New Patron of Garden Club

Elisabeth Roper, wife of Cayman Islands Governor Martyn Roper, has taken up the role of patron of the Garden Club of Grand Cayman.

Elisabeth Roper in the gardens at Government House. Photo: Stephen Clarke

Since arriving in the Cayman Islands in 2018, Elisabeth Roper has delighted in the tropical foliage.

“My favourite has to be the poinciana trees – such a beautiful colour when in bloom; they provide wonderful shade,” she says. “Driving along the south coast, to Savannah and beyond is delightful.”

While not a gardener herself, Mrs. Roper enjoys the serenity that green spaces provide.

“I find them peaceful and tranquil and love looking at the range and colour of plants and trees,” she says.

And she is thrilled by the grounds of Government House, which is the official residence of the governor of the Cayman Islands.

With the garden bordering the sands of Seven Mile Beach, as well as an extensive lawn at the front of the property, there is a profusion of plants amongst which to wander and find time for quiet contemplation.

Favourite gardens

Mrs. Roper also thinks highly of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

“I have visited it a couple of times now and have been impressed with the range of plants and the dedication of the staff,” she says. “There is much to see; the old Rankin house is particularly interesting, along with the new facility for children.

“It’s great to see the children getting involved in gardens at such a young age. We also visited the orchid show this year which was fantastic; there are so many enthusiastic gardeners here.”

In the U.K., the historic Painswick Rococo Garden in the Cotswolds particularly thrilled Mrs. Roper, while the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew is on her wish list to visit.

However, there is one garden that is even closer to her heart.

“My favourite is my parents’ garden – they put so much work into it and it is a very peaceful place to be,” she says. “It is a well-established garden – 60 years now – and I love going back to see what has changed and what has stayed the same. There is a miniature Japanese maple that was planted in the early 1960s and I think it is still going strong.”

With regards to a favourite flower, Mrs. Roper is somewhat of a traditionalist, plumping for old-fashioned roses.

“In particular, I love Just Joey with its lovely colourful blooms and old-fashioned smell,” she says.

Club values

As patron of the Garden Club, Mrs. Roper is firm believer in the values and objectives of the organisation, which aims not only to beautify the Cayman Islands but is an important service club undertaking community initiatives.

“They bring essential and valuable experience and know-how, and enrich our community in so many ways,” she says.

Established in 1957, the Garden Club promotes interest in, and knowledge of, gardening and all things related to the natural beauty of the Cayman Islands.

With more than 100 members, the club encourages friendship and understanding among persons of all nationalities who share an interest in gardening. Monthly meetings usually include a garden tour, demonstration or guest speaker.

Anyone interested in joining the Garden Club can contact Janet Morse on [email protected]