A year in bloom: Cornwall’s must-visit gardens

    Whatever time of year, Cornwall’s glorious gardens are always worth a visit. Check out our month by month guide of what’s blooming and when.



    This is the month when the stately homes of Cornwall fling open their garden gates to visitors to show off fantastic displays of camellias and magnolias that bloom in pastel white and pink and vibrant red, purple and yellow. Visit Pencarrow House and Gardens in March and explore the 50-acre estate, offering everything from formal landscaping to ancient woodland. March marks the beginning of blooming season, making it the ideal opportunity to soak in the vibrant colours and delightful fragrances while welcoming in spring.



    There’s no month like April when swaths of Cornwall’s woodlands get carpeted with millions of bluebells. Alongside the breath-taking vivid blue flowers, giant rhododendrons also burst into flower. Venture to Enys Gardens, one of Cornwall’s oldest gardens, to see bluebells spring to life within their tranquil grounds.



    It’s the month for Cornwall’s magnificent, scented azaleas, a firm favourite here. Their blooms ranging from brilliant white to purple to red, add streaks of vibrant colour to the countryside. Trebah Garden’s Rhododendron Valley is the perfect location to admire Cornwall’s azaleas, amidst an array of gardens that transport you to a slice of paradise.



    A time for glorious roses, fragrantly blooming in Cornwall’s formal gardens and rambling over hedgerows. Beautiful wildflowers start to take over the countryside with many rare plants flourishing in the county’s unique landscape and climate. In the summer, exotic and sub-tropical plants burst into life, showcased at their finest in Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. For a thorough garden experience combine your visit to Tremenheere with a trip to the stunning gardens of St Michael’s Mount, located just a stone throw away.



    With the growing season in full swing, now is the time to sample Cornwall’s fresh produce. Pick your own fresh strawberries, tomatoes and herbs in gardens and farms open to the public. Discover an almost tropical landscape with swaying palm trees native of South America and New Zealand and giant Gunnera plants from Brazil with leaves up to 6 feet long. For the most impressive tropical plants, visit the Eden Project where climate-controlled biomes recreate the perfect conditions for a diverse range of exotic flora from around the globe.



    While red and white wild valerian covers hedgerows near the sea, garden flowers bloom in a myriad of dazzling clouds. Thousands of varieties of dahlias and wild fuchsias add splashes of bright yellow, purple, deep orange and magenta to the landscape. August is a beautiful time of year to visit Cornwall but also one of the busiest. Step away from the crowds while still immersing yourself in Cornwall’s botanical wonders at The Japanese Gardens



    After the long summer months, September is the time when the exotic plants Cornwall is famous for reach their peak. Lush, glossy green ginger lilies flower, beautiful Cape Silver trees sway in the breeze and succulent agave plants thrive on the south coast. Soak in the lingering summer sun at National Trust’s Lanhydrock where the expansive gardens continue to boast a vibrant array of colours.



    As autumn comes, the oriental acer trees turn rich shades of red, crimson, and brown. Welcome in autumn at Antony Woodland Garden where leaves carpet woodland floors, delicate Salvia flowers give a late burst of fiery red and deep purple colours.



    Cornwall keeps green with the permanent shiny leaves of thousands of camellias and magnolias while the silhouettes of monkey puzzle trees and chusan palms provide a very curious exotic backdrop. Plants like Mahonia Buckland, a large evergreen shrub with dazzling yellow flowers cheer up dull days. As November unfolds, escape to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and step into a realm where nature thrives year-round.



    As winter takes a grip, Christmas roses bloom and the yellow and white flowers of the hawthorn appear. Cornwall’s more tropical plants like the All Spice tree from Chile with its aromatic leaves and curious white flowers add unexpected interest. Explore Cornwall out of season when it feels like you almost have Cornwall all to yourself. Take advantage of mid-winter sunshine with tranquil woodland and countryside walks, such as those found at Trelissick Gardens.



    Snowdrops, although you’ll rarely see snow in Cornwall, appear in hedgerows and gardens all over the county, surely a sign that winter is on its way out and warmer weather is just around the corner. Wander through thousands of snowdrops at Pinetum Gardens and witness the delicate beauty of these winter bloomers before they gracefully depart, making room for vibrant spring bloom.



    It may still be the depths of winter for most but in Cornwall spring flowers are already pushing through the soil to greet the sunlight. Expect daffodils and crocuses to be popping up all over the place especially in the west where the gulf steam keeps it all pretty mild at this time of year. February marks the start of the countdown to Spring marked by the bloom of magnolia trees. Visit Cotehele to see magnolias in bloom and embrace the imminent arrival of spring.

    Head to our garden guide to find out more about where to see these beautiful blooms in Cornwall. With many open year-round, there's plenty of opportunity to visit during your favourite season, or plan more than one visit to see the gardens transform over time!

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