GROWING success has been predicted for Ventnor Botanic Garden when it is taken over by a new company.
At the latest Friends of Ventnor Botanic Garden AGM, chairman Philip Le May praised the work of staff and volunteers in running the gardens in recent months.
Mr Le May said it was vital for the future of the garden that the friends had a true partnership with the community interest company that will soon take over the running of the garden.
The company has been established by American businessman John Curtis and his educationalist wife, Mylene, and will plough profits back into the running of the garden.
Mr Le May thanked helpers who had worked at events throughout the year and paid tribute to the volunteers who donated the equivalent of between two and three man days work per week in the garden under the leadership of volunteer co-orindator Kate Ingrem.
"We all thank the staff for sticking with it during what has been the most stressful and depressing time — but the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brightly for 2012 and beyond," he said.
President Brian Kidd thanked Mr Le May for steering the Friends through such a turbulent time.
The meeting was told donations were received from a Waitrose collection, the two corporate sponsors, The Garlic Farm and Liz Earle, and the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
Funds were spent on four mosaics by the old smugglers’ museum, the restoration of the Palm Garden wall and new archway, a large range of rare and exotic plants and new signs.
Officers elected: chairman, Philip Le May; secretary, Rosemary Stewart; treasurer, Jean Kelley. Committee: Tina Bailey, Jane Cheverton, Jo Haigh, Nicky Hayward, Vic Hickin, Evelyn Knowles, Virginia Newbold, Ken Payne, Sally Peake, Ros Whistance, Jan Wyers.