Tag Archives: Ventnor Botanic Gardens


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.


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.



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.


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.


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