Tag Archives: garden isle

Seven Things You Never Knew About The Garden Isle

Taking the tercentenary of Capability Brown as a starting point, VisitEngland has named 2016 The Year of the English Garden.  So what better time than now to promote The Isle of Wight as ‘The Garden Isle’?  Here’s “seven things you never knew” – from the seasonal, to places with gardens where you can stay, or eat…

1. The Woman in Red and Capability Brown

The 18th century home of Worsley family, Appuldurcombe House – made famous recently by the BBC TV drama Woman in Red – is the only known Cabability Brown site on the Island.  A Study Day is set to take place here in October, and will feature talks, lunch, and tour of the grounds.

2. Blooming July

The flowers of the famous Giant Waterlily at Ventnor Botanic Garden Ventnor Botanic Garden will come into bloom this July.  With leaves up to 3-metres in diameter, this rare lily usually flowers after midnight.  Special evening openings will be arranged – although they are not easy to predict, as the Waterlily decides when it will flower only on the afternoon immediately before!

3. By Royal Appointment

Sovereign’s Gate Osborne are two holiday cottages that have been developed in this iconic building. The holiday cottages have their own private garden where guests can relax and soak up the grandeur of Osborne; and once the public have left, guests have Osborne’s extensive grounds and private beach to themselves.

4. A garden on the beach

Appley Park in Ryde forms a component of the grounds of St John’s House which was believed to have been landscaped by Humphry Repton – the man widely regarded as Capability Brown’s successor – in around 1798.  Enough remains of the ancient coastal woodland and original features to give the site a fascinating historic perspective.  A garden on the beach, there are plenty of places to eat and activities for all the family.

5. A model garden tearoom

An unexpected place to find such an ornate garden, Godshill Model Village features 3,000 specimens of conifers and shrubs, many of which have been carefully pruned using the ‘niwaki approach’.  The gardens at Godshill Model Village are in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Partner Garden Scheme for 2016.  On fine days, Nammet Hut opens for refreshments.

Step onto the Island to see bluebells in April

Borthwood Copse, in Sandown is a remarkable area of ancient woodland, which was once a medieval hunting ground.  Mottistone Manor’s pathway on the walk to the Longstones is also covered in bluebells, which sometimes flower from April due to the Island’s favourable climate.   Mottistone Gardens itself – considered by some to be the finest of all the gardens on island – will be hosting a highly original murder mystery set in the 1920s within its grounds on July 2nd and 30th this year.

7. Botanic splendour in historic setting

The 15-acre Northcourt Gardens are nationally recognised by Historic England and placed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, developed over the last 400 years around one of the Island’s oldest manor houses.  The garden includes a serpentine mount and walks, spring-fed stream, woodland and ornamental borders.  The special microclimate and soil conditions support over 4,000 different plant varieties from around the world.  The gardens are privately owned but open for charity on the afternoons of May 8 and June 18.  There will also be a tour of the gardens on May 18 at 14.00.

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29, 07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

Image of the gardens at Osborne attached:  please credit English Heritage

Ten Reasons To Visit The Isle of Wight This Summer

The Isle of Wight – proven in the past to be one of the sunniest places in the whole of the UK – has a hot summer season of festivals, events and activities for its visitors to enjoy this year.  Here’s just ten reasons to spend some time there this summer:

1. The Carnival Capital of the UK

The Isle of Wight is home to the oldest carnival in the UK.  Ryde Carnival was first held in 1888, following a highly successful and hugely popular event of the previous year, which marked the Queen’s Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria who attended the event herself.  This year’s Ryde Carnival takes place on Thursday, August 27th.  All the Island’s major towns host similar carnivals, and have also been joined on the summer calendar by Bestival’s Carnival Fancy Dress Parade.

