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Discover Cornwall's Gardens

"Have a look at the wonderful gardens of Cornwall"

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This is a vast subject so we have devided the gardens into four areas of East, South, West and North. In addition to this we have mentioned some inland gardens and also crossed the water to the beautiful Isles of Scilly to visit the Abbey Gardens on Tresco. So just scroll down to the area that you are interested in.

Cornwall enjoys the power of the Gulf Stream with its temperate climate of warm summers, mild and wet winters which in turn allows exotic and rare plants to thrive. Cornwall is often thought of throughout the world as the 'Garden Capital of the World'.

Where else can you find so many gardens with history dating back to the Iron Age? As long ago as the early 19th century Cornish gardeners were part of the Victorian plant hunters who collected exotic plants and seeds from all around the world.

All around Britain you will be hard-pressed not to find a 'Veitch' plant or one derived from their nurseries which were based in Chelsea and Exeter. The Chelsea business ceased to trade in 1914 whilst the Exeter branch continued under family members until 1969 when it was sold to St. Bridget Nurseries. The Veitch family sent many collectors all over the world to bring back seeds and plants. These included two Cornish brothers, William and Thomas Lobb, William Lobb died in San Francisco in 1864 but his brother Thomas lived in Devoran on the South coast of Cornwall until his death in 1894. In 1897 Ernest Henry 'Chinese' Wilson was sent out to China by the Veitch family to find the dove tree, Davidia involucrata and was told 'don't spend time and money wandering about. Probably every worthwhile plant in China has now been introduced to Europe'!!! George Forrest was sent to China in 1905 by Arthur Kilpin Bulley, who was sponsoring an expedition to the southwest searching for exotic plants, particularly species of rhododendron. Eventually George Forrest became one of the foremost collectors of Yunnan (Chinese) flora amassing hundreds of species of rhododendrons, shrubs and perennials.

That gives us what we have today: tranquil and spectacular gardens to explore with lush vegetation and sup-tropical theatres of colour brimming with exciting, rare and beautiful plants. Cornwall's gardens are found in our magnificent Castles, Manor Houses, grand Farm Estates, Mill Houses, private houses, sheltered valleys, high up on blustery moorland and nestled in woodland and seaside gardens.

Cornwall's gardens are so diverse as they vary in size from small and intimate to acres of rolling countryside. Some with enchanting lakes and a Victorian boathouse to water gardens with tree ferns, rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. Others have walled gardens and manicured lawns to the newest of all two magnificent Biomes filled with magic from around the world namely The Eden Project, Nr. St. Austell.

A lot of our gardens are Dog Friendly. so don't leave part of the family at home, bring them along as well. It would be wise to check first with the garden you are intending to visit just to make sure that it is 'dog friendly'. Some of our Cornish gardens are more accessible than others so again if part of your group is less agile check with the garden to make sure you will enjoy your visit.

Cornwall's Spring Story Year by Year

When 50 blooms have appeared on all seven of Cornwall's champion Magnolia campbellii trees it is said that Spring has officially arrived in Cornwall. The gardens that are being closely watched are Caerhays Castle Gardens at Gorran, Nr. St. Austell, The Lost Gardens of Heligan at Pentewan, St. Austell, Trebah Garden at Mawnan Smith, Nr. Falmouth, Tregothnan at St. Michael Penkivel, Truro, Trengwainton at Madron, Nr. Penzance, Trewidden at Buryas Bridge, Penzance and Trewithen at Grampound, Nr. Truro. In 2013 Spring had officially arrived in Cornwall on February 19th, a whole month before the official start of spring in England. In 2014 we were a little later and the date was March 3rd. 2015 was March 3rd as well. 2016 was February 10th and 2017 it was February 28th. 2018 - Even with the 'Beast from the East' it was February 26th. 2019 was on Valentines Day February 14th.

East Cornwall

Mount Edgcumbe - at Torpoint has The Earl's Garden with old and unusual trees including a 400-year-old lime. The Formal Gardens were created over 200 years ago in English, French and Italian styles also an American plantation, a New Zealand styled garden and a Jubilee Garden. Mount Edgcumbe's valley garden overlooks Plymouth Sound and the pond named Milton's Temple is a haven for the birds. It is also home to approximately 1000 varieties of Camellias.

Thanckes Park - at Torpoint is a natural beautiful park that goes right down to the River Tamar, it was lanscaped in the Georgian era and became a public park in the 20th century. The walled garden was the first to be restored and is now called the Benodet Park Walled Garden of Friendship to celebrate the link with the twin town in Brittany. There is a woodland walk with oak and chestnut trees and in 2013 Thanckes Park was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Field Status to mark the Diamond Jubilee and is now protected as an open space.

