To order a box or to find out more call 01983 717164
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
Living Larder, based in Apse Heath, is inviting families to come on down to the farm on Sunday 7 June and see how their vegetables are grown using traditional farming methods. As well as guided farm tours, there will be farm trails, dig your own potatoes and other activities for the youngsters, as well as a pop up kitchen, refreshments and a chance to sample some of the farms delicious produce.This is a free event, with free farm tours – there will be a charge for some of the activities and food and drink, please do bring a picnic and enjoy the glorious setting. Living Larder grow, pick and deliver veg boxes across the Island, as well as supplying a number of the islands finest restaurants. Growing on a small scale, their emphasis is on Fresh Produce with flavour. Delicious heritage varieties, grown slowly and harvested by hand at the point of ripeness and delivered that same day with recipe suggestions included. For more information about Living Larder and their Open Farm Sunday event please see www.livinglarder.co.uk.
Plans to install solar panels on three Isle of Wight Council buildings – generating an estimated annual net income of £4,000-plus – are to be considered next week (Tuesday 24 March).
A meeting of the council’s Property Disposal and Capital Programme Sub-committee will receive a report recommending capital investment for the initial phase of the project on the roofs of three Newport buildings – County Hall, Seaclose offices and Medina Leisure Centre.
The report describes the proposal as an “invest to save” project, with advances in solar energy technology and other factors making it now possible for the council to make such an investment that reduces its revenue spending.
The report states: “Whilst not a huge money maker, solar PV (photovoltaics) will bring in a return as a financial investment for the council and have a positive impact on the environment.”
The introduction of solar panels is consistent with the council’s carbon management plan, which sets out how the council will reduce the levels of carbon production; a new plan will be considered by the council shortly.
It is planned the solar panels will be owned – not leased – by the council, and there will be a standard contract with an electricity supplier. Electricity not used by the council will be purchased by the supplier to generate income for the council to reinvest in services.
Coastal Garden opens for the National Gardens Scheme This Saturday, 31st May, Island gardener Gerry Price will be opening her coastal garden in Bembridge from 11am – 4pm for the National Gardens Scheme . The garden illustrates Gerry’s passion for plants, art and the coast; native and cultivated plants thrive in the gravelled garden whilst sculptures made from objects washed ashore augment the theme. Fruit, vegetables and a small coastal plant nursery are integrated into the garden making it productive as well as attractive.Gerry said “I’m really looking forward to welcoming visitors to my garden. I’ve planted new areas and have just finished making a giant window box from old pallets so there’s plenty to see even if you’ve visited the garden before.”Gerry’s friends and neighbours are kindly baking cakes that will be served with tea in the garden. Donations for refreshments will be given to Dementia UK and used to support Admiral Nurses on the Island”.Admission to the garden at Blue Haze, Beachfield Rd, Bembridge, PO35 5TN, is £3.00 and is donated to the National Gardens Scheme. Last year nationally the NGS raised more than £2 million for a range of charities including Macmillan Cancer Support and Help the Hospices.To find out more about Gerry take a look at her website The Coastal Gardener
Goodleaf Tree Climbing based on the Isle of Wight is delighted to be awarded Highly Commended in the prestigious Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2012-13 run by Tourism South East(TSE).
‘We were thrilled to be awarded Highly Commended against such high calibre competition. We’ve really benefited from working in the South East; the Isle of Wight is a brilliant backdrop for our business and we’ve had fantastic local support.’ comments Paul McCathie, Director of Goodleaf Tree Climbing.
The development continues with Several animal organisations throughout the UK getting in touch to see if the haven can home more and more primates and owls.
The Haven are now looking for Corporate Sponsorship to aid us meet the demand of animals in need of help. The first goal is to build a purpose built Rainforest recreation which would house up to fifty primates, simulating their indigenous surroundings. They would like the building to be designed using 100% renewable energy and include a walk through enabling visitors to get even closer to these wonderful animals in their natural environment.
Conservation is a huge part of what the haven aim to achieve. What with the depletion of Rainforests and new species becoming endangered every year they look to set their selves targets to become as Green as they can in the years to come.The Haven have already started to grow and harvest our own Salad & Vegetables for our primates nutrition, and would like to lower the Carbon footprint by investing in Solar and other sustainable energy sources whilst simply providing a home for these animals.
– All of the buildings and enclosures have been constructed using wood where possible, and the roofs have been fitted with cedar shingles.
– Wood is by far the most environmentally friendly construction material. Not only is it a renewable resource, it is a recyclable one. Buildings constructed of wood benefit from wood’s superior insulating properties. They are more efficient than concrete or steel, which translates into long-term energy savings and a reduced load on our environment.Cedar Shingles maximize the yield from the forest.Their production can use parts of the log that would be unsuitable for sawn timber and otherwise wasted or scrapped. Cedar Shingles have a good thermal quality and therefore help contribute towards keeping the animal enclosures warm which in turn conserves energy.
Water butts – Where possible the haven use water butts to collect rainwater which we then use to water plants and vegetation throughout the Haven. Due to endless enquiries the Haven they are proud to be introducing Children’s b’day parties for the Autumn. Keep an eye on our website for more details and packages available.
The Haven is now looking to invite Schools and community groups to visit throughout the Winter and into the New Year for a Fun and Informative day out. Programs include: Keeper Tours, an insightful and interactive learning experience whilst exploring the grounds – Animal related Arts/Crafts and learning activities in the newly opened ‘Wise Owl’ Lodge, Keeper for the Day, Monkey Picnic Boxes and much more. For an in School talk & Presentation or to make a Group booking please call 01983 530885. Winter Special Group and School bookings discount now available. Please ask for details. www.owlandmonkeyhaven.co.uk