Spring is the time of year to see the Gardens in Cornwall and Devon at their very best!
It is the season of snowdrops, verges burdening with spring colour, primroses and wild garlic, closely followed by wood anemones and bluebells. There are camellias azaleas and rhododendrons bringing colour to every corner.
This time of year will make your heart sing, Spring is one of the best times to visit the wealth of houses and gardens In Cornwall and Devon.
A Mother’s Day or Easter treat? And what better reason for a short break away! The air is fresh and clear, and there is so much to see.
Here are our suggestions for you, some well known, others less so of Spring Gardens In Cornwall and Devon .
Cotehele (near Saltash)
A wonderfully preserved Tudor House situated in the Tamar Valley.
- The formally planted terraces, the Upper Garden and orchards all offer great opportunities for enjoying the glorious spring colour.
- Explore miles of countryside walks too.
- You’ll see a wonderful collection of daffodils grown on the estate. There are displays of historic and new varieties.
- Plus guided tours of daffodils in the garden.
From Cotehele Quay, the Nancy Belle boat trips offer a splendid way to see the Tamar, (you will need to book in advance – they are usually oversubscribed).
- Visit the restored working watermill and agricultural workshops where flour is produced regularly and available for sale.
- There are collections of local craftsmen’s tools on display.
Lanhydrock House & Gardens (near Bodmin)
A magnificent late Victorian country house.
- Voted number 7 of the top 10 most photogenic locations in Cornwall.
- You’ll have the ultimate 19th-century ‘Upstairs/Downstairs’ experience.
- Extensive gardens and a wooded estate.
- One of the county’s most colourful spring shows, with over 120 species of cream and white magnolia featured amongst a flurry of wild blooms that carpet the woodland.
- This is prime garden for walkers. Not only are there 30 acres of formal and informal woodland to explore, but the garden opens onto an extensive network of footpaths zig-zagging through 900-acres of beautiful countryside.
We recommend the Bluebell walks in April.
- Interestingly, a lesser known fact – they have a successful dormouse breeding programme!
To read more about these two properties and their year-round interest get our Castles Houses and Gardens publication – its free!
Trelissick Gardens (near Truro)
Perched at the head of the Fal Estuary.
- With jaw-dropping views.
- It is a welcoming house and varied garden with incredible spring blooms, and mixed borders with bright summer and autumn flowers to follow.
- For something a little different you can catch the ferry from Truro or Falmouth to land at this waterside estate.
- The 40-acres are noted for their camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas.
Nestling in 375-acres of parkland and woodland, this is one of the finest gardens for walkers. With trails which meander through the woodland, parkland and follow the riverside. Open to the public since 2014.
- The views from the house are second to none and they regularly hosts exhibitions.
- The gallery displays local artwork and crafts, all of which can be purchased.
- There is a specialist plant shop
- The Crofters café offers a delicious range of light refreshments, hot lunches, afternoon cream teas.
- Parks and walks open all year every day.
The Garden House (near Tavistock)
Set on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon.
- Packed with plants and colours for all seasons, it is well worth visiting most of the year.
- The Wild Garden is in an informal setting with displays of wildflowers.
- The tower in the Walled Garden offers magnificent views of the landscape.
- It is one of the South West’s must visit gardens -with its national collection of snowdrops – my there’s a lot to interest here!
- Why not combine The Garden House with a day on Dartmoor.
Lost gardens of Heligan. (near St Austell)
Here you can step back in time.
- Lose yourself in Europe’s largest garden restoration; explore Victorian Productive Gardens along winding paths laid out over two centuries ago.
- This exuberant garden hosts a riot of luxuriant foliage, bamboo tunnels, and gigantic rhubarb and bananas, drawing the imagination on a journey far from our temperate shores.
- The tearoom provides a relaxed atmosphere for morning coffee, Cornish cream teas and hearty, home-cooked meals.
- The Heligan Shop offers quality items, many of which have been designed, made, written or grown by staff on-site, providing an exclusive memento of a visit to the Lost Gardens.
- Best UK Gardens 2019/20 – Garden News Magazine.
