Arial shot of Ness Botanic Gardens

History of Ness Botanic Gardens

Ness Botanic Gardens was born of one man's passionate interest in plants and his desire to share that interest with others.

History of Ness Botanic Gardens
Arthur Kilpin Bulley at his writing desk (1920)

Arthur Kilpin Bulley, one of the greatest sponsors of plant collectors in the twentieth century, not only laid the foundations of Ness Botanic Gardens but changed the face of British gardening.

Born in 1861, Bulley developed a ardent fasciantion with plants, particuralry the hardier varieties and Alpine species. In 1898, Bulley bought farmland in Ness which he would go on to develop into a house and gardens. The house still exists to this day as Mickwell Brow and now houses office and event spaces.

In 1948, Agnes Lois or just Lois as she preferred to be called, daughter of Arthur Bulley gifted the entire site to the University of Liverpool, after Arthur passed away peacefully in 1942.

To discover the full History of Ness please click the link.

Ken Hulme - Director of Ness Botanic Gardens (1957) with Louise Bulley
Director of Ness Gardens (1957) Ken Hulme, with Lois Bulley

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.

Ness Botanic Gardens
Ness Botanic Gardens today (2018)

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