Seen & Heard
The Guardian takes a look at a prized botanical garden that Curtis has owned since 2012. Many community members disagree with his gardening methods. The story begins:
John Curtis’s enemies—and for a man who runs a mid-sized botanical garden on the Isle of Wight, he has surprisingly many—have a tendency to refer to him as “the American Businessman”, a phrase that, for many islanders, carries overtones of rapaciousness and cultural barbarism. He would rather not have quite so many adversaries, but neither does it seem especially to disturb him to be the object of simmering ill will on the island. He is not in the business of deliberately goading his detractors, but he tends, in his discussion of the increasingly public argument unfolding around his stewardship of the garden, toward a certain easygoing, sprightly provocation. “I’m a lightning rod,” as he put it to me in our first conversation, and on several occasions thereafter.