The Eden Project (near St Austell)
A dramatic global garden, with a worldwide reputation.
- Tropical biome nestles in a crater the size of 30 football pitches.
- It is dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World by some.
- This destination deserves a day of your undivided attention.
- A huge, tropical and temperate garden, it is also a unique resource for education and knowledge towards a sustainable future.
- You can experience the Rain-forest Biome – the world’s largest greenhouse then amble amongst the orange and lemon trees of the Mediterranean Biome.
- In the 30-acre Outdoor Garden see hemp, sunflowers and other plants that could change our future, flourishing under the Cornish sun.
- There are themed events, workshops for adults, music concerts.
- Check their own events calendar and food menus before a visit to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
- It’s worth noting that entry is free to all Mothers and Grandmothers on Mothering Sunday (22/3/20).
- Top tip: Discounted tickets if you plan to visit both Lost Gardens and Eden Project.
Some other reasons to visit the Eden Project:
- the cutting-edge architecture and buildings
- sculpture and art
- stunning garden displays all year
- fairly traded food in the
- restaurants and cafes,
- rain-forest canopy walkway that takes you above the treetops
The Japanese Garden and Bonsai Nursery (Near Newquay)
An oasis of eastern tranquillity.
- Nestled in the lush Vale of Lanherne.
- Set in just two acres, the Japanese Garden is a perfect example of small is beautiful.
Antony House (Near Torpoint)
A superb early 18th c mansion, parkland and fine gardens.
- The grounds, landscaped by Repton, sweep down towards the Lynher estuary.
Includes formal gardens with topiary, a knot garden, modern sculptures and the National Collection of Day-lilies.
- Still the home of the Carew Pole family after hundreds of years.
- This beautiful early 18th-century mansion contains fine collections of paintings, furniture and textiles.
- The Woodland Garden has outstanding rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias.
- The magic of Antony was recognised by Walt Disney when it was chosen as the set for the film Alice in Wonderland.
- In a fine landscape created in the 1790s, find an explosion of radiant blooms gushing from the enclosed summer garden, the knot garden and the summer borders.
Mount Edgcumbe (near Torpoint)
One of Cornwall’s finest country estates.
- House is open from March to September each year.
- Wide ranging parkland, formal gardens.
- Ever changing coastal views and a country house.
- The house and furniture have been restored to reflect the 18thc, the period when this nationally important historic garden was at its peak.
- Colourful 18thc gardens in the Italian, French and English styles.
- Newly established American plantation and New Zealand garden.
- Mount Edgcumbe is one of only three Grade I Listed gardens in Cornwall.
- The free area of the park includes the National Camellia Collection and most of the formal gardens.
Buckland Abbey (near Yelverton)
The Abbey is part museum, part house
- When you visit you follow in 700 years of footsteps; from the Cistercians who built the Abbey and farmed the estate, to seafarers Grenville and Drake who changed the shape of the house and the fate of the country.
- Filled with treasures such as the legendary Drake’s Drum.
- There’s no mistaking the magnificence of the Great Barn, which has remained virtually unchanged since it was built all those centuries ago.
- You’ll discover meadows, orchards and woodlands where you can enjoy far-reaching views of the Tavy Valley.
- The way-marked trails are a riot of colour through the seasons, with an unmissable carpet of bluebells in spring.
- At the cider house, herbaceous borders provide seasonal interest and a secret ‘wild’ garden is a wonderful place for quiet contemplation.
An one last recommendation – not a garden but an opportunity, not to be missed if you are planning a visit during March to the Spring Gardens In Cornwall and Devon!
The Cornwall Spring Flower Show (Wadebridge) held at the Royal Cornwall Showground.
- It is a showcase for the best in Cornish horticulture.
- Organised by Cornwall Garden Society.
- One of the earliest in the gardening calendar.
Camellias, daffodils, rhododendrons and ornamental shrubs and trees guaranteeing a brilliantly colourful spectacle of the highest quality.
- With over 100 trade stands, show gardens and gardening experts on hand there is plenty for visitors to see, do and buy.