Blog

Iberian visitors set up home


Although we know about the plants which are brought into the Garden, we know very much less about creatures which might be hitching a lift, transported on balls of soil roots. That is the means by which as ant, Tapinoma ibericum,  native to southern ...

Colin, November 18th 2016     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Chris' Blog


Here are two mighty flower spikes of Agave salmiana. These desert plants are native to the dry plains of Mexico. They grow for many years as spiky tipped giant rosettes, and then once large enough, surge into flower. These huge central spikes, looking lik ...

Chris Kidd, November 4th 2016     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Chris' Blog


Aerial View of Arid Bank Whilst repairing the roof of our Tropical House we were able to see the garden from altitudes never before reached. The picture above looks down on our Arid Bank, clearly visible are the rows of Phoenic canarienses tha ...

Chris Kidd, September 9th 2016     0 comments.     » read more or comment

The Dragon Arum


There is a fine display of flowering Dragon's Arum (Dracunculus vulgaris) to be seen currently in the Mixed Border and the Mediterranean Garden. Some of the plants are remarkably over 2 metres in height! This plant is the most dramatic and eyecatching ...

Colin, June 10th 2016     0 comments.     » read more or comment

A threat to our Geranium maderense


Chris has planted out several hundred plants of the tender Geranium maderense along the roadside outside of the Gardens. They have survived two winters and by May they should be putting on a spectacular  show of flowers. Nothing quite like this will ...

Colin, March 11th 2016     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Trialing Mediterranean orchids


The Olive Grove already contains some plants which are native to open ground along the Mediterranean coast and we are looking to expand the range of species. One group of plants which are particularly characteristic are the Ophrys group of orchids wh ...

Colin, January 26th 2016     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Weather Update


Weather Update A look at the remarkable weather for December 2015 from Chris Watts, VBG's weather recorder Here is a quick assessment of the extraordinary weather we experienced in December. The mean temperature,11.9C, was up by 5.4C over the 19 ...

Chris Watts, January 9th 2016     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Having the Insula exhibition at VBG by Perdita Sinclair led to thoughts about seed dispersal by sea. Of all the strategies evolved by flowering plants to disperse their seed, the method with potential to spread furthest yet most treacherously, mus ...

Chris Kidd, September 30th 2015     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Chris' Blog


Plant Profile Echium pininana When composing Blogs on plants at VBG it’s often easy to overlook the obvious through familiarity.  Perhaps a plant for which this botanic garden is rightly famed is one that we don’t tend, plant, propagat ...

Chris Kidd, May 14th 2015     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


A Garden in the Houses of Parliament In the August Blog I wrote about an award winning garden we put up at Gardener’s World Live at the Birmingham NEC, in conjunction with Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the destination management company who promo ...

Chris Kidd, December 8th 2014     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Is Brugmansia the New Canna?


The Canna Bank at VBG is so named because it became where we grew the riot of colour possible from the species and cultivars of Canna. Canna are well established in English gardens, they are usually treated as half hardy prennials that need to be lifte ...

Chris Kidd, October 7th 2014     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


BBC Gardener’s World Live 2014   At the end of April 2014 we were approached by Liz Walker, Destination Development Manager from Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, who each year as part of their exhibitions programme to promote the Isle of Wigh ...

Chris Kidd, August 12th 2014     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Drive Thru Botanic Garden


  In 2013 VBG was visited by Dr Mike Maunder, lately Director of Fairchild Botanic Garden and Hawaii Botanic Garden,  now Associate Dean of Florida International University.  We are lucky to have him agree to join the VBG Advisory Group. ...

Chris Kidd, April 25th 2014     1 comment.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Over the Christmas period it has been good to visit the Garden as someone who is interested in plants.  I'm reminded straight away what a remarkable collection of half-hardy plants have been amassed at Ventnor over the years.  So many p ...

Chris Kidd, December 28th 2013     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


The first voyage of James Cook on HMS Endeavour introduced the Australasian flora to European botanists for the first time.  I’ve often wondered before about how daunting this must have been, to see familiar plant families diversified to such a ...

Colin, November 1st 2013     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


On previous plant collecting trips we have often admired a large group of Ochavagia rosea outside Hardy Exotics Nursery in Penzance.  Proprietor Clive Shilton had never any available for us to purchase until 2007 when he was generous enough to prize ...

Chris Kidd, September 6th 2013     1 comment.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Olive Grove Despite the predation of rabbits and a highly unusual but nonetheless pleasantly dry June, our Olive Grove sub-flora has begun its primary colonisation. Our Heritage and Botanic Garden Bursary Scheme student, Sara, dedicated the e ...

Chris Kidd, July 11th 2013     0 comments.     » read more or comment

John Vanderplank Visits VBG


On 10th June we were very pleased to greet John Vanderplank at the Garden.  John is the National Collection Holder of Passiflora and well recognised as the leading authority on the genus in the UK (or anywhere else for that matter!). John vi ...

Chris Kidd, June 10th 2013     0 comments.     » read more or comment

VBG has plant fossils on loan.


Plants from the landscape of pre history Ventnor Botanic Garden has on loan a number of plant fossils from Dinosaur Isle.  These date to the Cretaceous period, 125-110 million years ago. All of the plant material we have loaned is from the ...

Chris Kidd, May 15th 2013     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Well it had to happen once in thirty years!  Snow fell at Ventnor Botanic Garden on the 7th March 2013.  The whole of the UK was snowed in with drifts as the cold air blew in from the south east.  Above, Mediterranean Terrace, 7th ...