Antony - at Torpoint was used as a backdrop for the film Alice in Wonderland for Tim Burton's film which was released in 2010. The gardens are privately owned by the Carew Pole Garden Trust. It consists of an 18th-century estate and 100 acres of gardens and woodlands bordering the Lynher Estuary and holds a national collection of Camellia Japonica. You will find 300 varieties of camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, azaleas and many exotic trees such as Japanese maples, a conifer dell and giant redwoods. Antony has sweeping river views and unexpected nooks and crannies and is a joy to visit with the Woodland Garden, Summer Garden and the intricate Knot Garden. Scattered around the garden is pieces of modern sculpture such as 'Hypercone' by Simon Thomas, the 'Magnolia Gate' by James Horrobin, the 'Water Cone' by William Pye and the 'Dono' by Steven Cox. After viewing all the various parts of Antony you will need to relax in the tea-room for either a light lunch or Cornish cream tea as well as a hot drink or ice cream. You may like to bring your own picnic to eat in the grounds and before you go pop into the gift shop where you will find a range of locally grown plants and also a second-hand book shop or the perfect gift to take home.

Ince Castle Gardens - at Saltash is approached by a tunnel-like drive of trees. The garden overlooks the River Lynher and enjoys woodlands filled with rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias, vibrant shrubs and formal gardens. The gardens extend to 5 acres and enjoys river views from all areas. Masses of hellebores and bulbs can be found here in early spring. There is a shell house made in 1964 as well as a climbing frame for the children and plenty of lawn space to get rid of that energy.

Port Eliot Gardens - at St. Germans is on the Rame Peninsula. Back in 960 there was a monastery here and it was called Port Priory. Port Eliot is on the banks of the River Lynhyr and has 39 acres of woodland garden and 22 acres around the house, both are Grade One Listed. A mature garden, a lot under a closed canopy, consisting of lawns, gigantic trees, rhododendrons and camellias. The Rhododendron Garden was planted in the 1930's and since 1985 various oaks and, laurels as windbreaks, have been planted. Near the house is weeping birch, green maple and Japanese laurel and on the riverbank there are 17 different types of Oak. There are Indian bean trees, American chestnut, Mississippi cypress and two rare trees found in a valley in Australia. A South African pine was planted in 1988 and its cones stay on the branches for years until they fall to the ground and the seeds germinate. After the floral season in June it reverts back to a woodland garden with lots of different greens. The Orangery which has now been restored was built in the 1840's as a greenhouse and the Orangery Garden has yew hedges, a fountain and more recently has been planted with white roses and white tulips. Dogs are welcome.

Pentillie Castle Gardens - at Callington are only open on specific days during the Spring when the woodland gardens are at their best full of camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and bulbs. The woodland gardens stretch over 55 acres around the castle and along the banks of the River Tamar and are set in the heart of the 2,000 acre estate and includes a Kitchen garden and an American garden. The garden was originally laid out by Sir James Tillie c.1705 and are not heavily manicured and are not full of flower beds and specimen trees therefore they are wilder than most but leave you with plenty of opportunities to discover many secret spots. Wear suitable footwear as there are not any tarmac paths. The Guided Garden Tours at Pentillie are usually conducted by Ted or Sarah Coryton, or their daughter Sammie, who will reveal a great deal about the history, the secrets and the scandals of the estate. Hear and see details of the restoration work at the Mausoleum and Sir James Tillie’s hidden vault! Tour the gardens and view architect Humphry Repton’s proposed castle remodelling, landscaped gardens and parklands in Pentillie’s red book. Alternatively, if you can gather 15 or more people, we can arrange a private group tour at a time to suit you.

A new cultiver of daffodil was found in the garden during January 2015. It was by chance on a garden tour that it was found and has been verified by narcissus experts and has been named Narcissus Pseudonarcissus 'Pentillie Duke' in honour of the head gardener who has been here for 30 years, Chris Duke. It is a double form with star shaped flowers which appear to come from the centre of the flower and is pleated lengthwise.

South Cornwall

The South is awash with fabulous gardens which proves how sheltered this coast is here in Cornwall and many are overflowing with collections of Cornish rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias.

Hidden Valley Gardens - Near Par and is a three acre garden and plant nursery selling perennials, all sitting in a secluded hidden valley amongst rolling countryside. There is a Mediterranean area, colourful herbaceous and cottage garden beds, a hot border, Japanese area, Iris garden, Potager garden, fruit and fernery area and a tranquil pond all in a warm microclimate. Make your own refreshments in the Tea Hut and enjoy a homemade cake, dogs on leads please, parking, toilets and picnic tables. Entry includes tea or coffee.

Marsh Villa Gardens - at Par is a magical 3-acre water and woodland garden which lies in an eighteenth century tidal creek, the same one that Daphne Du Maurier based her novel 'The House on the Strand'. The garden is made up of different rooms which lead from one to another with a hornbeam avenue at its centre and also herbaceous borders, bog garden, pond and fernery. Maybe you will spot some of the wildlife that thrives in this garden. A 'potting shed' has been refurbished so that visitors can take a rest and make themsleves a cup of tea or coffee.

