Garden Portrait: Trebah in winter (or A Walk to Alice’s Seat)

As the weather hasn’t been too bad recently I took the opportunity in early February to drive the 30 miles or so to the Helford river and pay a visit to Trebah gardens. Many of the Cornish gardens (and this is classed as one of the greats) are famous for their spring planting so I was interested to see what they had to show during the winter months. The colour is not always in the form of a flower – this month highlights the various tones and hues of brown, green, grey.

Starting at the Lawn Path I made my way in an anti-clockwise direction above the wooded valley before going downhill to join the Davidia Walk which leads to the beach, passing meandering streams and peaceful pools; Dinky’s Puddle, Azolla Pool and Mallard Pond, as well as the Gunnera Passage which were just stumps today, and Hydrangea Valley, the colours of summer now a faded, dusty brown.

The Lawn Path

The Lawn Path

Sub-tropical succulents still provide colour and form above the Lawn Path.

And pops of colour stand out from among the greenery.

I must remember to return to this garden in late summer and capture the four acres of blue hydrangeas in flower.

Davidia Walk

Davidia Walk

Stopping briefly at the beach to take a photo or two of the Helford River down the eastern side of the Lizard peninsula, I returned along the Beach Path taking in the clumps of pure white snowdrops planted on the banks above me.


At Radiata Path I wandered uphill again seeking out the winter-flowering Hellebores and Hamamelis mollis (Witch Hazel) with its spidery ribbon-like flowers and spicy fragrance. The air was pervaded by the heady perfume of the Sarcococca confusa (Sweet or Christmas Box) close to Alice’s Seat, its tiny starry white flowers are almost unnoticeable among the dense green foliage, but boy can you smell it!


Alice’s Seat

Fox Path and Camellia Walk took me back to the entrance/exit passing by a few Camellias that are already flowering such as the rich red ‘Macdonald’s Seedling’ with its distinctive bright golden stamens.


The café was still open and serving so I popped inside for coffee and cake and to look through the photos on my camera, before heading back home.

Take a look here if you want to see the garden in spring.


48 thoughts on “Garden Portrait: Trebah in winter (or A Walk to Alice’s Seat)

  1. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Ponte Vecchio | restlessjo

  2. Wonderful to see a familiar and much loved garden ‘out of season’. And all the better without the crowds I would think. I remember we stood for over half an hour trying to get the bridge shot without anyone on it!

  3. Meg’s right! There’s such an air of contentment when you wander gardens. 🙂 The Davidia walk photo with the hydrangea heads and beach is probably my favourite, with the beach about to open up before me. 🙂 But I love the bewitching Hazel and Carol the Camelia too. Ours is in the conservatory. I need to check 🙂 I couldn’t comment on individual shots, Jude. It jumps to the next when I press comment. Stuff and nonsense! 🙂 Love it though. You could take me here. Rhodie time, huh?

    • You like rhodies? I can do rhodies 😀
      And I know what you mean about the galleries and commenting. WP changed something a while ago and I have found that jumping happens too. I have written a comment and then pressed the comment button which shoots me down the page so I can press send. See if that works?

      • Ah-ha! Will try that 🙂 I was looking at Mick’s RHS handbook on our way to a job (his 🙂 ) this morning and Trebah was there with a very similar shot to yours but with the rhodies in bloom. Are you a member? Must be worth it in that part of the world. I picked out a few gardens you can take me to 🙂 And some over Gilly’s way.

  4. This is the kind of garden you would want to visit periodically in the various seasons. The Hydrangea Valley would be a.m.a.z.i.n.g!! I love hydrangeas and this would be a highlight!!
    I’m always a bit in awe of how deeply into spring you are already at this time of year!

  5. Pingback: Cornish favourites: Trebah Garden – Under a Cornish Sky

    • No. I think this was my last visit. Alex sort of messed up my summer. But this year is the year to visit gardens. Can’t wait to get started. Just too darn cold to hold a camera at the moment, if it is not raining that is!

  6. Walking through this kind of beauty is a walking meditation Jude. How far away from you is it? I do miss having such beautiful gardens to wander through. Thank you for the re-blog

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