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.”

 

 

Ends                                                                                                                                     

 

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

 

 

Member's Gardens

Our members have some truly beautiful and interesting gardens. Take a look to see some of the wonderful things growing.

 

Become a Member

You can take out CGS membership as an individual or as a family and there are lots of benefits.

  • Why not join our self-drive visit to @CoteheleNT and #MelynGy on 12th July? All the details are here https://t.co/R1YhPKFJDL

    0

Upcoming Events

  • Day trip by coach

    High Gardens Nurseries, Kenton, Exeter EX6 8N  - Developed in 2005, High Garden Nurseries is set in five acres of borders, the centrepiece being a 70-metre-long double herbaceous border – a showcase for the plants it grows for sale. Be prepared to be tempted by the range, quality and price.

    Bicton Park Botanical Gardens East Budleigh, Budleigh Salterton EX9 7BJ -  The magnificent Grade 2 listed Bicton Park Botanical Gardens in the picturesque Otter Valley provide the opportunity to explore themed gardens, view a flint shell house and lunch al fresco.

    The Lookout, Sowden Lane, Lympstone EX8 5HE -  The two-acre, wildlife-friendly garden at The Lookout offers a taste of heaven on the banks of the Exe Estuary. With 200 varieties of coastal-trialled species in naturalistic seaside planting, complemented by quirky driftwood sculptures and maritime objects, a Mediterranean courtyard, a fern copse and banks of ornamental grasses, this is a garden not to be missed. We will be able to purchase plants and refreshments here.

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

  • Self-drive garden visits

    National Trust Cotehele, St Dominick, Saltash PL12 6TA  - Cotehele’s Head Gardener, David Bouch will provide an insightful look into the planning, planting and growing of the thousands of flowers that make up the 60ft-long garland which adorns The Great Hall during the festive season. In July, the team will be at the mid-point of this 12-month process so here’s your chance to find out what goes on behind the scenes, take in the delights of this wonderful Cornish garden and purchase garland seeds.

    Melyn Gy, Halton Quay, St Dominick, Saltash PL12 6SL -  Melyn Gy’s owners, Jessop and Kay Price are kindly allowing us to view the quarter acre of steeply sloping garden that they created from scratch five years ago. With paths leading to mature woodland and plants sourced from specialist nurseries across the south west, including unusual Hydrangea, Cornus species and cultivars (including Cornus ‘Ormonde’ AGM), grasses and Euphorbia species and cultivars (including Euphorbia x pasteurii ’Roundway Titan’ AGM), this garden is designed to produce year-round colour and texture as well as vistas of the River Tamar.

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