Gardens, Plant Ecology, Travel

Postcard from the Isle of Wight

You may find it hard to believe, but this is the UK in October…

Photograph of Ventnor Botanic Gardens by Michael Turner

Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the Isle of Wight.

Not just anywhere in the UK of course; my postcard is from Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the Isle of Wight. The garden’s sheltered, south-facing location, tucked well into the Ventnor ‘Undercliff’, has challenged gardeners and ecologists here to push the boundaries of plant hardiness in a constantly evolving experiment. In the light of rising global temperatures and the prospect of significant climate changes to come, the gardeners here are succeeding with an increasingly diverse range of semi-tropical┬áplants that would normally curl up their toes at the first signs of the UK winter.

The result is a lush, exotic garden that is only a short ferry ride away from mainland Britain and one of several garden delights we discovered during an enjoyable week away.