2. Dinosaur Isle

Named the “Dinosaur Capital of Britain” in 2013, the Isle of Wight is the perfect destination for anyone inspired by the latest Jurassic World movie.  Download the Dinosaur Isle app to follow in the footsteps of giants and have photographs taken with them, or head to Compton Bay or Yaverland beaches to search for fossils.  Dinosaur Isle at Sandown, meanwhile, is an interactive museum with life-sized reconstructions, some of which move, that also houses over 1,000 fossils.

3. Sailing Isle

The Isle of Wight’s world-famous Cowes Week is scheduled to take place this year from August 8th to 15th.   But Visit Isle of Wight and Universal Yacht Charter have also joined forces to create a new Bike & Sail experience for the summer.  This new short active break is expected to attract interest amongst groups of friends, families and perhaps businesses looking for something slightly different.

4. Music Isle

Having already successfully staged the latest edition of The Isle of Wight Festival, the Island will be staging v-Dub between July 23th and 27th, followed by one of the world’s best music festivals, Bestival, from September 10th to 13th.

5. Isle of Arts

Each July, Isle of Wight artists and crafts-people open their studios, homes or exhibit in public venues over two open studios weekends.  This gives visitors the opportunity to meet local artists, see their work and find out more about the techniques they use and the passions which inspire them.  Open Studios is a free event and offers the chance to view and purchase a great range of work including painting, sculpture, print-making, photography, textiles, jewellery and ceramics.  Open Studios will be held in West Wight from July 17th to 20th and in East Wight from July 24th to 27th.

6. Garden Isle

The newly introduced “Wight in Bloom” has as its Patron Alan Titchmarsh, and will result in a garden party/awards ceremony this August.  Perennially popular with green fingered visitors, the Island can lay claim to Osborne House, Ventnor Botanic Gardens, and Appuldurcombe House with all of its Capability Brown associations.  A new Isle of Wight Gardens Trail is also planned for launch this summer.

7. Taste of the Wight

Rachel Koo will be the special guest at this year’s Garlic Festival over the weekend of August 15th/16th; the Isle of Wight’s annual Sweetcorn Fayre will this year take place on September 26th to 29th; and the Bembridge Harbour Food Festival is set for September 25th/26th.  A full listing of Taste of the Wight events can be found here.

8. Attractions Isle

Children will enjoy the Island’s mix of attractions this summer, including Punch & Judy at Osborne, the Knight School at Carisbrooke Castle, The Railway Folk at the IW Steam Railway, Dino Nights at Blackgang Chine and Music & Magic in the Skies at The Needles Landmark Attraction with entertainment, fun and interaction for the whole family.   There are also lots of outdoor nature activities like nature trails, bug hunts as well as lizard safaris at Ventnor Botanic Gardens – and a unique rockpooling opportunity to discover the amazing array of marine life that has made a home Under the Pier – bring a net and a bucket if you have one and make sure to wear wellies or waterproof shoes. Expect to get a bit splashed!

 9. Pure Wight

Adventurous visitors should consider Compton or Freshwater Bay for surf lessons, or kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding to hidden caves and Victorian forts.  For a thrilling view of the coastline, take a high-speed RIB ride around The Needles or paraglide from a hillside near the unspoilt chalk cliffs of the West Wight. Rewarding views and a treetop hammock are on offer for those who conquer technical tree climbing, whilst those searching for something a bit different should consider climbing into a three metre inflatable ball and ‘zorbing’ their way down a hillside. Or if G-forces are not your thing, stick to two wheels and glide around a Segway course.  For these and more Pure Wight adventures, visit http://purewight.co.uk/

10. Bicycle Island

The family-friendly Red Squirrel Trail has been tailored for cyclists who prefer car-free cycling on mainly flat, gentle routes.  Stop-off at golden beaches and cafes passing woodland and the wild flower grassland of Alverstone Mead nature reserve.   Bring your own bike – Island Coasterbuses can take up to six bikes each – or why not hire one?   Routfifty7 bike hire are based just 300yds from Shanklin railway station and lead directly on the Red Squirrel Trail as well as the Chalk Ridge Extreme Trail and the Round the Island Taste Trail.   More routes and bike hire companies can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island

 

For all other information about the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

 

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For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

WIGHT IN BLOOM SEEKS BUMPER CROP OF ENTRIES

Organisers of Wight in Bloom, who recently launched this year’s event in spectacular style on board a Red Funnel ferry, are asking Islanders to enter the competition to brighten up their gardens, improve the local environment and create a dazzling floral greeting for visitors.

