Garden Portrait: Trebah

Visiting Cornwall in springtime means that you must visit a garden or two. Cornwall gardens are magnificent in spring: Magnolias, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camelias and lots of other plants to see. Spring comes early to Cornwall. It is judged that when seven champion trees at Trebah, Trengwainton, Trewidden, Caerhays, Heligan, Tregothnan and Trewithen burst into flower with 50 blooms that spring has arrived in England. This year it was recorded on 3rd March 2014. 

We visited in April when the sun was shining and the garden was looking lovely. We’d been to view a couple of houses in the area, so decided to drive down to have a lovely fish lunch at The Ferryboat at Helford’s Passage on the Helford River and then visit Trebah Gardens which are close by. Frenchman’s Creek of Daphne du Maurier fame is near here, and you can still catch a little ferry boat over to Helford and walk there.

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Important things first – LUNCH!

Come walk with me through Trebah a sub-tropical garden in south Cornwall near Falmouth:

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Immediately through the entrance you find yourself in the tropics with succulents, aloes, agaves lining the pathway.

Steps lead down to the water garden where cascades and rills and a series of pools are bordered by candelabra primulas and water irises, cabbage skunk, arum lilies and ferns, criss-crossed by a meandering path.

With views over rhododendron valley and lovely tree ferns.

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Continuing through the garden along the Beach Path, you follow the stream and pass several pools and a bamboo maze, Bamboozle, where several different varieties and species can be found in one collection.

Gunnera – the large rhubarb plant – is starting to grow and there is a passage through the plants. At the moment the sun is in exactly the right position for the leaves to glow.

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Passing the azalea bank and the hydrangea valley, which contains two acres of Mop-head’ Hydrangea macrophylla in Oxford and Cambridge blues (due to the acidic soil at Trebah), we finally reach Mallard pond with a sweet little footbridge and the stairs to the beach. Why the rush to the beach? Because here is Healey’s Boathouse selling Roskilly ice-cream and we only had five minutes to spare!

One ice-cream later, we returned through the gardens taking the upper path, Laurelane, from which you can climb up to Martino for a view over the Helford River and have a rest at Alice’s Seat – a reconstruction of the cob-walled and thatched open-fronted summerhouse originally known as Alice’s Retreat which was built for Alice Hext who purchased Trebah with her husband Charles in 1907.

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Returning to the Lawn Path, we found a seat to sit and enjoy the sunshine and the views over the garden. I hope you have enjoyed visiting Trebah too.

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.

Published by Heyjude

I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

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