Cornwall is well known for its spectacular gardens. They’re well worth a visit at any time of year, but spring is when they truly come into their own.
Thanks to the county’s milder climate, plants that struggle elsewhere in the country flourish here. Most of the gardens are at their best in April, May and early June, with spectacular shows of colour. Relax, and linger in the sunshine, drinking in the sight and the scent of some of the best floral displays in the country.
While the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are world famous, there are several other glorious gardens in Cornwall worth making the trip to see.
Caerhays (near St Mawes) is something truly special. The jewel in the crown of this garden is the huge collection of magnolias, some over 150 years old. This year, they’ve also got rare yellow magnolias on show. Caerhays opens its doors to visitors from 13 February. With 120 acres of woodland gardens, there’s plenty of space to roam and enjoy the displays of Chinese rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias, azaleas and acers. There’s also a lovely beach which is perfect for a picnic on a warm, sunny day.
Trewithen Gardens (Grampound, near Truro) is an historic private estate with a magnificent collection of camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias. Still a family home, the gardens are open from March-September.
Pinetum Park and Pine Lodge Gardens (St Austell) is a plantsman’s dream, with over 6,000 labeled plants. It’s a unique environment, lovingly created by Ray and Shirley Clemo, who travelled the world collecting seeds and plants to establish it. Open all year round.
For more suggestions, take a look at Great Gardens of Cornwall website.
Many gardens also allow dogs on leads – you can find details of this and current opening days/times on each garden’s website.