Sunday, 9 August 2009

Trevarno Gardens,nr Helston, Cornwall

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 DSCF2110 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!); DSCF2107 the soap and organic skincare workshops; a display of cosmetics from the past; DSCF2097 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 downDSCF2114 to the Italian garden complete with fountain. DSCF2115 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! DSCF2207 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.DSCF2149 DSCF2148 DSCF2158A Victorian boathouse added to the ambience as did a black necked swan who amused the children by catching  and eating several fish! DSCF2157 At the further end of the lake was a small weirDSCF2160 DSCF2161 and a  delightful grotto again with fountain but it wasn’t working. DSCF2166 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,DSCF2184 lots of vegetables andDSCF2180 many espaliered apples. DSCF2183 This is one of the projects for restoration as the Victorian greenhouse againstDSCF2175 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! DSCF2174

The adventure playground was just that. The kids loved it and it obviously DSCF2199 solved the problem of what to do with bored and tired children!

We wandered back to the courtyard and had tea on the lawn. My grandson managed to chase a peacock up into a tree. DSCF0149  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!

more gardens and kids

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.

DSCF0153 Many different types of palms.


DSCF2134 Lots of Gunnera.

DSCF2164 Interesting plants and very old trees.


DSCF2171 Fantastic variations of the colour green!


  1. Oh, how lovely Val! You and your daughter, and grandchildren certainly had a great day. It's a beautiful place to visit and your tour was lovely! I would have bought a plant, too...who could pass one up?! Your grandson sounds like a normal boy of his age...chasing peacocks is what they all want to do (or pigeons, seagulls, or whatever else they can find in a park or at the beach!!). The black-necked swan is lovely too...I've never seen one before.

  2. Valeri, thanks for sharing the beautiful garden with us. Like it very much.

  3. Hi Valeri, this is all very tantalizing. Makes me want to jump on the Aberdeen-Penzance sleeper and see Cornwall.

  4. I visited the garden last year. It is very beautiful and the peacocks added a little extra glamour - though we could have done without them trying to steal our food when we ate outside!

  5. Thank you all for your kind and interesting comments. With a week away from blogging I've got to get back into the routine! I have to say we didn't suffer with peacocks trying to steal our food but then perhaps a four year old boy was a good deterrent! :-) Val

  6. Thank you Valeri! I enjoyed looking at every single picture. Those with water are especially beautiful.

  7. Keep us posted about the steam train at Helston. Peacocks are fun but one night of them screaming was enough!

  8. great information sharing and its just superb.
    - St Austell

  9. Great post with lots of really good information!

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