Perched at the head of the Fal Estuary, Trelissick Gardens boasts jaw-dropping views and a huge array of plant species. An inspirational garden with varied woodland planting, mixed borders with bright summer and autumn flowers together with exotic perennials. At its heart, the 40-acre garden itself is a year-round display of colourful blooms, noted for its camellias, rhododendrons and a collection of photinia (red robin) and azaleas. It is also one of the best gardens for walkers. Extensive trails meander through the woodland, traverse the parkland and follow the riverside.
We have been visiting this garden over the past three years, always in the spring-time when the azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias are in flower. Apart from the vast parkland which we have yet to explore I think we may have covered all the areas of the splendid garden. Come walk with me and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of this delightful Cornish garden.
After passing the entrance to the house and the orangery the path meanders through a metal curved pergola leading to a rustic Victorian summer house which overlooks a former tennis court with magnificent views of the Carrick Roads. Just make sure you take the time to admire the colourful rhododendrons and azaleas along these paths. And note the intricately designed dry stone walls and cobbled paving stones.
Let’s continue to the Cornish Cross, legend has it that from here the local priest would preach to the fishermen in their boats below, and the Gazebo at the bottom end of the garden, overlooking the river, though it is difficult to see through all the trees. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of the chain-driven King Harry ferry, a small car and passenger ferry that takes you across an historic crossing to and from the Roseland peninsula to Truro, Cornwall’s only city, and Falmouth.
From the gazebo make your way down the stairs to the lower path that will take you across the garden bridge to the other side of the road where you will find the best of the camellias.
There is also an orchard and magnolia specimen trees along with a delightful summer-house with stained-glass windows. Back over the wisteria-covered bridge we will make our way back up through the large open lawn with the enormous Cornish Red rhododendron and from there to the exit. There are lots of lovely trees, shrubs and flowers to admire in these borders too, and at the end, next to the sensory garden you will find the most magnificent wisteria. Sadly it is always in bud when we visit in April, but I did manage to catch a little bit in flower over the shop doorway this year. Take a wander around the plant centre or the second-hand bookshop before taking a cream tea at the Crofter’s Café.
Finally I will leave you with a view over the parkland. The dog-friendly Roundwood Quay walk begins opposite the car-park by crossing over a cattle-grid into the parkland dotted with oak trees and views of the glistening waters of the River Fal and Carrick Roads, but there are many longer trails if you have the time including one south to the beach.