Glendurgan Maze - Mandy Feldon Photography

Exploring the Enchanting Gardens of Cornwall

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Exploring the Enchanting Gardens of Cornwall

Posted: May 23, 2024


Among its many treasures, Cornwall’s gardens stand out as havens that offer visitors a feast for the senses. Whether you’re a passionate botanist, a casual nature lover, or someone seeking tranquility, the gardens of Cornwall are worth a visit.

Our favourite gardens, local to Porthleven, are just a half hour drive away. But, you can also venture further a field to enjoy the wonders of The Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Trebah Garden: A Subtropical Paradise

For those seeking a subtropical escape, Trebah Garden, located near Falmouth, is a must-visit. This 26-acre garden descends through a steep ravine to a secluded beach on the Helford River. The garden’s unique microclimate allows a variety of exotic plants to thrive, including giant gunneras, bamboo groves, and tree ferns.

Trebah’s winding paths lead visitors through vibrant displays of hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and camellias, particularly spectacular in the spring and summer months. The garden’s rich history, dating back to the 19th century, is interwoven with its natural beauty, creating a tranquil and enchanting atmosphere.

Trebah Gardens

Trelissick Garden: Panoramic Views and Woodland Walks

Perched on a peninsula with panoramic views over the Fal Estuary, Trelissick Garden is a National Trust property that combines formal gardens with expansive parkland and woodland walks. The garden’s position offers stunning vistas, and its diverse plant collection includes many rare and unusual species.

Visitors can explore the Cornish orchard, the fern-filled dell, and the dramatic borders filled with seasonal flowers. Trelissick also boasts a historic house and art gallery, adding a cultural dimension to your visit. The estate’s extensive network of trails and footpaths provides plenty of opportunities for leisurely strolls.

Trelissick Gardens

Tremenhere Sculpture Garden – Creative paradise

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens near Penzance offers visitors a harmonious blend of art, nature, and stunning landscapes. Nestled in a lush valley, the gardens are dotted with an array of contemporary sculptures, each thoughtfully placed to complement the natural surroundings. As you meander through the winding paths, you encounter breathtaking vistas of Mount’s Bay and St. Michael’s Mount, adding a dramatic backdrop to the artistic installations. The gardens also feature a variety of exotic and subtropical plants, thriving in the mild Cornish climate, creating a serene atmosphere. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens offers a unique and enriching experience that lingers in your memory long after the visit.

Glendurgan Garden: A Family-Friendly Wonderland

Managed by the National Trust, Glendurgan Garden near Falmouth is a blend of formal gardens, subtropical valleys, and a large, intricate maze. The garden’s steep slopes lead down to the tranquil Helford River, offering picturesque views along the way.

Glendurgan is particularly popular with families, thanks to its child-friendly features like the maze, which dates back to 1833, and the Giant’s Stride swing. The garden’s pathways wind through exotic plants, including magnolias, tree ferns, and bananas, creating a playful and adventurous atmosphere.

Glendurgan Maze - Mandy Feldon Photography

St Michaels Mount Garden Terrace

Below St Micheals Castle is a network of steep, sloping terraces built in 1878 for Sir John St Aubyn. These beautifully curated gardens provide and incredible display of Aloes, Argave, Lavendar and sub-tropical plants to enthral any enthusiast. The beauty of this place overlooking the sea with views over Mounts Bay make it the perfect place to wander for hours.

The delicate nature of the terraces means they are only open from May to September from 9.45am to 3.45pm, Monday to Friday so plan your trip carefully. St Michael’s Mount is a National Trust property accessible on foot via the causeway at low tide and by boat at high tide.

st michaels mount

The Eden Project: A Global Garden Wonder

No visit to Cornwall would be complete without exploring the iconic Eden Project. Known as the world’s largest indoor rainforest, the Eden Project is an ambitious and stunning botanical garden set in a reclaimed china clay pit near St Austell. Its distinctive biomes house plants from diverse climates and ecosystems, from the steamy tropics to the arid deserts. The Rainforest Biome, with its towering trees and lush undergrowth, immerses visitors in a vibrant jungle environment, while the Mediterranean Biome offers a serene stroll through groves of olive trees and fragrant herbs.

The Eden Project is not just a garden but a hub for environmental education and sustainability. It hosts various exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it an ever-evolving destination that inspires visitors to consider their relationship with the natural world.

eden project cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan: Rediscovered Beauty

Stepping into the Lost Gardens of Heligan is like taking a journey back in time. Located near Mevagissey, these gardens were once the pride of the Tremayne family estate before falling into neglect during World War I. Rediscovered in the 1990s, the gardens have been meticulously restored to their former glory.

Heligan’s 200 acres are divided into distinct areas, each offering unique experiences. The Pleasure Grounds feature traditional Victorian and Edwardian garden designs, while the Jungle area boasts an exotic collection of subtropical plants. Don’t miss the Giant’s Head and Mud Maid sculptures, which add a touch of whimsy to the landscape. Heligan is a testament to the resilience of nature and human ingenuity in garden restoration.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

So, next time you find yourself in Cornwall, take the time to wander through its gardens. You’ll discover not just plants, but stories of discovery, restoration, and the enduring human spirit that keeps these green spaces flourishing.

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