The Waterlily Celebration is hosted to showcase the gardens’ collection of water lilies, one of the biggest in the world. Although an invasive species, the water lily has become a decorative plant and even a symbol of grief in some cultures.
The celebration is hosted in June, which seems like a steamy time to hold an outdoor festival. Although, this time of year is when most of the 80 varieties of lilies on campus are in full bloom! The heat is worth it!
Perfect for green-thumbs, plant expects line the trails so you can pick their brains with your own plant questions! Also featured are hands-on repotting demonstrations of difficult species like orchids, bromeliads, and aquatic plants.
Vendors around the gardens also sell succulents, decorative home accents, and driftwood sculptures. Since driftwood is used in much of the garden’s construction, it will feel like you’re taking a part of the festival home with you!
Make sure to stop by the art gallery! View photos from the winners of the annual waterlily photo contest, or take your own pictures around the ponds before you leave.
While a visit to the Waterlily Celebration will only take you about 45-60 minutes, we recommend arriving early. The McKee Botanical Gardens opens early at 8:30 AM so guests can see special nocturnally blooming lilies that are still open from the night before.