There’s always something special about gardens found within microclimates, and Ventnor Botanic Garden enjoys its own, nestled within the area’s Undercliff. The chalk downs shelter the gardens from the chilly northerly winds, enabling all kinds of plants to thrive that wouldn’t flourish half as well on the mainland.
The area’s average rainfall is so low that its climate is closer to the one you’d expect to enjoy in the Mediterranean than in a quiet corner of the Isle of Wight, and this collection of subtropical plants has been grown completely outdoors. Ventnor Botanic Garden is home to a newly refurbished visitor centre that enables it to host events throughout the year, bringing the seasons to life for visitors of all ages.
The giant water lilies give the gardens an enchanting feel that continues throughout the grounds, and they make a peaceful spot to enjoy the warm temperatures and some time out during a busy holiday. The water lilies are tricky to pollinate as they change sex from day to day, and gardeners actually have to don their swimwear and get into the water with them at night to make sure these complicated flowers are successfully pollinated.
The garden is open throughout the year (and only closes on Christmas Day) and dogs are welcome throughout the outdoor areas as long as they’re on leads.