By Ventnor Botanic Garden
CactiVentnor Botanic Garden
Curator of Ventnor Botanic Garden, Chris Kidd introduces the garden.
To recreate a desert ecology we built rock terraces with scree areas. Much of the planting is experimental and on the limits of what even the Ventnor microclimate will allow.
OpuntiaVentnor Botanic Garden
Factors of hardiness beyond temperature have been reckoned with by planting on sharp, rocky substrates to reduce winter damp. Many plants usually only seen in a dry collection under glass, flower freely out of doors such as prickly pear cacti, Agave spp., Aloe spp. and Puya.
Puya PlantVentnor Botanic Garden
Many of these so-called drought tolerant succulents carry mean spikes instead of leaves or in the case of our famous carnivorous Puya to catch animals in their inward facing spines.
Puya Close UpVentnor Botanic Garden
Arid GardenVentnor Botanic Garden
We then added the Washingtonia palms spaced at decreasing widths apart on either side of the path to create the illusion of depth and scale. When we had finished Prince Charles came to take a look and open the Arid Garden on 17 July 2009.
Aloe PolyVentnor Botanic Garden
Aloe polyphylla has a circular nesting leaf structure, described in mathematics as a Fibonacci sequence or golden spiral. The specialised leaf pattern is the most efficient at holding water and stopping evaporation in the hot desert sun.
Go beyond the garden
See a natural arid landscape for yourself