Recently, I had the great good fortune to explore Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens with creator, Dr Neil Armstrong. The gardens are situated a mile or so back from the coastline between Penzance and Marazion, with glorious views of St Michael’s Mount and Mounts Bay surprising you as you wander amongst the sculptures and plants of every description. You have no idea what lies ahead when you first arrive. A narrow lane leads into a field with a car park, café, plant shop and gallery.
The land was once owned by the monks of St Michael’s Mount and then for 600 years belonged to a long line of the Tremenheere family. Seymour Tremenheere was the last of them and he planted many of the trees which form the backdrop to Dr Armstrong’s exotic introductions. He also made a carriage drive that led to his summer place on the hill above. His initials and date 1849 are carved on the bridge over the stream which courses down the valley.
Dr Armstrong gently explained his rationale for buying and creating this lovely garden – a passion for plants and sculpture. Plants from far off corners of the world thrive here, the Fynbos of South Africa, Australian sub tropical species, ferns of every description, alongside native Cornish woodland – mostly plants being chosen for their structure, which complements the sculpture.
The sculpture installations have been created by famous artists from all over the world such as James Turrell, David Nash and Kishio Suga, a testament to the plantings themselves which provide the backdrop for displaying the art so well.\
I loved the beautiful vistas of the Mount which burst into view as you emerged from dark, shadowy paths into sparkling light at various points of the garden and the huge variety of sizes, shapes and colours of leaves.
This is a garden you want to wander through and spend quiet time in, just contemplating the clever planting and dramatic landscape. There is plenty of seating and the joyful gurgling of a bubbling stream to mask any background noise. Peace, perfect peace.
It was a pleasure to meet a remarkable man with a lovely sense of humour who has crafted a wonderful space to indulge his passions whilst allowing the rest of us to share some of the magic he has created.
Due to the nature of the landscape Tremenheere is not suitable for people with wheelchairs or babies in prams. The café is fully accessible.
Thanks to Cornwall 365 for inviting me to this event.
For more information visit http://www.tremenheere.co.uk/
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