THE Isle of Wight’s Ventnor Botanic Garden (VBG) has a new head gardener – and he’s come all the way from Birmingham.

Wayne Williams has taken on the role, after 26 years at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

He has more than 31 years of horticulture experience under his belt, and spent the last five years as head gardener in Birmingham, managing a large team.

“I am so excited to be joining the team at VBG and to be the latest ‘overner’ on the beautiful Isle of Wight,” said Wayne.

“I know this is a responsible, varied and challenging role where I expect to put my horticultural experience, deep plant knowledge and horticultural creativity to effective use.”

Previously, Wayne held a variety of roles, rising from horticultural trainee to gardener, propagator, plant records officer and senior horticulturalist for internal areas.

“Trained at Longbridge College, Pershore College of Horticulture and the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden at Wisley, Wayne’s training will complement that of Kew-trained curator Chris Kidd,” said a spokesperson for VBG.

“This is an exciting time at VBG, and I cannot wait to better highlight it to the world,” said Wayne.

“Ventnor has long been popular with locals and Island visitors, and I sense the garden has even more to offer. “

Curator, Chris Kidd, said: “I am very much looking forward to Wayne’s arrival.

“A great addition to our team, Wayne brings with him real experience of botanical horticulture and in-depth plant knowledge.

“He will really help me extend the Living Collection.”