WASHINGTON — The colourful and stunning display of native flowers from Jamaica was the talk of the town in Washington D.C. at the weekend at Flower Mart’s Flowers Around the World festival.
The island’s display dubbed, To the World, wowed the more than 20,000 visitors, who streamed into the historic Washington National Cathedral for the May 6 to 7 event, to see flora from around the globe.
The flower enthusiasts were captivated by the beauty of the indigenous Jamaican plants creatively designed by noted horticulturist and Custos of St. Andrew, Hon. Marigold Harding, and assembled by floral designer, Rick Scott.
The Jamaican display held its own among the stunning creations from some of the world’s most prominent designers from Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Festival organisers were effusive in their praise of Jamaica, which is the only Caribbean nation to participate in the annual event.
“Flower Mart considers Jamaica’s participation in Flowers Around the World a vital part of our celebration,” said Advisory Chair of Flower Mart, Debbie Page.
“Jamaica's display is always a show stopping experience for visitors and a gracious gift to the spring festival,” she added.
Extremely pleased at the reception accorded her country’s native flora, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Her Excellency Audrey Marks, said “this high regard for the Jamaican entry was as much a great honour and recognition of our nation’s robust horticultural tradition as it was a well-earned international statement about the creativity and genius of our Jamaican floral designers."
She said Jamaicans at home as well as the large community in the Washington metropolitan area “should take great pride in knowing that the elegance of the island’s native flora is well-recognised and acclaimed."
Ambassador Marks also commended the role played by Custos Harding, whom, for many years, has spearheaded Jamaica’s participation.
Flower Mart features exhibits from countries around the globe highlighting each nation’s natural flora, heritage as well as its topography, national colours, flag and symbols.
The festival is an annual fixture on the Washington spring calendar and is part of an array of events staged in the District of Columbia, designed to attract a diverse tourist population to the American capital.
By DERRICK A. SCOTT, JIS INFORMATION ATTACHÉ