Tregrehan - at Par is a large woodland garden and home to the Carlyon family since 1565. It is home to a 25 metre Oak tree germinated from an acorn which was sent home from India in 1894 and there are also many oak and chestnuts here from the early 1600's. This is a 20 acre informal woodland garden and known as 'Cornwall's temperate rainforest'. There is a formal walled garden and many exotic plants in the glasshouse.

Pinetum Park and Pine Lodge Gardens - Near St. Austell is a 30-acre paradise with over 6000 labelled plants. Ray and Shirley Clemo travelled the world collecting seeds and plants for this garden and a pair of black swans have made it their home. This is a unique garden from an amphitheatre of conifers and pines to an intimate Japanese Garden. Many rare, unusual and tender plants thrive in this sheltered garden.


The Lost Gardens of Heligan - at Pentewan have been voted Britain's finest garden and has scooped the title in the Countryfile Magazine Awards 2011. Celebrating 21 years since Heligan's Lost Gardens were re-discovered, this beauty provides 200 acres to explore. Discover the Northern Garden, the Jungle, the Wider Estate and the Horsemoor Hide and Wildlife Project. In May 2012 Heligan was voted as the nation's greatest garden by reviewers of a leading European consumer site Qype. This puts Heligan above Kew Gardens and the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh. In celebration of the Queen's jubilee in 2012 there was a new pathway opened through the jungle area known as the Fern Gulley path. This presents a different perspective on the 'lost valley' giving visitors the chance to enter the real heart of the jungle. It leads from the boardwalk, across the valley floor, crossing the water on stepping stones and allowing views up to the giant tree ferns and bamboo as well as across the jungle watercourses. In 2013 Heligan teamed up with Callestic Farm Ice Cream to create an exclusive flavour ice cream that reflects the gardens in summer. Heligan produces over 200 varieties of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, salads and herbs for their restaurant and also rears its own herd of Dexter cattle, sheep and pigs which supplies their meat. So a frozen yoghurt rippled with honey and sprinkled with their own English walnuts, their Walnut tree can be seen in the Steward's house Garden, served in their bee boles which is always a popular feature has been born. A taste that conjures beautiful balmy summer's days in the garden with the sound of bees buzzing.


Caerhays Castle Gardens - is situated in a valley above Porthluney Cove covering Castle Wood, Kennel Close Wood, Acres Wood and Old Park. A horticultural treasure covering 120 acres of woodland gardens and holder of the National Magnolia Collection and can be traced back to the great plant hunters Ernest Wilson and George Forrest. The garden is divided into 4 woodland walks and each one explores different areas of the garden. Now on display in the Castle is the up-to-date family tree of the Williams family.

Lamorran House Gardens - at St. Mawes is a four-acre Mediterranean-style garden with sea views over Falmouth Bay. History says that it is the most Northerly Palm Garden in the world. From Lamorran you can see the lighthouse at St. Anthony's Head. A large collection of rhododendrons and over 500 varieties of azaleas are grown here together with hundreds of palms and acacias all in a microclimate where frosts are rare. Dogs are not allowed to walk around the garden.

St. Just in Roseland Church Gardens - St. Just in Roseland has a 13th century church and is set in a sheltered sub-troopical riverside garden filled with magnolias, azaleas, bamboos and giant gunnera. Through the paths of this garden you will also find small streams and many more exotic shrubs and it is a haven for bird life.

Poppy Cottage Garden - situated in the heart of the Roseland Peninsula. A one-acre garden planted in a series of rooms planted with clever combinations of shrubs, herbaceous perennials with all year-round interest and colour. Most of the plants are labelled so you will be able to take home some ideas from here and there are plenty of places to sit and relax. Dogs welcome on leads.

Trelissick - at Feock. This 40-acre garden was planted 200 years ago and has views down the Falmouth estuary. It has year-round plant colour, an orchard, woodland walks and an art and crafts gallery. In the autumn 300 varieties of apples will be on display in the Georgian stables. There are four summerhouses to be found, a water tower, a footbridge, a Cryptomeria tree and perhaps find a quiet spot for a picnic amongst the 375 acres of parkland and woodland. A plant shop, restaurant and a cafe completes these magnificent gardens.


The Tregothnan Estate, - Nr. Truro has been home to the Boscawen family since 1335. The Estate produces English tea, coppiced charcoal, Manuka honey and Kea plum jam. Seasonal flowers come from the Tregothnan estate and surrounding land for hand-tied bouquets. All their products can be bought on-line. You can join their monthly group tours or annual charity open weekend. We can also arrange Private Garden Visits exculsivley for your group.

Lanterns - at Restronguet Hill, Mylor Bridge. Admission to Lanterns is by donation and they support Chirldren's Hospice South West. This is a small treasure in just under an acre with tall flowering trees, lush ferns and grasses, unusual shrubs, perennials and greenhouse plants. Potter amongst the winding paths in this spring-fed valley garden. Plants also for sale. Dogs are welcome.


