In March and April 2014 Members worked hard and achieved fantastic results. Spurred on by the glimpses of spring in the Garden, beds were cleared of weeds, winter debris removed and considerable planting was done.

Spring flowers and hard working members of the committeeHard working members of the committee working on the Garden

The lay-out was altered to enable easier and safer public movement at events – so that at our Carol Evening, in the dark, we did not trip over the bed between the paving and the lawn. Plants and bulbs were potted or replanted elsewhere, large stones removed, the lawn extended and a pathway built. A prominent position was prepared for the arrival of the Magnolia.

Hard working members of the committee working on the Garden

The success of all the earlier work was immediately apparent when preparing for the Spring and Summer Events. The open spaces provided a fitting arena for the celebrations and the necessary tidy and clean up made much easier. The grass had grown, the flowers were blooming and the garden ready for the influx of visitors.

Hard working members of the committee working on the Garden & the fruits of our labours
On both 17th May when the Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White and Mrs Fiona White planted the Magnolia Tree, and on 28th June for our “Music In the Garden”, the weather was kind enabling full use of the prepared garden.

The Garden in it's glory & visitors enjoying it.
Happily the earlier clearing of the area on the East side of the garden and the sowing of the wild flowers produced a good display for the judges of South & South East in Bloom in July.

The Wild Flower Garden ready for South East in Bloom
All that remained in 2014 was the general tidy up in preparation for the December Carols Event. The hard work put in by our members and the outside help received over the year, was obvious for all to see – making it a pleasure setting up for our final event.

Vernon Square & admirers

EVENTS 2014 – 2015

The events in a year

The 25th Anniversary Magnolia Tree
It was, of course, very difficult to follow our exciting event of 17th May 2014 when Members and guests celebrated 25 years since David Bellamy first inaugurated the Society aimed at preserving this tranquil garden in the middle of Ryde. That day, as reported in an earlier Newsletter, was a great success when, before a large invited audience, a Magnolia tree was planted by the Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White and Mrs Fiona White in celebration of the start of the new restoration programme, following on from those early beginnings. Happily the Magnolia tree is thriving.

However Saturday 28th June dawned sunny and warm heralding a beautiful afternoon for our
MUSIC IN A REGENCY GARDEN EVENT. We were well entertained by the music of Wight Harmony,
The Brighstone Barnacles and Slainte Va while drinking the wine, chatting to friends and viewing the garden.

Brightston Barnacles, Wight Harmony & Slainte Va

Visitors enjoying the entertainment at the Summer Garden Party

Another event of the summer was the inclusion of Vernon Square in SOUTH & SOUTH EAST IN BLOOM 2014. The judges viewed the Square on July 21st as part of the presentation by Ryde Town Council. We hope we had the garden looking good for the occasion. In November The Garden received a Certificate of Excellence at a ceremony in Yelf’s Hotel.

Ryde in Bloom category Winners 2014

On the morning of December 5th we installed for the first time the generator which made the setting up and running of CAROLS IN A REGENCY GARDEN so much easier. This generator, shared with The Ryde Carnival Association, was obtained with an award, gratefully received, from Ryde NE Community Panel. It provided much better lighting and heating facilities for the mulled wine and even the mince pies – which seemed to be much appreciated by those assembled!

Carols in the Garden with Ryde School Brass Ensemble & Voices in Harmony
With the RYDE SCHOOL BRASS ENSEMBLE playing joyfully, the singers ‘VOICES IN HARMONY’ leading the over 100 people who had braved the chilly weather, the year was ended with much cheer and enthusiasm.

You can download a copy of the newsletter by clicking this link: –  Newsletter 2014-2015 Events



The 25th Anniversary of the reopening of Vernon Square
On a beautiful day in May, members of Vernon Square Preservation Society gathered to celebrate the 25 years since David Bellamy first inaugurated the Society aimed at preserving this tranquil Regency Garden in the middle of Ryde – the only example on the Isle of Wight. Distinguished guests, members, their families and local school children all enjoyed the food, wine and music which accompanied the central events to mark the day.
Rev. Neil Birkett, Major General Martin White & Mrs Fiona White
The Rev. Neil Birkett (Chairman) welcomed The Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White and Mrs Fiona White and other guests who included Mr Andrew Turner MP, The local Mayor and Councillors, Members of the Vernon Square Preservation Society and others associated with the Square.
Major General Martin White addresses the celebration
Speeches were made and the Magnolia Tree planted in celebration of the start of the new Major General Martin White plants a Magnolia TreeRestoration Programme, following on from those early beginnings of 25 years ago.
Mike Fitt talks to Major General Martin White
Plans for the garden are explained to Major General Martin White and Mrs Fiona White by members of the committee – Michael Fitt OBE (Garden Advisor) and Claire Kay (Treasurer) before they
Mrs Fiona White & Claire Kay Treasurer  perform the difficult task of selecting their favourite garden plate from those made by the
Judging the children's plate Gardens
children of the local primary school.
Judging the children's plate gardens
The Garden was admired by all. The history starts from around 1830 to the present day and the Square has gone through many changes. After being threatened with becoming a car park in the mid-1980s a group of people got together to stop this happening. In 1989 the garden was restored and re-opened by David Bellamy. We are now 25 years on and over the past 7 years a small team has worked hard in dealing with pernicious weed growth, removing Leylandii conifers, which were turning into forest trees, and clearing up generally – work which continues.
Vernon Square Garden
WE ARE LOOKING FOR NEW ‘FRIENDS’ TO COME AND JOIN US TO CONTINUE WITH THE RESTORATION WORK AND HAVE FUN………. As well as the general maintenance, we are working towards a Heritage Lottery Bid for renovations to the garden infrastructure and the inst