The joy of being on holiday is that one can go on outings! So last Thursday my daughter and I and the two kids went to Trevarno Gardens at Crowntown which is just outside Helston on the way to Praze an Beeble. It was easy to find and the entrance fee wasn’t extortionate. It is one of the great gardens of Cornwall and has been closely connected to the mining industry in the past. The grounds date back to 1246 and are extensive. There are major restoration works going on so it will be worth going back in a year or two to see the changes. One of the projects is the opening of the small railway station on the Helston branch line. It was one of the first to be closed by Beeching in 1962 but now a group of enthusiasts are planning to open it again as a steam railway.
We started in the courtyard where there is a lovely conservatory restaurant(just out of sight in the photo!); the soap and organic skincare workshops; a display of cosmetics from the past; and most importantly the loos! The house is old and probably Georgian but isn’t open to the public except for additional tea rooms and a gift shop. It’s frontage is impressive and looks out over a lovely lawn leading down to the Italian garden complete with fountain. A lovely restful garden with seats so that one could sit and contemplate. Everywhere one went there were peacocks and if they weren’t in sight then one could hear them! Then we followed the trail down to the lake. The printed guides were excellent and we had no trouble in following the paths to end up where we wanted to be.
The lake for me was the most spectacular part of the visit. A Victorian boathouse added to the ambience as did a black necked swan who amused the children by catching and eating several fish! At the further end of the lake was a small weir and a delightful grotto again with fountain but it wasn’t working. So many beautiful trees and such a great variety. This was a woodland walk with so much to see.
After the lake the children wanted to go to the kids adventure playground. On our way there we passed through the walled garden which was of great interest to me because it had raised beds, lots of vegetables and many espaliered apples. This is one of the projects for restoration as the Victorian greenhouse against one wall was almost defunct. It was a mixture of decrepitude and growth. The plants were growing beautifully but the surroundings were in need of care and attention. There was even an old Victorian potting shed in one corner which needed it’s roof mending!
We wandered back to the courtyard and had tea on the lawn. My grandson managed to chase a peacock up into a tree. At four he finds it hard to be still and wanted to get up close but the birds were having none of it!
Then we had a great time looking round the National Museum of Gardening which is one of Trevarno’s claims to fame. This was brilliant. Probably my favourite after the lake. There was so much to see here and all so fascinating. Some of the tools looked as if they’d be a pain to use. Made me appreciate my modern ones. However some of the cloches made me yearn for some! The shapes were great!
The children then had a look at the toy museum which my daughter said wasn’t as interesting as the gardening tools but the kids liked it!
I had to buy a plant! So I bought a passion flower. The variety was Debby which means nothing to me but it has lovely flowers. Now I’ve got it home I don’t know where to put it!
All in all it was a good day out and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can recommend a visit as there is so much to see but it isn’t in the grand tradition of gardens such as Trebah and Glendurgan but then it hasn’t been going so long commercially. (Of course I could be prejudiced because there was no sea only a lake!) It was good! This is a garden that is probably at it’s best in the Spring when the Rhododendrons, Azalias, bluebells and other spring flowers are out.