Enys Gardens - at St. Gluvias, Penryn is one of Cornwall's oldest gardens dating back to 1709. J.D. Enys 1837-1912 regularly sent home seeds and plants from New Zealand and Patagonia. Another garden with a microclimate and virtually frost free together with the influence of the Gulf Stream enables many exotic plants to flourish such as many rare bamboos, a Peruvian Laurel and a Maiden Hair Fern. Take in the water wheel and lakes in the lower valley and enjoy this garden just made for walkers.

Gyllyngdune Gardens - at Melvill Road, Falmouth is a four acre beautiful public space and just a short distance from the seafront, town centre and also the many other attractions in the town. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cornwall Council and Carrick Leisure the garden restoration project was completed at the end of October 2011. Visitors can now enjoy the newly restored and replanted gardens including the lower quarry garden which is home to the famous shell grotto. With its stunning sea views, luscious flower beds, veranda, original Edwardian bandstand, natural play area and greenhouse all set out in a formal style and is extremely well cared for. Follow the meandering pathways through the arches of the Rose Garden with its delightful scents, enjoy the decorative shell seats and then follow not one but two tunnels with views of Pendennis Castle and Gyllyngvase Beach and then Tunnel Beach. Last but not least take a look at The Chapel.


Penjerrick Garden - at Budock Water is unspoilt with historic and immense botanical interest, relax among tree ferns and hidden paths. 15 acres divided in two parts, the Upper Garden features rhododendrons, tree ferns, magnolias, camellias and other trees and shrubs. From the top lawn you can see the sea through the trees. The Valley Garden is reached via a wooden bridge and has ponds, giant tree ferns and gunnera, all in a woodland setting.

Trebah Garden - is on the North bank of the Helford River and has been awarded Gold for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2011. An amazing sub-tropical paradise garden with a fabulous coastal location, spectacular plant species and is loved by the very young and old. See the Champion Trees, Water Garden, Bamboozle, Alice's Seat, Hydrangea Valley, Rhododendron Valley, Gunnera Passage, Stumpery and Cascade. Last but not least their very own secluded beach at the bottom of the garden, Polgwiddon Cove. Look across the unspoilt Helford River and to Falmouth Bay where oak forests line the banks. Eat at Trebah, shop at Trebah and relax at Trebah every day of the year. Dogs on leads are welcome and water bowls are available outside the Visitor Centre and also complimentary poop scoops are available on arrival.


Glendurgan Garden - at Mawnan Smith lies in a sub-tropical valley running down to the Helford River. Have fun in the 180 year-old cherry laurel maze and the 'Giant's Stride' - a pole with ropes to swing from for the children, wander down through the winding paths of the garden and down to the hamlet of Durgan and the beach. Rare and exotic shrubs gives year-round interest as well as the spectacular magnolias and camellias in the Spring. Re-fuel at the tearooms with a tasty snack.

Potager Garden - is a new organic garden which is close to Constantine, five miles from Falmouth. Rescued from a wilderness of a plant nursery now teaming with mature trees, herbaceous planting, fruit and vegetables with a unique calm atmosphere. Play games - boules, swing ball, giant Jenga, badminton, and table tennis, laze in a hammock, see the life-size upside down wooden Potager man, visit the cafe for home-made vegetarian dishes using some of the fresh produce grown in the garden, homemade cakes, lunches, teas or an ice cream then sit, paint or snooze in the 100 foot glasshouse. A garden which is still evolving.

The closure of Carwinion Garden on the Helford

Carwinion house and land reverted to the management of the National Trust when Anthony Rogers, who took over the house in the early 70s, passed away in 2013 the concern was what would happen to the huge collection of bamboo which made the garden well known to many enthusiasts throughout the World. Ray Townsend who is president of the Bamboo Society formed a consortium with the gardens of Lamorran, Tresco Abbey on the Isles of Scilly and Trebah so that a decision could be made. It was decided that the collection should stay in Cornwall as some of the more tender varieties would not be able to survive outdoors in other parts of the country.

Lamorran Garden at St. Mawes has chosen the varieties that will enhance its Italianate garden and hopes that some of the clumps will become focal points in their garden which overlooks Falmouth Bay. At Trebah they have planted a large clump on the opposite side of their existing Phyllostachys Edulis so as you walk down the path to the beach the huge stems will be arching over your head. They are also re-developing their Chilean Combe so the Borinda species that have come from Carwinion will grow well on their steep valley slopes.

West Cornwall

Moving on down the coast to England's southernmost Lizard Peninsula in West Cornwall we find more sub-tropical gardens with their own micro-climate enabling tender plants to flourish from both hemispheres.

