Cornwall - Garden Capital of the World

Cornwall has been described as the garden capital of the world but, as an exhibition at the Cornwall Spring Flower Show in 2016 demonstrated, the county owes its wonderful springtime splendour not to native species - but rather to a small band of intrepid plant hunters who brought back seeds.

 

The fabulous range of Camellias, Magnolias, Rhododendrons and Daffodils that brighten up our gardens and our lives from February onwards would not be here were it not for the likes of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, George Forrest, Ernest Henry Wilson and Captain Richard Rawes who braved untold dangers and adventures to bring them back to Britain. 

 

Sponsored by a number of wealthy estate owners including JC Williams of Caerhays Castle and George Johnstone of Trewithen House, their incredible exploits helped to transform a country that had the smallest natural flora in the world to one that can now boast the widest range of any nation on earth.  Given that 70% more plants grow in Cornwall than in the rest of Britain put together, it is hardly surprising that an event like Cornwall Spring Flower Show provides the ultimate testament to all that the plant hunters achieved.

 

“I suspect most of us take the extraordinary shrubs and plants in our gardens for granted but the truth is we wouldn’t have them if the plant hunters hadn’t travelled so widely,” said Pat Ward, who  putt the exhibition together for the show.  “We’re staging the display in its own marquee with lots of beautiful photos and samples of flowers.  Hopefully, visitors will enjoy it and learn a lot more about Cornwall’s horticulture in the process. I’m also doing a ‘six easy steps to competing’ guide as well.”

 

 

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Photo:  Camellias and magnolias aren’t native to Cornwall but were introduced by plant hunters

 

 

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Upcoming Events

  • Self-drive garden visits

    Prideaux Place, Padstow PL28 8RP  - Our President, Elisabeth Prideaux-Brune and her husband, Peter are offering us a special opportunity to visit their magnificent Elizabethan mansion that has been home to 14 generations of the Prideaux-Brune family. Having survived the Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian eras, the gardens became a wilderness after the Second World War so an on-going restoration programme aims to return them to their former glory. With one of the oldest deer parks in the country and stunning views across the Camel Estuary, this is your chance to see an 80-tree lime avenue, remodelled formal Victorian garden, hornbeam (Carpinus betulas) allée and Acer glade.

    Wellgarth Plants, Bodmin (Sorry no postcode for this field) - Cassie Corby runs Wellgarth Plants, a specialist daylily (Hemerocallis) nursery that stocks hundreds of unusual varieties of these long-flowering perennials. Few can be purchased elsewhere in the UK and today’s modern hybrids combine more exquisite colour choices. Cassie will tell us how easy it is to grow and propagate these low maintenance hardy plants, which will be available to buy on the day.

    The booking form will be included in our June 2017 mailing.   

  • Self-drive garden visits

    Crugsillick​ Manor, Ruan High Lanes, Truro TR2 5LJ  - This is a wonderful late summer treat. Crugsillick is a lovely old house in an inspirational setting. The garden has been re-landscaped with a large pond and exotic flowering trees and shrubs on several levels. It has wonderful views, a kitchen garden, yew hedges and paths which define the oval lawns and broad mixed borders.

    Rosteague, Portscatho, Truro TR2 5EF -  This is a fantastic opportunity to visit Rosteague, an ancient manor house in a magical setting, with its lawns, flowerbeds and farmland rolling down to the sea. The 17th century French garden is its crowning glory with four large geometrical parterres of intricate box (Buxus sempervirens) hedging and topiary, sheltered by stone walls, which make it an interesting place to explore.

    The booking form will be included in our June 2017 mailing.