INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — McKee Botanical Garden will host its 12th Annual Waterlily Celebration from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 18.
The enchantment of the Garden comes to life as Florida’s largest collection of waterlilies transforms into a brightly colored waterscape.
Waterlilies are considered by many to be “jewels of the pond,” beautiful to look at as well as being fragrant and purposeful. Waterlilies play an important role in the ecosystem of the ponds within the Garden. They provide shade which helps keep the temperature down in the ponds, lessening algae growth and protecting fish from the bright Florida sun.
McKee’s waterlily collection, comprised of nearly 500 plants, is the largest in the state of Florida. The Annual Waterlily Celebration attracts hundreds of photographers, horticulturalists, artists, and visitors who want to witness this array of color and vibrancy throughout the Garden.
Flowers come in a variety of colors ranging from yellow, red, pink, white, purple, blue and orange. Waterlilies vary in shape, size, color and fragrance, as well as their growing periods and blooming frequency.
The gates open early at 8:30 a.m. to allow for an early morning self-guided stroll through the Garden to catch a glimpse of some of the night blooming varieties before they retreat.
Plant experts will be available throughout the day to answer questions and advise visitors on how to characterize hardy species from tropical varieties and will offer re-potting demonstrations as well as an opportunity to purchase an array of plants from several vendors.
Visitors will have an opportunity to cast their vote for the “People’s Choice” from the submissions for the Garden’s Annual Waterlily Photo Contest which will be on display in the historic Hall of Giants.
The winning photo will be recognized along with the first, second and third place winners and honorable mention winners in both Adult and Youth categories. Winning photos from all divisions will be featured on McKee’s website and social media outlets.
Summer admission rates apply. Adults $10, Seniors $9, Children (ages 3-12) $5, McKee members and children under 3 are free.