If you have ever wandered down the Paseo in Camana Bay or relaxed on the town centre Crescent, you will doubtless have spotted that the 600-acre site is alive with vibrant flora. From the silver thatch palms that keep The Island a shady paradise to the four courtyards filled with jasmine, cassia, gardenia and canella; plants and trees played an integral part in the planning and design of the mixed use community, shaping an environment that is not only sustainable, but visually appealing.
What many visitors perhaps do not realise however is that all of Dart Realty’s developments are unified through distinct and mature landscaping that use native and endemic plants and trees that all come from Dart’s own 26-acre Nursery.
Conceived over two decades ago, the Dart Nursery is tucked away behind the busy West Bay Road, providing an oasis of over 180 species of palms and 500 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants.
In the case of Camana Bay, the owners and design team recognised at the outset the importance of intuitive landscape and land planning as the environmental glue from which buildings and structures would rise, integrating all elements of the community with their island home and creating a town truly of the Cayman Islands. They therefore looked to the cornucopia of tropical plant life at the Dart Nursery to create the desired effect.
From humble beginnings, the flora from the Nursery has since been used not just in Camana Bay, but in all of Dart Realty’s developments, from the Cayman Island’s Yacht Club to the Salt Creek residential area and Regatta Office Park.
For recent developments, Dart Nursery’s focus has been on using resilient native and regional plants that are already adapted to Cayman’s environment, rainfall and climatic patterns; requiring less frequent watering and fertilising. In one case this has led to the lowering of landscaping water needs by more than 50 per cent. The Dart Nursery has also recently become home to more than 350 trees that have been relocated during the expansion and realignment of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
Looking forward, the Dart Nursery will continue to play a key role in future developments, including the new Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa which will utilise native plants throughout the property, including in the 1,300-square-foot lawn which will overlook the ocean.
By cultivating plants and trees on island, Dart Realty has ensured that it remains environmentally responsible by reducing the carbon footprint of importing them from thousands of miles away as well as reducing the risk of importing diseases and pests. The Nursery is also committed to saving threatened species as well as reintroducing native species into urban environments.
With an ever-growing portfolio, the Dart Nursery is committed to supplying the quality and diversity of plant materials needed for future projects. From mangroves and buttonwood to periwinkle and coleus, the Dart Nursery helps to create innovative and exciting landscapes that play an important role in the quality of the community whilst also bringing a distinctly Caymanian flavour.