Cornwall

Trewidden Garden, Penzance

Best known for its world-class collection of magnolias and rhododendrons, Trewidden Garden in West Cornwall is also home to over 300 camellias. Originally planted in the 19th century, the 15-acre garden is a veritable paradise that begs to be explored, framed by immaculate borders and tamed wilderness and featuring one of the largest tree fern dells in Europe.

Once the site of an ancient tin mine dating back to Roman times, Trewidden garden was purchased by Edward Bolitho around 1830. Evolving over the second half of the 19th century, the site was planted with trees as well as exciting exotic plants brought over from Asia and the Southern Hemisphere.

Working alongside his ingenious head gardener, George Maddern, Edward breathed the first signs of life into this once forgotten patch, beginning the transformation that led to Trewidden becoming what it is today. Lovingly maintained and developed over the generations that followed, the garden has had personality injected at every turn and boasts an unusual angular design, dissected by a maze of paths.

Open during spring, summer and the beginning of autumn, the garden remains a visual cacophony. Paths weave you past ethereal and wizened looking champion trees and healthy, burgeoning shrubs, some of which are over 100 years old. Among the many species of plants, including some rarely seen in the UK, the garden is widely recognised for its magnolias (heralding the start of spring in Cornwall), rhododendrons and camellias.

Grown in Trewidden garden since 1850 and with three original specimens still surviving, this is a really special place to see camellias. So special in fact, that in March 2018 Trewidden Garden was awarded the status of ICS (International Camellia Society) International Camellia Garden of Excellence. Keep an eye out as you go and admire the bright yet delicate manes of these pink-petalled flowers.

As well as the flowers on show, you will also make your way past ponds teaming with life and see reminders of the site’s industrial mining heritage. Originally known as ‘Trewidden Bal’, evidence of the old opencast mine (one of the earliest in Cornwall) can still be seen today in the Tree Fern Dell and the Burrows, where spoil that had been dug from the mine was deposited.

With legs thoroughly stretched and children entertained along the Trewidden Trail, the final port of call in the garden is the onsite café. Serving homemade lunches and freshly baked scones to tuck into with dollops of jam and cream, you can look forward to delightfully fresh, tasty food made up of locally sourced goods.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in West Cornwall here.

Trewidden Garden, Buryas Bridge, Penzance TR20 8TT | 01736 364275 or 363021 | trewiddengarden.co.uk

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