Waterlily Celebration to bloom at McKee Botanical Garden

VERO BEACH- – For the seventh consecutive year, McKee Botanical Garden’s ponds and waterways will be overtaken by hundreds of vibrant blooms during its annual Waterlily Celebration on Saturday, June 18.

The Celebration runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features more than 90 varieties and 200 individual waterlilies, along with scheduled demonstrations and activities.

“McKee has one of the nation’s largest outdoor collections of waterlilies, and this is the time of year they really put on a show,” explained McKee Executive Director Christine Hobart.  “Even if you don’t consider yourself a ‘plant person,’ you won’t want to miss this display.”

Scheduled activities for the Waterlily Celebration include:

8:30 a.m. – Garden opens early for self-guided stroll of night-blooming lilies

9 a.m. – “Photographing Waterlilies” class with Pat Rice, Indian River Photo Club

9 a.m. – Outdoor painting by artists Rick Kelly, Marlene Putnam, Sean and Sharon Sexton and Emily Tremml

9 a.m. to noon – Waterlily Photo Contest display and voting

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Aquatic plant and koi sales

10 a.m. – Origami folding demonstration and instruction

10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – Waterlily Q&A and repotting demonstration

10:30 a.m. – “Koi vs. Goldfish: Two very different kinds of Ponds” with Pat Faehnle, Aquatic Systems & Resources, Inc.

The Garden Café will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. serving continental breakfast, cold beverages, light lunch fare and frozen treats.

Photos from the Garden’s second annual Waterlily Photo Contest will be on display throughout the event.  Photographers interested in entering the contest can obtain an entry form and complete list of rules by visiting http://www.mckeegarden.org/events/110618.php.

In addition to popular favorites such as the giant Victoria Amazonica, McKee’s waterlily collection includes several new and award-winning varieties.  Among these is Chaz, a blue-purple lily with unusual red leaves that was a 2002 International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society “Best in Show” winner, as well as a Banksian Award Winner.

The mission of McKee Botanical Garden, located at 350 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach, is to nurture and enhance a historic garden in a unique tropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all.

Summer admission rates apply. Rates are $7 adults, $6 seniors and $4 children ages 3 to 12.  Admission is free for members and children under 3.

Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  The Waterlily Celebration is sponsored by the “AT&T Real Yellow Pages.”

For more information, call 772-794-0601 or visit www.mckeegarden.org.

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