Bonython Estate Gardens - Nr. Helston has an 18th century Walled Garden, a Potager Garden, thyme and alpine garden, three lakes that run through the garden from a natural stream, a Woodland walk featuring the magnificent Magnolia trees, Camellias, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and all the spring bulbs. There is also a Valley garden with a stream cascade, tree ferns and where the garden ends the quarry pond which is now a natural water feature. The thatched Summer House is now the 'Tea House' from which you can watch the ducks swimming. Bonython Manor and its estate gardens were the location for the Rosamund Pilcher ZDF film adaptions 'The Prime of Life', 'Summer of Awakening' and the forthcoming 'Anwalte kusst man nicht' loosely 'Lawyers Do Not Kiss You'.

Bosahan Garden - at Manaccan is again close to the Helford River enjoying the Cornish microclimate and described as "the most Cornish of all Cornish gardens" in The Gardener magazine in 1909! Possibly this garden was planted by Arthur Pendarves Vivian in 1885. A winding stream travels through the centre of this atmospheric garden with rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, palm groves, Maidenhair tree ferns, plus trees and shrubs from the southern hemisphere. Ferns line the edges of the stream which runs down to the Helford River.

Carleen Subtropical Gardens - again Nr. Helston but by appointment only and are home to collections from South America, Mexico, Central and South Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Southern USA and the Mediterranean. All this in a peaceful setting where you can enjoy a picnic and perhaps buy a plant as well.

Hardy Exotics Nursery - This is a Nursery at Whitecross, Nr. Penzance but a Nursery with a difference as they grow virtually all the plants that they sell so you can wander around and see exactly what you will be buying. 2.5 acres of rare and unusual species are growing here: palms, succulents, puyas, and gunnera just to mention a few. They have developed a zoning system so you will know if the plant you would like to grow will live in your area like "Barbados in Birmingham", "Mauritius in Manchester" or "Hawaii in Hertford". This is a nursery not to be missed as they have a collection of over 1,500 species.

St. Michaels Mount - Now we have come to this beautiful island, walk across the causeway at low tide or travel by boat at other times. These gardens are steep but terraced and thrive in the shelter of the granite cliffs and you will find exotics from Mexico, Canary Islands and South Africa. Their gardeners have to abseil to tend to some of the areas. Clues are laid for children along a nature trail for a free prize at the end. Many of the plantings can be seen from the castle battlements. So much to see on this enchanting isle.

Morrab Gardens - just off the town centre at Penzance is 3.5 acres of exotic and unusual sub-tropical gardens occupying a sunny south-facing site in Mount's Bay. Originally built by Samuel Pidwell in 1841 and bought by the Penzance Corporation in the 1880's now kept up by Cornwall Council. In 1904 a memorial garden was made to commemorate all who died in the Boer War. A collecton of rhododendrons by the gate were donated by Lord St. Levan's grandfather over 100 years ago. Apart from the rhododendrons there are a lovely collection of magnolias, kiwi trees with fruit, a Wollemi pine, several species of pines, castor oil plants, yuccas and many other exotic plants. Morrab Gardens has received Green Flag awards for the last five years which recognises that the garden is welcoming to people and wildlife. There are lots of fish in the two ponds - koi carp, roach and bream, there are also beehives in the grounds. There is a library, bandstand, fountain and memorial statue and many open-air concerts are held here during the warm summer evenings. Dogs are welcome on leads.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens - Nr. Gulval, Penzance is a 11-acre valley garden with magnificent views over St. Michael's Mount. Lush green plantings sweep the valley floor with huge ferns alongside the stream. Towards the top the soil is hot and dry but with good drainage and accommodates the tall plantings which gives the structure and grasses creating drama and movement. The soil along this stretch of the coast is known as the 'Golden Mile'. Huge sculptures have been integrated into this garden by Internationally renowned artists such as James Turrell, David Nash, Kishio Suga, Tony Lattimer, Tim Shaw, Richard Long and Billy Wynter. The facilities now include the licensed Lime Tree Cafe, design shop, marquee site, toilets and baby change area and car park.

Chygurno - at Lamorna, Nr. Penzance this 3-acre garden carved into the cliff edge looking over Lamorna Cove with a decked vantage point that puts you at eye level with the trees. This waterside garden goes down in steep steps, pathways and terraces to a sheltered woodland. At the top hard exotic plants withstand the salt air whilst lower down species from the southern hemisphere survive including banana plants, foxgloves from the Canary Isles and silver tree ferns. Lower down you will find camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas line the paths. If you like a bit of a walking challenge this is the garden for you.

The Minack Theatre Gardens - at Porthcurno, Nr. Penzance have exotic sub-tropical rockeries on the cliffside with fabulous views across Porthcurno Beach. Rowena Cade developed this cliffside garden and theatre in the 1930's and the salt tolerant succulents thrive despite being open to the English Channel. Many of the plants that you see here can be purchased from the Gift Shop. The Minack Theatre is Cornwall's famous open-air theatre and is open from May to September. There is a cafe/restaurant, picnic site, free parking and is on a bus route.

