The dry conditions the Isle of Wight and the UK are currently experiencing are leading to benefits for Ventnor Botanic Garden.
While the spring of 2011 may have been the driest for 101 years, staff at the attraction have seen a strong link with the best ever flowering of their plants from desert regions of the world.
Currently, the Yucca schidigera from California which is also known as the Mujave Yucca or Spanish Dagger, is in full bloom. Today (Friday 3 June) the spectacular Echinopsis candicans from Argentina has opened, which is a rare sight. The flowers only tend to open for a day, so people need to get there fast to see it in bloom.
Elsewhere in the garden, South African Lampranthus with their stunningly bright purple fiery hues have been open for weeks, while the Mexican Prickly Pears have more buds ready to open than at any time before.
Aloe polyphylla, an endangered high altitude succulent from a single site in South Africa, has flowered for the first time.
Chris Kidd, Garden Manager at Ventnor Botanic Garden is amazed, saying ‘In all my years as a professional gardener, I have never seen so many desert-region plants flower at the same time.
“It is truly a spectacular sight and something horticultural fans will rarely get the opportunity to see again.”
Ventnor Botanic Garden has been growing cutting edge plants for nearly 40 years, developing collections of desert plants most recently in the Arid Garden opened by the Prince of Wales in 2009.