The competition is similar to the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign, which sees local communities work together to plant, prune, and dress local gardens and enhance communal spaces ready to be judged by the competition supporters.

Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – who have taken over management of the competition alongside Red Funnel Ferries – Wight in Bloom 2015 is being developed as a curtain-raiser to VIOW’s Garden Isle campaign, which will coincide with Visit England’s Year of the Garden 2016.

Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL has been appointed Patron of the event, while previous organiser, Peggy Jarman, was made President and given an “Outstanding Achievement” Award at a floating garden party on board Red Eagle last week (26th May).   The floating garden created by Ventnor Botanic Garden was unveiled to a packed audience of supporters, including previous winners of the annual competition.

There are 8 categories to choose from and judging will take place early July for prizes that include trophies, gift vouchers and gardening tools.

To inspire both dedicated gardeners and enthusiastic amateurs to fill their towns with brightly coloured floral displays, Parish Councils can apply for a grant of £200. Hoping to make their towns stand out from the crowd this year, Bembridge and Northwood have already entered the Best Community Floral Project category while Godshill has entered this and the Best Young People Initiative categories. For further details on how to apply for the grant email bloom@visitwight.org.

Wight in Bloom categories are:

1 – Best Small Front Garden

Any individual household may enter their front garden.

2 – Best Large Front Garden

Any individual household may enter their front garden.

3 – Best Public House

An individual property which has a large external garden and includes hanging baskets,

tubs and window boxes and other external garden features.

4 – Best Accommodation Garden

Hotel/Guest house/Self Catering/Accommodation provider.

5 – Best Senior Citizen Complex/Nursing Home/Care Home

Open to all public and private sectors to enter the exterior of their complexes.

6 – Best Young People Initiative

Head teachers or youth leaders may enter a group of children/young people, who have undertaken a particular floral or environmental project in the school or community.

7 – Best Community Floral Project

Groups of local people/organisations/town or parish councils may get together and enter

a project which they have undertaken in their area and may involve a floral design, conservation, litter clearance, tidying up of sites, etc. (To include church grounds).

8 – Best Tourist Attraction Garden/ Restaurant/Business

Free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are both eligible to enter this category.

 

Mike Fitt OBE, Wight in Bloom Campaign Advisor, said: “Wight In Bloom is a competition for everyone to enter, as individuals or in groups, no matter what age or ability. It is not only about beautiful floral displays but also about efforts to make the local environment a cleaner and greener place for all to enjoy, helping to celebrate this fantastic Garden Isle of ours.”

The winners of Wight in Bloom will be announced at a Garden Party in August, where a glass trophy, sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction will be presented to the overall winner of Wight in Bloom 2015.

An application form can be found online at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk or www.redfunnel.co.uk, alternatively pick one up from the IW County Press office, Red Funnel ferry terminals or IW garden centres.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors

Image attached “The Festival of Flower Fireworks now on display at Ventnor Botanic Gardens”

The Festival of Flower Fireworks, part of the 2015 Garden Isle celebrations, focuses on the Botanic garden’s amazing Echium plants, with their huge flower spikes growing over 3m tall.

The Garden’s Mediterranean walk contains hundreds of plants, each with a flower spike containing thousands of flowers with every shade of colour between sapphire blue and dusky pink. The result is a stunning floral explosion likened to a natural firework display that all botanic fanatics visiting the island will simply adore.

