Whether you are an avid gardener looking for advice on how to make the most of growing orchids at home, or if you just want to view the beautiful selection of orchids at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, this weekend’s Orchid Show is a fantastic opportunity to do both. Visitors can also buy their favorite variety to take home.
The Orchid Show, which has been around for more than 20 years, runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The show once was an exhibit put on by the Cayman Islands Orchid Society, but has transformed into a larger event hosted jointly by the Botanic Park and the Orchid Society.
“It is the largest event at the Botanic Park and allows novices and experts alike to learn and educate themselves about orchids and their culture in one location,” said John Lawrus, the park’s general manager.
A number of orchid varieties will be on display, including Cattleya, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Laelia, Brassavola, Vanda, Ascocenda, Myrmecophila and Aranda. There may also be an opportunity to see the “queen of orchids,” Grammatophyllum speciosum, the largest orchid in the world, in bloom behind the visitor center.
“We will have over a thousand orchids for sale from bare root Cattleya species and hybrids, to spectacular blooming Vanda and Phalaenopsis species, and hundreds more,” said Lawrus. “Selling bare root orchid varieties allows for the purchaser to choose how they want to pot up or mount their orchid, depending on their circumstances and location.”
Educational talks will be held both days at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. This year’s guest speaker will be Gene Crocker, who was vice president of Carter and Holmes Orchids in Newbury, South Carolina, for 25 years. Many of his hybrids have been awarded by the American Orchid Society and the Royal Horticultural Society, and he has been recognized by the AOS for outstanding accomplishments in orchid hybridizing, and by the Orchid Digest Corp. for outstanding achievements in the world of orchids.
The show also offers more than orchids.
“This is a fantastic weekend to not just enjoy the Orchid Show and fundraising sale, but to enjoy everything that the Botanic Park has to offer,” said Lawrus. Visitors can meander through the entire Botanic Park, taking in the Heritage Garden, the Floral Colour Garden and the Xerophytic Garden, and perhaps spot a blue iguana or two in the beautiful grounds.
Entrance to the show is $8 for adults, free for children under 12 attending with an adult. Refreshments will be available, with jerk chicken, pork, hot dogs and hamburgers on offer from
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Proceeds from the show go to the development of the Orchid Boardwalk at the Botanic Park. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early.