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Dart nursery’s ‘green thumbs’ growing plants for future developments

Towering shade trees, lush greenery, and a colourful array of flowering plants are a hallmark of several of the Dart group’s development projects.

As work continues on two new projects in the Camana Bay corridor, the green-thumbs at the Dart nursery are working to supply the considerable landscaping needs.

Since the mid-1990’s, the Dart nursery has been cultivating a mix of native, indigenous, regional, and exotic plants for use in Dart development projects.

“It’s all driven by the design primarily,” said Senior manager of landscape services Andy Adapa.

He told Cayman 27 the 20-plus acre Dart nursery inventory includes anywhere from 100 to 300 species.

“We send our list of availability to the designers, they pick what they want from what’s available, and then whatever the other plants were that we don’t have, we propagate,” he explained.

Mr. Adapa said the nursery is currently working to supply soft landscaping for two large scale projects: the Cayman International School expansion, and the future Foster’s Food Fair at Camana Bay.

“At CIS, in total we have a few, about 400 palms, about a few hundred trees and about 28,000 shrubs,” he said.

Plants start off as seedlings before being transferred here to the shade house. Larger trees are sourced from other Dart-owned properties.

“Silver thatch is priceless, you can’t buy them from anywhere else, so we go and we technically harvest them, store them in our nurseries or at any other properties and then when we need it somewhere else we use them,” said Mr. Adapa.

Foresight is critical in ensuring the nursery can meet the demands of development. Mr. Adapa said the nursery itself is a testament to developer Kenneth Dart’s vision for Cayman.

“His vision allowed us to plan for the years,” said Mr. Adapa. “Look: this is not just yesterday, we’ve been planning for this for 20 years.”

Mr. Adapa said as Cayman continues to grow, the Dart nursery aims to keep growing with it.

“There’s never a dull day here,” laughed Mr. Adapa.

Mr. Adapa said the nursery’s small team of seven is currently tasked with producing some 50,000 ground covers for various projects in the works.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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