Echiums have been grown at Ventnor Botanic Garden for over 30 years, with plants originally imported from the Canary Island of La Palma. Here the plants grow to gigantic sizes in the wild, especially in the dry mountainous upper reaches of the Island, enjoying the warm climate arid terrain. At Ventnor, the original Echium plants have self-seeded in the sheltered sub-tropical micro-climate giving rise to a large collection hybridised plants that flower from the end of May to late June.

The Echium displays are currently exploding into the spotlight, with the Garden open 7 days a week from 10am for visitors to enjoy the magic of these flower fireworks.

 

The Festival of Flower Fireworks

A celebrating of one of the most stunning plants to be grown in the sub-tropical undercliff of Ventnor Botanic Garden will begin this weekend. Part of the 2015 Garden Isle celebrations focuses on the Botanic garden’s amazing Echium plants. With their huge flower spikes growing over 3m tall. The Garden’s Mediterranean walk contains hundreds of plants, each with a flower spike containing thousands of flowers with every shade of colour from sapphire blue to dusky pink. The result is a stunning floral explosion likened to a natural firework display that all botanic fanatics visiting the Island will simply adore.

Echiums have been grown at Ventnor Botanic Garden for over 30 years, with plants originally imported from the Canary Island of La Palma. Here the plants grow to gigantic sizes in the wild, especially in the dry mountainous upper reaches of the Island, enjoying the warm climate arid terrain. At Ventnor, the original Echium plants have self seeded in the sheltered sub-tropical micro-climate giving rise to a large collection hybridised plants that flower from the end of May to late June.

Chris Kidd, Curator at Ventnor Botanic garden said, “Our display of Echiums in our Mediterranean Garden is simply stunning. Visitors are unlikely to see anything quite like it anywhere else in the UK. We don’t practice traditional formal gardening methods here at VBG, choosing to let Mother Nature take charge and create the plant communities that thrive together in our sheltered warm climate.We call it the Ventnor Method and it puts the garden at the leading edge of modern botanical science. The Echiums choose where they want to grow, we just let them get on with it and see what happens each year. The results speak for themselves and visitors usually clamour to take seeds and plants home with them at the end of their visit to try and grow them elsewhere in the UK, often with great success as they aren’t that difficult to propagate. Give them a well drained sunny spot in the garden and they pretty much look after themselves. It’s in their second year of growth that the fireworks really do begin, with a stunning flower display in early summer.”

The Echium displays are exploding into the spotlight from Whitsun onwards, with the Garden open 7 days a week from 10am for visitors to enjoy the magic of these flower fireworks. Please send your echium pictures to the gardens Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ventnorbotanicCIC

Website www.botanic.co.uk

-ENDS-

For images and all other press enquiries, please contact Lisa Wallis via marketing@botanic.co.uk or call 01983 858041

More about Ventnor Botanic Garden

Ventnor Botanic Garden lies in the remarkable microclimate at the heart of the famous ‘Undercliff.’ This unique garden is protected from the cold northerly winds by chalk downs. Indeed, it holds the warmth from its southerly aspect so well that, combined with the moderating influence of the sea, frost is rarely known.

With an average rainfall of 28 inches its climate is more akin to the Mediterranean. This enables a wide variety of plants considered too tender for much of mainland Britain to be grown outdoors unprotected from the elements.

http://www.botanic.co.uk

 

 

 

 

ALAN TITCHMARSH TO BECOME A PATRON OF “WIGHT IN BLOOM”

Celebrity gardener and TV presenter, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, VMH (Victoria Medal of Honour RHS) has been revealed as Patron of “Wight in Bloom”, an annual horticultural competition which is open to all Island residents, with the aim to make the Island a brighter, greener place to live and visit.

Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – who have taken over management of the competition alongside Peggy Jarman – and Red Funnel Ferries, Wight in Bloom 2015 is being developed as a curtain-raiser to VIOW’s Garden Isle campaign, which will coincide with Visit England’s Year of the Garden 2106.

Photocall

What:               A “floating” garden cocktail party, provided by Ventnor Botanic Gardens, will take place on board Red Funnel’s Red Eagle car ferry to launch Wight in Bloom 2015.

