwarf coconut trees to Grand Cayman.

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