Trewidden Garden - at Buryas Bridge, Penzance is a 15-acre garden with a Tree Fern Dell and some of the finest camellias and magnolias amongst the pathways in this peaceful location. There is a newly restored walled garden, a rock garden with erythroniums, a tree fern pit and a pond garden. Trewidden is roughly a square garden with ponds, each part being different to the other. Mary Williams planted the Magnolia hypoleuca on the North Walk in 1897 which is now the largest in the UK.

Trengwainton - at Madron, Nr. Penzance is owned by The National Trust. This historic 25-acre garden is bursting with displays of magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias. Winding and wooded paths meander around this garden which is also home to banana plants, enormous echiums, skunk cabbage, meconopsis, primulas, styrax, eucryphia and stewartia. You will remember this family-friendly garden with a family trail and you may even get lost amongst the giant tree fern glade. The tearooms were 2010 Cafe of the year.

Tregenna Castle Hotel & Grounds - at St. Ives is a 72 acre estate with panoramic views overlooking St. Ives Bay. The sub-tropical gardens shows off the benefits of the Cornish climate with bold colours and striking shapes, sundials, fountains and sun bleached doors giving an artistic feel about the walled garden. There is a woodland water garden and newly created valley garden. The Head Gardener and Chelsea Gold Medalist designer are available for tours. Admission is by donation to St. Ives RNLI with children free. Cornish Cream Teas are available.

Penberth Garden - in the Penberth Valley at St. Buryan is a five acre natural valley garden with sea views. A fabulous place with camellias, rhododendrons, a water and rock garden. There is a cafe/restaurant for that all important cup of tea and plant sales as well.

Tanglewood - Newbridge, between Penzance and St. Just was as it's name suggests a mass of brambles but is now a wild garden for the wildlife and also a water garden with four pools and 19 acres of woodland all terraced with stone walls. Bluebells, rhododendrons and foxgloves love the soil with many native and exotic shrubs and a Manchurian Pine which looks like Owls sitting on the branches. There are ducks, squirrels and many birds, a fairy tree house, seats in various areas of the garden where you can relax or have a go on the giant noughts and crosses. I think the children will like this one. You are welcome to bring a picnic or a bbq and season tickets are available so you can visit as many times throughout the season as you wish.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden - at St. Ives is a unique experience which gives you an insight into the work of one of Britain's most important 20th century artists. Sculptures in bronze, stone and wood are on display in the museum and garden together with paintings, drawings and other material. She came to Cornwall with her husband and family in 1939 and worked in Trewyn studios - now the Museum - from 1949 untill her death in 1975. Most of the bronzes that are in the garden are still in the same position in which she placed them herself.

Tresco Abbey Gardens - Now we cross the water and arrive on the beautiful Isles of Scilly and head for this amazing sub-tropical garden which is home to species of plants and trees from 80 countries ranging from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa. The building of tall windbreaks ensures any inclement weather is forced up and over the walled enclosure. The terraces at the top are hotter and drier than the ones below which give more humidity. In 1990 hurricane force winds created dreadful damage to the shelter belts and the loss of many plants. The garden has now been restored and looking 'better than ever'. Many plants grown here would not survive on the Cornish mainland which is less than 30 miles away.


North Cornwall

We move on now to North Cornwall which is a more rugged coast fronting the Atlantic and as you will see there are not so many gardens on this coast.
Chegwyn Rose Gardens - at St. Agnes. George Mannell lives across the road from the rose garden which he created in memory of his wife and daughter. Visitors come from far and wide to plant a rose in remembrance of someone and there are now over 200 in various colours and varities and the scent during the summer is unbelievable. A lot of money is raised for charities from this delightful rose garden and this year, 2014, George created a special display to commemorate the centenery of the First World War with roses for England, lilies for France, cornflowers for Germany and rhododendrons for the Gurkhas. George also remembered the animals who died during the war.


Japanese Garden & Bonsai Nursery - in the beautiful Lanherne Valley at St. Mawgan. Just 1.5 acres but includes Water Gardens, Stroll Garden and a Zen Garden inspired by the East. Follow the winding paths to discover Japanese maples and azaleas, a koi pond, bamboo grove and moss garden. All the plants and ornaments all create harmony, reflection and a desire to see beyond. Open daily all year round, their pot selection is second to none and a wide range of ceramics, mica, plastic, hand built dishes, books, tools and accessories complete the picture. A free booklet with every Bonsai tree purchased together with an aftercare service ensures that mistakes are not made.


Prideaux Place - at Padstow is 40 acres of landscaped grounds and a deer park overlooking the Padstow estuary and the River Camel. From the house you can see the fallow deer which is thought to be the oldest herd in the country. There are several points of interest being a classical temple, an obelisk, a grotto and an exedra which is a small stone arbour housing Roman funerary urns. Enjoy the shady woodland walks as well.

