Make a Day of It
15th April – 13th September
Monday to Friday 10:00 – 16:30
Closed All Bank Holidays
No card transactions
About Bonython Estate Gardens
Discover a unique blend of tropical and traditional horticulture planted in stunning estate gardens on the Lizard Peninsula.
The manor house strikes a dramatic sea-facing pose, its grand façade dating back to the 1780s. Since new South African owners took over in 1999, a modern and exotic horticultural twist has brought Bonython to the attention of the keen plant brigades.
Explore the South African roots beneath the scorching display of ornamental grasses, cannas and proteas that bring one of the three lakes into a froth of colour throughout August and September. But rainbows don’t stop here.
Herbaceous borders of the walled garden are lined with alliums, catmint and carefully selected varieties that enhance blue, purple, yellow and white colour themes. Even the herb garden has been sprinkled with ‘picking flowers’ to infuse it with vibrant pink and burgundy hues.
The array of species is enough to whet any garden-lovers appetite, especially when it’s served up with a jaw-dropping view that stretches over the orchard of Cornish apple trees towards the swan-scattered Lake Joy. And joy it really is, for a wander back through the woodland walk, or a meander through the tree fern and rhododendron dell can be described as nothing less.
Indulge in the enchanting atmosphere of what was a traditional garden, and has now been passionately infused with innovative planting to become one of the most interesting gardens in the southwest.
Directions: From Helston take the A3083 signposted ‘The Lizard’. Turn left at Wheel Inn at Cury Cross Lanes, take second entrance on right (about 400 yards from Wheel Inn), signposted ‘Bonython Estate Gardens’. Take first entrance on the right, marked garden entrance and parking.
When is the garden at its best?
Unlike most Cornish gardens which peak in spring, Bonython improves from spring onwards and by late summer the banks of South African plantings are really giving maximum colour and variety of texture. With so many different areas there is always something exciting.
Can we get refreshments?
Home made cakes and tea and coffee are provided in a thatched summerhouse – and visitors can share this tranquil part overlooking a lake with birds and serve tea themselves (with payment on an ‘honesty’ basis).
Is it easy for wheelchairs?
The whole garden is accessible and the slopes are gentle. Visitors can choose different routes but as a large garden (of around twenty acres) it does take some time to see all the features. Disabled parking is close to the main garden areas.
When were the gardens established?
The walled garden dates back to the late eighteenth century but by 1998 nothing remained of the original plantings or layout. Extensively remodelled and replanted over the last ten years, the gardens now meander around the Manor house, making a delightful and varied whole, surrounded by ancient shelterbelts of trees that have been supplemented with 15000 new trees some 8 years ago.
Why do the gardens look so established when planted so recently?
Bonython sits on a confluence of good soils with a mixture of deep loams, hornblende schist and granite and serpentine outcrops and on the southernmost peninsula in the UK. The moist warm air is great for growth!
How long should we allow for our visit?
About 2 hours will let you wander through most parts of the garden and enjoy refreshments.
Bonython Estate Gardens
Bonython Estate Gardens