There’s nothing like the beauty of nature surrounding you, and where better to truly appreciate it than the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park? Every year, the park celebrates those most glorious of flowers: orchids.

In case you did not know, the banana orchid is the official flower of the Cayman Islands; you will see this and many other varieties at the Botanic Park’s annual Orchid Show and Sale, being held on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Whether you are already a fan of the orchid or a curious first-timer, there is a lot to see at the park, with plenty of activities on the schedule to entertain.

Volunteers from the Orchid Society will be on hand to answer questions throughout the weekend, and will provide educational talks each day about orchid care and culture. This will be particularly useful for those who worry that they have been born with a brown thumb when it comes to gardening. The manager of the park, John Lawrus, will also be available to give attendees tips on how to choose the best orchid for them.

This event is something the whole family can enjoy, as there will be arts and crafts for the kids along with informative, interactive sessions. When everyone gets hungry, they can head to the refreshment stands for some jerk barbecue and drinks. The prices are reasonable so you can eat more for less.

There will be more than 1,000 orchids available for sale outside the Visitor Centre, so if you’ve ever considered having your very own, this is the day to buy one. A display of privately owned orchids will also be part of the weekend, with prizes for the best displays.

Children explore the Botanic Park. – PHOTO: JEWEL LEVY

The QEII Botanic Park

Enjoy a leisurely walk through colorful gardens, botanic, lake and nature displays. Stroll through Heritage Garden, enjoy the Tea House with its panoramic views, and the lake area which forms a natural habitat for the Cayman Blue Iguana and breeding ground for a variety of rare aquatic birds and animals native to the Caribbean.

When Queen Elizabeth II opened Grand Cayman’s Botanic Park in 1994, only the Woodland Trail was complete. In the years that have followed, the grounds have grown and developed into the full fledged world-class facility that is operating today.

The annual Orchid Show is a major fundraising endeavor for the park and it is eagerly anticipated by floral enthusiasts throughout Cayman.

Local orchid expert Kirkland Nixon and guest speaker and visiting orchid authority Gene Crocker give a talk at the Orchid Show. – Photo: Jewel Levy

In 2008, the Botanic Park was invited to enter the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. “The Heritage Garden” took silver in its category. The following year, members returned to improve on their first entry and the “Cayman Islands Undersea Reef Garden” won a gold medal in the show’s floral category, along with the president’s Most Creative Award.

The Botanic Park is owned jointly by the Cayman Islands Government and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands – a nonprofit, statutory body dedicated to preserving natural environments and places of historic significance in the Cayman Islands for present and future generations.

The Botanic Park is located in the district of North Side on Frank Sound Road.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 947-9462.

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