Taken with my compact Fuji Z800 exr on 21/04/11.
Ness Botanic Gardens was born of one man’s passionate interest in plants and his desire to share that interest with others.
When the Liverpool cotton merchant Arthur Kilpin Bulley began to create a garden in 1898, part of which he opened to local residents, he laid the foundations of one of the major botanic gardens in the United Kingdom.
Arthur Bulley died in 1942, and in 1948 his daughter Lois presented the Gardens to the University of Liverpool with an endowment of £75,000. The only stipulation was that they be kept as a botanic gardens as a practical and fitting tribute to the memory of her father. Bulley’s policy of opening a specified area of ornamental ground to the public was also to be continued.
These were not, however, the pre-war gardens which had, at times, maintained a staff of 48. In the war years only the elderly Josiah Hope and his assistant, Bill Cottrell were left to care for the Gardens and, when the University inherited them, the Gardens were in sore need of attention.
During this period the size of the ornamental gardens increased from 2.4 to 18.4 hectares (six to 46 acres) and superb collections of Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias, Cherries and Heathers were established.
Today, the commitment to maintain and develop the beauty of the Gardens remains, but there is an increasing emphasis on research, conservation and education of the public – areas reflecting Bulley’s original interests.
In addition, there has been an increased emphasis on educating schoolchildren, with a four-fold increase in school visits.
On a larger scale, a new £2 million Visitor Centre opened in 2006, featuring a central courtyard area with reception, indoor cafe with outside garden area, shop, lecture theatre, conservatory and exhibition room.