Green Fingered Gods and Goddesses
Cornwall’s mild climate has enabled passionate gardeners both past and present, many of whom dedicated their lives to realise their dreams, to create some of the most spectacular gardens in England.
Most of the gardens in Cornwall are only open during the summer so be sure to check their website for seasonal opening times, entrance fees and whether there are discounts available for RHS, National Trust and other garden members.
Many of the gardens in Cornwall have really excellent nurseries, shops and cafes so make sure that you stop off for something to eat and to buy some plant specimens to take home with you.
There are too many to mention but the following gardens are a joy to visit at any time of the year:-
Close to Falmouth is the wonderful Trebah Gardens where you can walk through the gardens down to their private beach year round. They have a fabulous little beach cafe (summer season only) as well as a very good shop and restaurant that serve excellent locally sourced produce up to half an hour before they close.
There is also an amphitheatre within the garden where they host musical and theatre events in the summer.
The shop is a real treasure trove of goodies for gardeners and for finding original take home gifts for friends and loved ones. They have a wonderful nursery there too. A lovely day out. Be sure to have coffee and cake or lunch there when visiting. All homemade!
Your entrance ticket is valid for 7 days.
Trebah Garden Trust – Mawnan Smith – Falmouth – TR11 5JZ. Telephone: 01326 252200 Website: – www.trebahgarden.co.uk
Glendurgon Gardens, part of the National Trust, is a short walk from Trebah and is another magnificent garden to visit.
The tiny fishing village of Durgan is a short walk from the gardens and you can rejoin the park from the coastal path from either Mawnan Smith or Helford Passage directions for a really super walk after visiting the garden. Lovely shop and delightful café.
Glendurgan Gardens – Mawnan Smith – Falmouth – TR11 5JZ. Telephone: 01326 252020 Website: – www.nationaltrust.org.uk
A sight to behold in Spring are the Blue Bells flowering at Enys Gardens in Penryn.
The partially restored ruin of Enys House hosts gallery space for local artists and designer makers from time to time so there is often a lot of local interest there. There is a café at the house which has various opening times.
There is always a buzz around Falmouth in April and early May about when the bluebell flowers will be at their best. Some of the photographs and paintings that are available to buy from local artists are a wonderful souvenir to take home. The Bluebell season lasts a good month or more.
Enys Gardens – Penryn -TR10 9LB. Telephone: 01326 377621 Website: – www.enysgardens.org.uk
If you take the ferry from Falmouth to the National Trust Garden of Trelissick you will end your journey at possibly the most beautiful garden in Cornwall.
There are numerous walks both in the gardens and around the periphery. You can also take the bus or drive to Trelissick.
There are the most spectacular views from the house and grounds towards the sea river estuary of the Carrick Roads, Pendennis and st Mawes Castles can be spotted on the distant headlands. Quite breath-taking.
There is free parking and entry for National Trust members.
The Café is excellent with both alfresco and inside seating in the converted out buildings.
The National Trust Shop and nursery are very good value and have an excellent range of local produce and products. There is a superb art gallery and an extraordinary second hand book shop next to the café. A really splendid day out. They have events throughout the year but a favourite is Christmas when the house is decorated throughout. There are guided tours each day of the house and areas that cannot normally be accessed. Be sure to reserve your space when paying your entrance fee. Free entry to National Trust members.
Trelissik Gardens – King Harry – TR3 6QL. Telephone: 01872 862090 Website: – www.nationaltrust.org.uk
On the Roseland Peninsular tucked away on the south coast is a sight for sore eyes, the wondrous Caerhays Castle and Estate.
The castle was designed by renowned architect John Nash more than 200 years ago and is now owned by the Williams family. The castle sits in 140 acres of gardens and grounds most of which are open to the public.
The gardens reopen in February for a few months only when the Magnolia, Camellia and Rhododendrons are in bloom. There are over 600 varieties of Magnolia alone in the magnificent grounds and their blooms are world famous. It is open throughout the year but check opening times before setting out as its quite a long drive.
The castle is open to visitors and there is a gift shop and tea room there.
Whilst visiting the garden it is worth crossing the road to the beach. It is a delightful private beach and lovely for a walk or swim.
From Falmouth to visit Caerhays you will need a good morning or even a full day to make the most of the area and you will need to travel there by car. The drive is lovely and to save time you can take the King Harry Ferry, a chain link ferry which services the Peninsular that has been in existence for many hundreds of years.
Caerhays Estate also has a nursery based on the road to Redruth called Burncoose. They specialise in flowering herbaceous plants and if gardening is your passion, the nursery is well worth a visit to take home some specimen plants.
Caerhays Castle and Estate – Caerhays – Gorran – St Austell – Cornwall – PL26 6LY. Telephone: 01872 501310 Website:- www.caerhays.co.uk
The Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan are just over an hours drive from Falmouth.
These gardens are a must if you love gardening and have an interest in all things eco.
In one of its biomes The Eden Project houses the largest indoor tropical rain forest in the world.
There are daily and seasonal events on for all ages, like the ice skating rink that is set up in October for the winter season.
The Lost Gardens Of Heligan are breathtakingly beautiful and must be visited when you are holidaying in Cornwall. The garden, like The Eden Project, is open year round with terrific festivals and seasonal surprises in store.
Both places are packed with so many things to see and do so make sure you stop for a well deserved break and enjoy home grown home cooked fare at one of their excellent restaurants, cafes or take away outlets.
A lovely little bonus about these two incredible gardens is that you have free entry to the other once you have bought an entrance ticket to one. Your ticket also lasts for 12 months of limitless entry for the ticket holder*.
The Eden Project . Telephone: 01726 811911 Website: – www.edenproject.com
The Lost Gardens of Heligan – Penatwin – St Austell – PL26 6EN. Telephone: 01726 845100 Website: – www.heligan.com
There are a lot more gardens close to Falmouth, too many to mention, which are open to the public seasonally and year round.
Just a few minutes walk from Kinbrae House are three lovely park gardens. Gyllandune, Queen Mary and Fox Gardens. All are beautifully planted with sub- tropical and indigenous species that are maintained year round with stunningly designed seasonally planted flower beds which create an ever changing colour palette.
So if you are green fingered or just love the peace and quiet that walking in a beautiful landscape has to offer then this part of Cornwall is for you. There are many more gardens to visit in Cornwall and if you are a member of the National Trust take some time to pick the ones that you most want to visit and check opening times before setting out. There are some beautiful places to visit like St Michael’s Mount and Tremaneer Sculpture Park and Garden both near Penzance.
*Information correct at time of posting article.