June 23, 2024

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The Simon Goodenough Letter in full

News OnTheWight normally welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our visitors – unsurprisingly they really do not normally replicate the views of this publication. If you have a little something you’d like to share, get in contact and of study course, your thought of responses are welcome down below.

This from Simon Goodenough, the previous curator of Ventnor Botanic Yard (1985-2011).

News OnTheWight contacted John Curtis, the existing leaseholder for the Botanic Backyard, for his response to Simon Goodenough’s letter, but he chose to not provide a complete reply. Ed


I have remained silent about the course of travel of Ventnor Botanic Backyard garden considering the fact that I remaining, and the Isle of Wight Council disposed of it.

Even so, right after a visit recently I sense that I can no-more time keep on being so. I have tended to overlook negative Journey Advisor opinions but owning seen the “garden” with my personal eyes to say I was shocked is an understatement.

The location is overrun with weed species
There is of course minimal or no servicing likely on the put is overrun with weed species and what was a loaded and various horticultural and botanical assortment is wholly operate down.

Whilst there are many incredible, massive and exceptional specimens to be found continue to, lots of of these are demonstrating a absence of care and maintenance.

Collections of vegetation amassed in 80s and 90s all but gone
The so-referred to as Mediterranean Back garden is now a sea of weed species and the collections of vegetation of the Mediterranean that were being amassed in the 1980s and 1990s all but absent.

The significantly vaunted “Ventnor Method” is a smoke screen for a total deficiency of care and maintenance and is fully at odds with the naturalistic plantings that I experienced the satisfaction to Curator.

Scant proof of thoroughly managed record system
A Botanic Garden desires to earn its stripes and as this kind of the collections require to be Curated and documented, nicely labelled and there demands to be a very carefully preserved history program. There was scant proof of any of this taking place.

The backyard garden does not now have earned the title Botanic. Large strides will have to be designed to rescue the back garden from what seems to be an inexorable slide to ruin.

Personnel hived off to do private gardening jobs
Horticulturally speaking what is remaining of the decorative plantings and combined borders are diabolic and have definitely not been gardened and taken care of thoroughly for decades.

During my pay a visit to I saw no gardeners or volunteers and I imagine that this is the norm as considerably of the time what personnel there are, are hived off to do private gardening employment away from Ventnor.

Volunteers decimated by a “hostile administration regime”
Also, a after flourishing volunteer power and Good friends Society has been decimated by a hostile management regime at the Yard.

I experienced wonderful satisfaction in the Botanic Back garden that was for the neighborhood and associated the community this is naturally not the case now.

Misplaced sight of what a Neighborhood Fascination Company stands for
There is nevertheless so much superior will for Ventnor Botanic Backyard garden, but the present-day Group Desire Company seems to have lost sight of this and what a Neighborhood Desire Organization stands for.

The swift turnover of staff members is also a big trigger for concern, the current sacking of the new in publish head gardener becoming a scenario in level, there is a litany of this sort of dismissal, this can only place to mismanagement.

Time for new management?
There are so many skipped alternatives at Ventnor and there are so a lot of great examples of gardens operate as charities all about Britain.

Ventnor Botanic Garden is not a person of them. Time for a rethink, time for new administration?


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