Trebah Gardens, Mawnan Smith, Nr Falmouth, Cornwall
I have to admit, i’m not a big fan of gardens and only visited Trebah gardens as my wife wanted to visit because Trebah was recommended to us by some of our friends.
I was pleasantly surprised by Trebahgardens as its not what I would call a traditional English garden and more of a mismatch of huge plants and trees from around the world, all cobbled together in the same place, but whilst maintaining an air of Cornish beauty.
The gardens at Trebah are located near to the town of Treliever on the A39, in between Falmouth and Helston and are well sign posted once your get close by. However I would warn against trying to approach this place down the small country lanes and take the main route as the roads get very narrow and are quite busy, so you´ll end up reversing quite a few times.
The gardens themselves are built on a hillside and lead down to the Helford River estuary and consist of a vast variety of plants. The name Trebah is mentioned in the doomsday book of 1086, meaning “The House on the Bay”. This was a property of the Bishop of Exeter.
The gardens as we know them today, began in the 1800´s and was designed by Charles Fox who would instruct his gardeners to build scaffolding towers to the high of the trees he planned to plant, so that he could see the impact on the view from his house. The site also contains history details of the gardens and also Trebah house which is not part of the gardens.
The gardens contain a wide variety of plants and trees, there is also a couple of ponds, one small, one large both containing fish. There is also the beach area which was so peaceful and quiet to sit on and look out over the bay.
The plant life is varied and I am not going to go into even trying to name any of them, suffice to say there plants! There are some massive fern trees and black bamboo plants as well as lots of coloured flowers, and my wife tells me that there rhododendrons and Beschorneria!
The gardens are not for the unfit or those with physical impairments as the gardens are on the side of a hill and the path in places is quite steep, the walk from the bottom of the gardens back to the top is quite tiring but some paths are less steep than others. There is a path which has been designed for use by wheel chairs but access for wheel chair users is limited to specific areas of the gardens.
Some of the plants in the gardens are truly spectacular especially the Gunnera (Giant Rhubarb) which you can walk underneath, they where about 12ft tall when we where there, these are truly massive.
The restaurant on the site was well priced and the cream teas where quite good but the staff where as much use as a chocolate tea pot!
Although I´m not a garden fan the great variety of unusual plants at Trebah made this an enjoyable afternoon´s walk for me as I was pleasantly surprised at the views, the plants and the animals in the garden.
TREBAH GARDEN TRUST
T: 01326 250448
F: 01326 250781