In attendance:David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, who will announce plans for Wight in Bloom 2015, Jonathan Green, Marketing & Communications Director, Red Funnel Ferries, Peggy Jarman, organiser Wight in Bloom, Mike Fitt OBE, Wight in Bloom Campaign Advisor, along with past winners of the Wight in Bloom competition.

Peggy Jarman who has been running Wight in Bloom for many years is retiring and will be made Honorary President.

(In addition, Simon Goodenough, AHRHS (Associate of Honour awarded by the RHS) has agreed to become a Special Advisor of Wight in Bloom).

Where:            On board the Red Eagle car ferry.

When   :           Tuesday, 26th May

Time:               From 6pm – meet Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight, in the Red Funnel ticket office, Trinity Road, East Cowes. Closest postcode PO32 6RA.

6.30pm –`car ferry departs East Cowes with invited guests

7pm – photocall on board ferry.

8pm – ferry arrives back at East Cowes

Please e-mail michelle@visitwight if you would like to attend this event.

Root out the gardening gloves, go potty with those plants and get growing for the return of Wight in Bloom in 2015.

Residents, schools, businesses, community groups, towns and villages on the Island are invited to don their gardening gloves and take part in Wight in Bloom.

The annual competition is open to all Island residents and organisations to show the rest of the Island what they’ve been doing to brighten up their garden and improve the local environment.

To be in with a chance of winning, keen gardeners can choose to enter one of 8 main categories:

1          Best Small Front Garden

2          Best Large Front Garden

3          Best Public House

4          Best Accommodation Garden

5          Best Senior Citizen Complex/Nursing Home/Care Home

6          Best Young People Initiative

7          Best Community Floral Project

8          Best Tourist Attraction Garden

The 2015 event is organised and sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight and Red Funnel Ferries who are adding their support and financial backing to the event to help create a vibrant and welcoming environment for visitors.

The organisers hope that the appointment of popular celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh as Patron of Wight in Bloom will emphasise the Island’s green credentials and help inspire Islanders to get involved in Wight in Bloom this year.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “We’re honoured that Alan has agreed to be our Patron of Wight in Bloom and now plan a major push to encourage more tourism businesses and retailers on the Island to show a bit of flower power this summer.

“The success of the Wight in Bloom is testament to all the hard work and dedication by the organiser, Peggy Jarman, who over the years has worked with Island communities, businesses and local individuals to help create colourful displays at entrances to villages, around bus shelters, in pub gardens and in residents’ own front gardens.”

Peggy Jarman said:  “I am thrilled and delighted that Visit Isle of Wight and Red Funnel have stepped in to support the competition.

“Whether you are a novice gardener or an expert, everyone is very welcome to enter and make our Island a greener and more colourful place”.

Judging will take place in July and entry is free.  An awards ceremony will be held in August, where prizes for the lucky winners – one for each of the 8 categories and an overall winner – will hopefully be presented by Alan Titchmarsh.

Alan Titchmarsh said: “The Island is bursting with natural beauty from its wildflower cliff walks, bluebell woods and orchid-rich fields, to its cottage gardens, horticultural shows and wide variety of public and private gardens.

“I’m therefore honoured to be Patron of Wight in Bloom and look forward to seeing who it discovers next.”

Green-fingered Islanders can join in the floral fun by completing the entry form which will be available in the 22nd May edition of the Isle of Wight County Press.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

 

TOP ACCOLADE FOR ISLE OF WIGHT PARK

Historic Ventnor Park on the Isle of Wight has been awarded the Park of the Year Award at the South and South East England in Bloom Awards.

It is the first time one of the Isle of Wight Council’s parks has been named park of the year at the prestigious awards, which this year were staged in Brighton.

Ventnor Park is one of four Isle of Wight Council parks recognised at the awards.

