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.

Important things first – LUNCH!

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


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.




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.

Gunnera glow 2

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.




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.


26 Comments Add yours

  1. nowathome says:

    What a gorgeous garden!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Typically Cornish Aletta – full of sub-tropical plants, tree-ferns and rhododendrons!

  2. restlessjo says:

    I find myself exceedingly jealous of Alice Hext, Jude! Your photos are wonderful 🙂 I love that offset of the steps, and the Aeonium is a beauty (I like the Schwarz variety too). And that little flower bud shot is exquisite! In fact, the whole thing is a work of art. Thank you so much for sharing this. When you finally find that Cornwall house, I’ll be right there!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Working on these posts make me realise how much I love Cornwall. I was thinking of maybe just settling for a house around here – well, it is lovely countryside – but then I look at the coastal photos and think, no, I want to be near the sea.

      1. restlessjo says:

        Hartlepool’s cheap! 🙂 🙂

  3. debandtoby says:

    really enjoyed this. thanks for sharing.

    1. debandtoby says:

      I hope you will enjoy my blog, as much as i enjoy yours.

    2. Heyjude says:

      Thanks – I am glad that you enjoyed the garden 🙂

  4. Trebah, Helford River, Cornwall! Got to go back!!! Beautiful photo tour Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Carol. I recommend lunch at the Ferryboat 🙂

  5. I love the way the coming of spring is announced! Your photos are magnificent – the two tilted ones draw attention to patterns rather than objects. You obviously love gardens, and your skill with the camera pays wonderful homage to this spectacular one – both vistas and specific plants.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Meg, your comment is lovely! I do love gardens and I’m glad you can see that in my photography. Thanks again 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    I’m in awe with this beautiful garden, Jude! Really like all the photos. 🙂
    Thank you for taking us there!

    1. Heyjude says:

      You are very welcome Amy. More garden walks to come, once I get myself sorted out! I seem to have lost my rhythm for blogging at the moment – all this lovely sunshine we are having 🙂

      1. Amy says:

        Btw, I sent you the link to your blog of the hotel that you were interested yesterday.

    2. Heyjude says:

      Oh, thank you. I shall hunt it down 🙂

  7. Colline says:

    So beautiful and lush! I would want to spend a lot of time there.

    1. Heyjude says:

      All the gardens in Cornwall are very lush – I guess because of the rain and warmth they get. I spend hours in gardens when I can get to one 🙂

  8. Sherri says:

    So lovely to see Cornwall in the spring. Last time we were there it was November, just before the storms…how lush and fresh everything looks now, what a difference! I didn’t know that about the 50 blooms in Cornwall, fascinating! Of course, your beautiful photos capture the surroundings so wonderfully. Are you still thinking of moving there? I hope so… 😉 xx

  9. Another beauty I missed the first time round. If only I’d seen it then I would have known to go and visit while we were staying in Falmouth.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, not far from Falmouth and one of the nicest gardens I think. I do have quite a lot that I haven’t visited yet though 🙂

  10. pommepal says:

    Another beauty and so well photographed I love how you caught the luminous light shining through the big gunnera leaves.

  11. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Lovely, especially that iris!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Must try and get in a visit before the end of the month to see the snowdrops, but today was horrid.

  12. I’ve never seen an avenue of tree ferns before! The ones I see are definitely more random.

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