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Tresco Abbey Garden

A Perennial Kew Without the Glass

Trewithen

Explore and be inspired...

Tregrehan Garden

A rich collection of exotic plants collected by enthusiasts from the early 19th century.

Bonython Estate Gardens

One of The Great Gardens of Cornwall

Tregothnan

The home of English tea

The National Trust

Forever for everyone

Trewidden

A maze of informal paths leads you around this peaceful Cornish garden

Tremenheere

Inspirational... contemplative... a joy to visit...

Lamorran Garden

A Garden Window onto the Sea

Eden Project

The Living Theatre of Plants and People

Caerhays Castle Gardens

History and Beauty in a unique location

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

200 acres of garden history, mystery and romance

Trebah Garden

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Spring arrives first in Cornwall!

Cornwall’s Spring Story 2016

In 2015, the first flowering Magnolia campbellii was recorded on 12th January, more than a full month before the official start of spring in England on the 3rd March. With such a mild winter so far, when will spring arrive this year? We will be monitoring six Champion Magnolia campbellii trees to see exactly when they bloom. When all seven trees have at least 50 blooms spring will have arrived in Cornwall.

The Great Gardens of Cornwall would like to thank The Nare Hotel and Toby Ashworth, whose idea and inspiration this was, for the support, dedication and enthusiasm so readily given since the start of this initiative. Toby harboured a strong belief that his hotel guests were missing out on the true magnificence of a Cornish spring by visiting in May, when the most splendid sight of all – the flowering of the magnolias – occurred in February and March each year. And so the idea was born; let’s get the message out there – spring comes earlier to Cornwall, and we can prove it!

Follow Cornwall’s Spring Story on Twitter @Gr8gardens

 

The contenders!

Below you’ll find details of each of the seven Magnolia campbellii champion trees we are monitoring together with profiles of the head gardeners who look after them.

BLOOMOMETER
50
Caerhays Castle Gardens

Caerhays is an informal woodland garden overlooking the sea, extending to over 120 acres. The origins of the garden can be traced back to the work of the Chinese plant hunters at the turn of the Century and many of their new plant introductions can still be seen in maturity in the garden today. Caerhays hosts the Plant Heritage National collection of Magnolias with over 500 different varieties on show.

KEY FACTS on the magnolia campbellii
30

Current height in metres

105

Diameter in centimetres

1910

Date planted

BLOOMOMETER
50

GARDENER PROFILE

Jaimie is only the fourth head gardener at Caerhays since 1896. Although Jaimie’s family had been associated with the Caerhays Estate for many years, Jaimie only started work here in 1994. He trained at Cannington College, Bridgwater and became Head Gardener in 1996. Jaimie has instigated the greatest expansion of the gardens since the first decades of the 20th century and has also catalogued and progressed the establishment of the Plant Heritage National Collection of Magnolias at Caerhays.

Head Gardener - Jaimie Parsons
LATEST TWEET
BLOOMOMETER
50
The Lost Gardens of Heligan

With more than two centuries of horticultural history, Heligan’s enchanting gardens and estate offer over 200 acres for your discovery. Home to a National Collection of ‘Rhododendrons & Camellias’, the UK’S largest rhododendron and the largest collection of Tree Ferns, The Lost Gardens is brimming with plantings to inspire and amaze.

KEY FACTS on the magnolia campbellii
18

Current height in metres

157

Diameter in centimetres

1860

Date planted

BLOOMOMETER
50

GARDENER PROFILE

Iain Davies spent much of his career in private gardens before taking up his position as Head of Gardens and Estate at Heligan in November 2014. He has already made a monumental impact at Heligan, transforming and enhancing many key areas throughout the Estate. Iain believes that a public garden should be a showcase so he continues to demonstrate as many gardening techniques as possible, even within period-correct areas such as the Productive Gardens.

Head Gardener - Iain Davies
LATEST TWEET
BLOOMOMETER
50
Trebah Garden

Trebah is a sub-tropical paradise with a stunning coastal backdrop. The result of 175 years of inspired and dedicated creation. This beautiful valley garden, bursts with exotic blooms and vibrant tunnels of colour which cascade down to a secluded beach on the Helford River.

KEY FACTS on the magnolia campbellii
24

Current height in metres

131

Diameter in centimetres

1870

Date planted

BLOOMOMETER
50

GARDENER PROFILE

Darren studied at Duchy College Rosewarne, followed by a training period with the National Trust at Glendurgan before joining the team at Trebah in 1991. Darren then had a sabbatical at Kew Garden before becoming Head Gardener in 2002.

Head Gardener - Darren Dickey
LATEST TWEET
BLOOMOMETER
50
Tregothnan

Tregothnan is an official 'safe site' for the keeping of rare or endangered trees from all over the world. The garden holds some 'Red Book' endangered plants and trees which are larger than any remaining in the wild.

KEY FACTS on the magnolia campbellii
21

Current height in metres

410

Diameter in centimetres

1937

Date planted

BLOOMOMETER
50

GARDENER PROFILE

Neil was born in Essex and has lived in Cornwall for 11 years. He worked for a couple of years at Compton Castle in Somerset before becoming Assistant Head Gardener at Tregothnan in 2005 and then Head Gardener in 2007. He works closely with Garden Director Jonathon Jones on implementing the many new and exciting projects, including the first British-grown tea, as well as the maintenance of the 100 acres of private botanical collection.

Head Gardener - Neil Bennett
LATEST TWEET
BLOOMOMETER
50
Trewidden

Planted in the 1840’s by Edward Bolitho, Trewidden Garden has a rich horticultural and industrial past. It has a truly remarkable stand of tree ferns, set within ancient tin workings, said to be the finest in the Northern Hemisphere. It also has Champion Magnolias and an extensive collection of Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas within a mature woodland setting.

KEY FACTS on the magnolia campbellii
13

Current height in metres

47

Diameter in centimetres

1976

Date planted

BLOOMOMETER
50

GARDENER PROFILE

Trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richard has had a wide experience of gardening in Cornwall, from private gardens taking in the fringes of Bodmin Moor to a coombe garden in west Penwith. With a keen interest in the Magnoliaceae Richard has been the Head Gardener at Trewidden for the last 5 years.

Head Gardener - Richard Morton
LATEST TWEET
BLOOMOMETER
50
Trewithen

Trewithen is historic private Estate boasting one of the loveliest gardens in England. With its magnificent collection of camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias, its wonderful woodland walks and its heritage family home, Trewithen is a rare and unique Cornish gem.

KEY FACTS on the magnolia campbellii
17

Current height in metres

115

Diameter in centimetres

1928

Date planted

BLOOMOMETER
50

GARDENER PROFILE

Gary Long became Head Gardener at Trewithen in January 2004 and is only the third person to take on the role in over 100 years. Gary's interest in gardening began at school during a period of work experience with John Bassett Landscaping. In March 2007 Gary travelled to China on a study tour to look at Camellia in their native environment and to see the International camellia species garden in jinhua. In 2012 he travelled throughout Yunnan province of China with the International Camellia Society.

Head Gardener - Gary Long
LATEST TWEET

It is a beautiful quiet setting with a stunning walled garden area. I am looking forward to going back for a longer walk around.

Bonython Estate Gardens Bonython Estate Gardens

Caerhays Castle is the most picturesque castle I have ever been to.

Caerhays Castle Gardens Caerhays Castle Gardens