Chris Kidd, March 31st 2013     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Student Accommodation Update Good news to start the New Year that the new roof on Signal Point House has been completed.  Stuart Hensall (above) will shortly be finishing the hips and replacing the ridge tiles.  The roof has been w ...

Chris Kidd, January 9th 2013     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


The Cornish climate is very suited to the large Tree Magnolia, Magnolia campbelii.  In Britain they flower early in the year at a time when frost still reigns supreme, and will turn newly open blooms brown in bright morning sunlight. Therefore the pr ...

Chris Kidd, December 11th 2012     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Irene's Education Blog


I’m back! And something exciting is happening at Ventnor Botanic Garden. Activities and visits have begun with the local school, St Francis, following the welcome news that we have obtained a grant from the AONB Partnership. Tuesday and Thursday ...

Chris Kidd, September 22nd 2012     1 comment.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


  Too often become desensitised with the Garden at Ventnor.  Seeing it every day we don’t have the opportunity to compare it with other gardens open to the public.  We casually walk past our plants; nearly every month has somethin ...

Chris Kidd, August 17th 2012     0 comments.     » read more or comment

John's Blog


  The weekend just past saw VBG in full flight - Shakespeare in The New Zealand, Healing Festival in the Meadow, Commodore's dinner in the cafe, and Art in the Echium. The full car park was a welcome sight.   As some of you ...

John Curtis, August 16th 2012     2 comments.     » read more or comment

John's Blog


It is one week since the signing of a 125 year lease for the Ventnor Botanic Garden (VBG) from the IOW Council to a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.).  We burned up most of the runway negotiating the lease and the transfer, so we had to introduce o ...

John Curtis, July 21st 2012     15 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Two unusual half hardy shrubs from Chile are currently in flower in the Garden.  Podanthus ovatifolius, or Mitique, from Camino a El Melado is one of those unusual things, a shrubby member of the Compositae family.  It is very unusual in cul ...

Chris Kidd, July 18th 2012     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


On Saurday 16th June I had the great pleasure of greeting Dr John David, the Royal Horticultural Society's Chief Scientist at VBG.  We spent a highly enlightening afternoon reviewing the Puya collection.  We received this email from Dr David ...

Chris Kidd, June 19th 2012     1 comment.     » read more or comment

John's Blog


 One of our continuing challenges is to get everyone who loves this garden involved; involved beyond simply enjoying their visits.  Our philosophy in building the Ventnor Botanic Garden Community Company has been to develop the Garden by drawing ...

John Curtis, April 9th 2012     1 comment.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Something exciting is happening at Ventnor Botanic Garden.  This is very much the feeling we all have at the moment.  John and Mylene are working well together with the IOWC as we move through negotiations.  Keith Leonard has agreed to lend ...

Chris Kidd, January 31st 2012     2 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


The remarkably warm weather so far this winter has allowed several species to flower at VBG that don't usually get warm enough to fully open. Aloe arborescens, the irritatingly named Octopus Plant (uurgh!) usually gets hit by the cold before ...

Chris Kidd, January 6th 2012     1 comment.     » read more or comment

Christmas Blog


A lighthearted look (with pictures) behind the scenes at the Christmas Village.... You just don't get snow in Ventnor... so we had to make our own: "Do you want onions with that?" Beryl is either making yet another wrea ...

Chris Kidd, December 19th 2011     1 comment.     » read more or comment

Christmas Blog


The VBG Christmas tree has arrived.  Here we have Dean and Alex manouvering it into place.  The tree was donated free by a colleague in another garden (you know who you are) and transported courtesy of Trevor Nobes.  NDL are very kindl ...

Chris Kidd, December 2nd 2011     1 comment.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Will 2012 be an Echium year? Some years are called Echium Years at VBG, these are when we get an unusually large number of Echium pininana in flower simultaneously.  We've not had a good Echium Year for a while due to the dreadful winter ...

Chris Kidd, November 20th 2011     4 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


"I've got this plant growing in my garden..."  This is quite a common question we get asked at the Garden.  Sometimes its just a description, sometimes a photograph, sometimes a scrap of the plant itself.  Quite often the ...

Chris Kidd, October 29th 2011     2 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Coming soon, buy that special gift, plant or packet of VBG seeds online. Our online Gift Shop will soon be selling a range of VBG branded gifts, bottled TropicAle, the highlights from our plant sales and the full range seed collected here at the Garde ...

Chris Kidd, October 21st 2011     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Kates Blog


A letter back from our first scholarship intern,  Valérie: " I enjoyed a lot to do this scholarship during two weeks in the Ventnor Botanic garden. I was very happy to meet the staff and the other volunteers whom were very nice a ...

Chris Kidd, October 20th 2011     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Beaufortia sparsa, The Swamp Bottlebrush The majority of Australian plants we see in UK gardens originate from the cool high altitudes of South Eastern Australia and, further south, Tasmania.  Beaufortia sparsa, the Swamp Bottlebrush, is native t ...

Chris Kidd, October 4th 2011     0 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


 Itoa orientalis New to Ventnor The Flacourtiaceae is a rarely to be marvelled plant family whose distribution tends towards the tropical.  From a horticultural perspective, its members are hardly of the most intense floristic beauty.&n ...

Chris Kidd, September 28th 2011     3 comments.     » read more or comment

Garden Blog


Autumn Plant Collection 2011   With the hops from this years picking stowed in the van it was time for the annual pilgrimage to Hereford where our hop growing expert and advisor, Peter Davies (above), was waiting at the drying facility near D ...

Chris Kidd, September 16th 2011     2 comments.     » read more or comment