In the large park category, Appley Park, Ryde was awarded a silver gilt medal certificate, and Puckpool Park, Ryde was awarded a silver medal certificate. In the small park category, the Cascades, Ventnor was awarded a silver medal certificate.

As well as being park of the year, Ventnor Park also received a gold medal certificate.

The council’s parks manager, Nigel Leppard, together with the Island manager for the council’s grounds maintenance contractor John O’Conner Ltd, Stan Hayden, received the awards on behalf of the council. The park is maintained by John O’Conner Ltd via its partnership contract with the council.

The awards at the event were presented by South and South East England in Bloom chairman, Peter Holman, Jim Buttress from the BBC’s The Big Allotment Challenge, and Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins.

This year was one step better for Ventnor Park, which last year was awarded a gold medal for the first time at the awards.

The judges this year described Ventnor Park’s summer bedding borders and raised planters as “superb”. They also noted that “horticultural maintenance was of a high standard”, and described the park as “the quintessential Victorian park and the jewel in the crown of the Island’s parks”.

Executive member with responsibility for the public realm, Councillor Luisa Hillard, said: “This is a magnificent accolade for Ventnor Park and the council’s parks in general.

“It is the first time one of our parks has been recognised in this way and is deserved acknowledgment for the excellent efforts of all those who contribute to the upkeep of the park, and who take such pride in their work.”
Local member, Councillor Steve Stubbings, said: “We are so proud that Ventnor Park has achieved this top award for the south and south east. This is a real feather in the cap for Ventnor and the Island, and for the park to be described as the jewel in the crown of the Island’s parks is especially pleasing.

“I would like to join in the thanks and congratulations to all those who contribute to making it such a pleasurable place for us all to enjoy.”

Ventnor Park dates from the 19th century and covers an area of about seven acres. It features landscaped grounds over a range of different levels, with mature trees, shrubs, herbaceous and bedding borders, a bandstand, a stream with gentle falls and water fowl, a putting green (under concession), and an adult outdoor exercise equipment area.

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VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT RECEIVES AWARD FOR ‘GARDEN ISLE’ AT BBC EXHIBITION

Visit Isle of Wight, along with its industry partners, created an award-winning display showcasing examples of the stunning flora from the ‘Garden Isle’ at the BBC Good Food & Gardeners World Exhibition from 12 – 15 June.

The BBC Good Food & Gardeners World Exhibition, which has been running for over 22 years, attracts an average of 100,000 plus visitors over four days. This year for the first time, trade-stands were assessed on their level of presentation and stands displaying an exceptional level of creativity were presented with an award. Visit Isle of Wight’s ‘Gardens of the Isle of Wight’ stand was awarded the prestigious Four Star trade-stand award by the Royal Horticultural Society.

The stand featured an eye-catching array of plants from Osborne House, the garden of which was designed by a young Prince Albert, as well as examples of the rare plants which grow at Ventnor Botanic Gardens thanks to the Undercliff’s warm microclimate. Placed between the two was a taste of the flora growing at the Garlic Farm, the UK’s largest specialist garlic grower.

Chris Kidd, curator of Ventnor Botanic Gardens, arranged the attractive garden area, which was set beside stands filled with Isle of Wight literature and a picnic hamper filled with Garlic Farm produce.

Liz Walker, VIOW Exhibitions Promoter, who attended the show, said: “Winning the award was just the icing on the cake. The BBC Gardeners World exhibition is a perfect platform from which to promote the Island and having this beautiful garden backdrop really gave us something with which to engage visitors to our stand. Significantly well over 4000 pieces of Isle of Wight print were distributed during the show proving that the Isle of Wight continues to be of great interest as a destination.”

Visit Isle of Wight will be representing the Island at future shows, including The 50+ Show at Kensington Olympia from 10 – 12 July and The New Forest Show from 29 – 31 July. Any tourism-related business interested in becoming part of the 2015 exhibitions programme should contact Liz Walker on 01983 201048.

-ENDS-

Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672   E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk