The results are in!
Despite dreadful weather, the rain stopped and the cloud lifted at 2pm on 3rd January in time for our Plant Hunt. The weather had put some people off, so a band of 5 of us set off from Wheeler’s Bay carpark, examining the waste ground around the carpark and the cliff slope at Wheeler’s Bay. We found one flower out of the Winter Flowering Iris, Iris unguicularis, which has become established here. Walking along the revetment to Bonchurch, we found Hoary Stock, Matthiola incana, Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber and Wild Carrot, Daucus carota. At Bonchurch, we walked up through the village, finding Snowdrop, Lesser Celandine and Alexanders in the churchyards. We walked back into Ventnor, examining the weeds on the walls and in front garden, much to the bemusement of some onlookers! We admired a rough bank covered in Winter-flowering Clematis, Clematis cirrhosa ssp. balearica.
Finally we went back down the cliff at Salisbury Gardens, where Rock Samphire, Crithmum maritimum, had a few flowers. We retired to The Met as light faded for a drink and a count up. Altogether, we had recorded 56 plants in flower, excluding planted garden plants, a good total. The unseasonably mild weather no doubt helped. New Year Plant Hunts have been taking place across the country, co-ordinated by the Botanical Society of the British Isles http://bsbipublicity.blogspot.co.uk/