Longcross Victorian Garden - at Trelights, Port Isaac. These gardens have been constructed to overcome the problems of being on the North coast, as this garden receives one-hundred-weight of salt per acre per year brought in by the winds. Because of this visitors comments are that "they have never seen a garden resembling the Longcross" but this gives a fine example of coastal gardening and hedging with views towards Port Isaac and Port Quin. There is a childrens play area, plant sales and a cafe/restaurant.

Inland Gardens

Cornwall has some more fine gardens that are a bit more inland than the others we have mentioned but when you are in Cornwall you are never more than sixteen miles away from the coast at any time.
Ken-Caro - at Liskeard is a 5 acre garden with outstanding views and fabulous colour from February right through to September. Camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, herbaceous shrubs, wisteria, lily ponds plus meadows and a woodland walk fill this garden. A well organised and well labelled plantsman's garden set high above Bicton Manor Woods.

Moyclare Garden - at Liskeard established in 1927 in 1 acre and arranged around the house. The Cytisus "Moyclare Pink" and the astrantia "Moira Reid" originated in this garden. A new pergola has been erected with a number of arches and a fishpond with over a hundred goldfish hybrids and aquatic wildlife. The paths are suitable for wheelchair users. There are plants and shrubs from the Andes, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Tasmania and New Zealand as well as our familiar Camellias and Rhododendrons and other shrubs and plants from America, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Maderia, Mexico, Morocco Siberia and Tibet all providing a habitat for numerous birds, butterflies and moths. All in all a fascinating garden.

Pencarrow House and Gardens - The garden at Pencarrow, Nr. Bodmin is 50 acres and this is where the Monkey Puzzle tree got its name. If you like one of the plants you will probably be able to buy a cutting from it. A garden filled with azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, bluebells, conifers and hydrangeas. Children love to roll down the grassy slopes of the Italian Garden and you are allowed to walk on the grass! Pencarrow is home to a number of peacocks - watch them displaying in April and May. From the beginning of June you can pick-your-own soft fruit such as raspberries, strawberries and gooseberries. Phone for confirmation 01208 841371.The gift shop is an Alladin's cave for that perfect present or momento.

Pinsla Garden & Nursery - at Cardinham, Nr. Bodmin is a two acre garden and nursery in a peaceful wild woodland. This garden has been made for fun and to entertain you. Something for everyone, an idyllic haven and a hideaway full of secret paths, hazel arch, fantasy garden, rare plants, shrubs, trees, ferns, perennials and wildflowers created by garden artists. Wander around and then enjoy some tea and cake! One not to be missed I guess.

Lanhydrock House & Gardens - Nr. Bodmin. 30 acres of formal and informal woodland and then the garden opens onto a network of paths through 900 acres of countryside. The garden's were laid out about the mid 19th century by George Truefitt and rise to 130-metres above sea level but still flourish in this climate with rhododendrons and over 120 species of magnolias. Ideal for families and senior citizens. Pushchairs, infant seats and slings available for hire, also a cafe/restaurant, gift shop and plant sales. Guided tours of the gardens are available. Lanhydrock teamed up with Callestick Farm Cornish Dairy Ice Cream to create a jubilee ice cream in 2012. It is based on the dessert Cherries Jubilee and combines a white chocolate ice cream base with a ripple of cherries soaked in kirsch - now available here at Lanhydrock.

The new cycle trails includes cycle hire, cafe, adventure playground, toilets and visitor reception where you can pick up a map showing the location of all the trails. There is a Skills area where you can try it out with balance bikes which is designed to control speed and improve the confidence of young cyclists, the green trail is an easy grade, the blue is moderate and the red is difficult. The trails are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.


Boconnoc House & Gardens - at Lostwithiel has a beautiful spring garden filled with rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas from the 1850 original planting together with many ancient trees. The Woodland Gardens are open for charity on Sundays in May and group visits for 20 people or more throughout the year. Known as Cornwall's hidden gem. There has been numerous films made here including Rosamund Pilcher, scenes from the 1993 film of 'The Three Musketeers' and the BBC2 production of 'Daphne'.

Trewithin - close to Grampound means 'house of the trees' and has 30 acres of woodland gardens and more than 200 acres of surrounding parkland. The horticulturalist George Johnstone, who inherited the house in 1904, cultivated many of the seeds that came from abroad thus ensuring the reputation that Trewithin has today. It boasts a renowned collection of magnolias, camellias, 24 'Champion Trees', woodland walks, tea shop and on-site nursery. Raised viewing platforms enables viewing from above. An unforgettable garden gem. Disabled access available around majority of the garden including toilets and level parking. Dogs on leads are very welcome.

