Cornish Gardens that you might not have heard of….
I am sure you are aware that Cornwall has some great gardens, from the world famous Eden Project to the glorious spring gardens like Trebah and Heligan. But there are also plenty of smaller gardens that often get overlooked as we head, understandably, to the big names.
So here’s a walk through the lawns and raised beds of some of the lesser known jewels in Cornwall’s horticultural glories.
Bosahan Gardens: Atmospheric valley garden of mature Dicksonia tree ferns, palms, magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons etc. Situated on the south side of the Helford River with exceptional views towards the sea, one of the highlights are the mature Maidenhair trees which have made a lush canopy under which to explore the 'sub-tropical' environment.
The Japanese Garden: Set in approximately 1 acre, the Japanese Garden at St Mawgan is a perfect example of what is small is beautiful. Diminutive it may be in size, but its paths lead around a myriad of divine features, including the Water Gardens, Stroll Garden and a Zen Garden, created in accordance with the philosophy of the East.
Marsh Villa Garden: The mention of a 'marsh' doesn't do this garden near Par justice. Discover the glades and wildlife of these wild gardens and your sights and senses will be dazzled throughout your exploration. Despite being small, don't under-estimate the horticultural diversity on offer and make sure you take time to wander through the woodland areas and marshland trails of this enchanting site.
Tremenheere: Promoted as a sculpture garden, this sub-tropical hillside overlooking St Michael’s Mount, has plenty to offer those interested in both art and flora. An ever changing display of sculptures are hidden amongst some superb planting and traditional woodland. If you can take your eyes away from what’s on display, there are also fantastic views out into Mount’s Bay, and a very nice café.
Enys Gardens: Hidden away on the outskirts of Penryn, these gardens open in the springtime to take full advantage of the sea of bluebells that fill the meadow known as Parc Lye. But there’s so much more to the gardens, from the ponds and the thatched summerhouse to the New Zealand garden and the weird shapes of the Stumpery. Enys House is also open to the public on certain days.
Hidden Valley: This intimate three-acre award-winning garden is nestled in a secluded valley near Fowey. The garden has many themes including a Mediterranean area, colourful herbaceous and cottage garden beds, an iris garden and a 'hot' border full of sizzling red and orange dahlias and sunflowers. And as if the psychedelic horticultural offerings weren't enough, there is also pond wildlife and dancing butterflies adding to the mêlée of colourful sights.
Pinetum Gardens: Just down the road from the Eden Project, Pinetum has been created over the last four decades with over 6000 plants from around the globe, and unlike the ‘Spring gardens’ there is colour and interest here throughout the year. There’s even a winter garden, full of surprises in the darkest of days. As it’s name suggests there’s plenty of conifers, around 80 at the last count, plus a Japanese Garden and a water garden.
So, as you plan your holidays this year, try to pencil in a visit to one of the lesser known gardens, you won’t be disappointed.