The Eden Project - close to St. Austell is the newest of all our Cornish gardens. Created from a disused China Clay pit the size of 30 football pitches in the year 2000 and the was opened on 17th March, 2001. Unique biomes filled with Tropical and Mediterranean plants that are constructed from a tubular steel space-frame clad in thermoplastic ETFE. At Eden you can travel around the world in a day! The world's largest rainforest with steamy jungles and waterfalls, stunning garden displays, sculpture and art, gigs, concerts, an ice rink in Winter, educational centre, local food in the cafe/retaurants, example of regeneration and sustainable living and a land train pulled by a tractor. It even has a rainforest lookout that takes you high above the treetops. As well as beautiful flowers outside you will find plants that provide foods, fuels, medicines and materials.


Bosvigo - on the outskirts of Truro is 'Cornwall's Best Kept Secret' with an amazing house dating back circa 1860's. The Gardens comprise of The Hot Garden where in August there is an explosion of orange crocosmias, yellow heleniums, red salvias, lobelia and flamboyant dahlias. The Vean Garden is attached to the main house and in its small front garden paths cross with four beds that are planted almost identically in white, blue and gold. The Walled Garden is planted in purples, pinks and blues with thalicrums, roses, campanulas, geraniums and asters from June to the end of September. In Spring The Woodland Walk is carpeted with drifts of snowdrops, hellebores, wood anemones, epimediums, erythroniums and scented narcissus. This is how the Owner describes the year - Spring bulbs and Hellebores, summer herbaceous borders, autumn finale of 'firework' colours. In 2011 the 100th episode of the Rosamunde Pilcher series was filmed here. In February every year there is 'Hellebore Day' when you can see hundreds of hellebores ranging from deep black through pale pinks and rich reds to yellow and acid green many of which have been bred by Wendy the owner. There will be more than 700 newly-potted hellebores for sale on the day which was started ten years ago to raise money to help communities devastated by the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, when tragically Wendy lost her own daughter, and now all the donations on the day goes to ShelterBox.

Burncoose Gardens and Nursery - at Gwennap is a 30-acre woodland garden and has achieved gold medal displays at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows. The Nursery stocks a wide range of shrubs and herbaceous plants somewhere in the region of 3,500. The gardens are situated high up but still flourishes with camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons, over 20 species of bamboo and also a diverse range of other plants. A garden to visit all year round.


Boscawen Park, Victoria Gardens, Daubuz Moor and Furniss Island Truro. -

Boscawen Park is nestled on the banks of the Truro river and is a traditional park as well as a cricket field, tennis courts, football pitches, large children's play area, a lovely river walk running on the outer edges of the park, a dedicated training area with a wide variety of workout equipment, dog exercise area as well as a colourful landscape garden. Close by is Trennick Mill which offers a duck pond laid out with herbaceous borders and shrubs and maintained with wildlife in mind.

Victoria Gardens is just a stones throw from the City Centre where the gardens span a steep south-facing slope and feature a pattern of trees and exotic shrubs mixed with paths and flowerbeds and with an ornate fountain which is fed by a hydraulic water ram situated in the Leats next to the River Kenwyn, this also supplies the water for the fish pond. Central to Victoria Gardens is the bandstand and amongst the picnic area and playgrounds you will see the Truro viaduct. This was built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859 but was replaced in 1904 but still retains five of the original piers. The history of the gardens date back to the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1898.

Furniss Island In the centre of Truro is a green space called 'Furniss Island' which has been transformed into a lovely garden for a picnic lunch or a relaxing afternoon. This has been named after the Cornish biscuit company which once ran its factory next to this space in Truro. It is just a short walk from New Bridge Street and Lemon Quay.

Daubuz Moor Daubuz Moor was gifted to the City of Truro by Rev. Enyas in 1977 and during the summer months guided tours and walks are arranged here. It is an 18 acre beautiful expanse of parkland gardens just to the North of Truro. It now acts as a nature reserve to improve habitats for all kinds of wildlife and you will see bat boxes, bird boxes, log piles and brush piles as well as a wide array of plants and animals.

Penose Water Gardens, Shortlanesend, Truro. - Established for over twenty years but is one of Cornwall's best kept secrets! Set within a beautiful wooded valley just two and a half miles from Truro. A speciality at Penrose is the Wildlife, regular visitors include song-birds, kingfishers, herons, foxes and sometimes the odd Otter just to mention a few. A Pond Consultancy is provided here with advice and supply of pond plants, together with a Conference Venue, the Lily Tea Rooms where you can sit on the veranda overlooking some of the 40 stunning lily ponds and also a Wedding Reception venue.


Lots of our gardens have tremendous interest in the Autumn as well such as Ellis Gardens at Polyphant, Wave Cottage at Lerryn, Half Acre at Boscastle, Primrose Farm at Skinners Bottom and Kennall House at Ponsanooth. The Homestead close to Helston is 7.5 acres and has a Wildflower Wood with over 1000 trees and a further 800 trees for a shelter and wildlife habitat.

Many Cornish Gardens belong to the National Gardens Scheme which publishes the Yellow Book each year which is a guide or 'bible' to garden visiting.

If you have visited a garden which you loved and think should be included in our list then just send us an email naming the garden and we will include it in our list.

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