The Greenbank’s Best-loved Gardens in Cornwall
When it comes to gardens in Cornwall, there’s nothing quite like the sub-tropical paradises and idyllic walkways to excite those of all ages.
So we’ve come up with a list of our top ten best-loved gardens in Cornwall, for the family to enjoy all year round! Fancy visiting the gardens this spring? Explore our Cornish Garden Break, where you can stay with us and enjoy entry to a gorgeous garden each day of your stay…
With over 175 years of dedicated creation, Trebah Garden offers a sub-tropical paradise. Explore this garden under canopies of exotic blooms, which provide tunnels of intense colour, before ending up on their very own beach.
In spring, Trebah comes to life with rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias. In the summer, stand under the giant gunnera and see if you can make it to the other side. Then in autumn, the hydrangea valley offers china blue and white flowers across the pond. This is followed by a spectacular view of their champion trees in the winter.
Revel in adventure play areas, children’s trails, an award-winning café, as well as shops and plant sales.
The Lost Gardens were unveiled in 1992 from under decades of overgrowth. The mysterious gardens and estate now offer over 200 acres to explore all year round.
The outbreak of the First World War created a dramatic change in the economic and social infrastructure of Britain. This left many large estates in decline. It wasn’t until adventurers Tim Smit, John Willis and John Nelson went for a hike into overgrown wilderness in 92, that they discovered this lost world.
This traditional garden was taken over in 1999 by South African owners, who have transformed the gardens into a modern and exotic paradise. Explore the roots of South Africa with displays of ornamental grasses, cannas and proteas, which bring a froth of colour throughout August and September.
With the walled garden lined with catmint, alliums and varieties to enhance blue, purple, yellow, as well as white colour themes, you’ll leave Bonython feeling wowed by the thought-out arrangements.
The best time to visit Bonython is from spring onwards, with the late summer season offering banks of South African plantings bursting with colour and texture.
First established in the 1840s by Edward Bolitho, Trewidden has a rich horticultural and industrial past. Explore the remarkable 150 year old tree ferns, as well as champion magnolias, a venerable old jelly palm and an extensive collection of camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas.
The walled garden has mixed borders, which produce an abundance of colour for the summer months. Unusual, rare and exotic plants also provide a wide range of interest for visitors and garden enthusiasts alike.
Glendurgan is full of natural beauty and amazing plants. Exotic flowers thrive in the jungle-like lower valley, with sun-loving specimens enjoying the upper banks. Expect to see thousands of wildflowers covering the steep valleys in the spring. Wandering through the gardens, you’ll finish up at Durgan beach, which is a fantastic spot to watch birds and boats alike.
The garden offers many delights along the way, such as the boat-seat, a gigantic tulip-tree and ponds teeming with wildlife.
Constructed in three separate stages, but designed as a whole concept, this Mediterranean inspired garden is an intimate escape with water ever-present as a backdrop to the garden. Explore the garden as if it was your own, with woodland, a Japanese water garden, as well as temples, archways and a small bridge to look out over Falmouth bay.
Expect to see rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas flower in the spring, followed by fuschsias, jasmines and citrus plants in the summertime.
A private estate that has been passed down through generations, Trewithen Gardens boasts one of the loveliest gardens in England. With the magnificent collection of camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias, Trewithen is a rare and unique Cornish gem.
In spring, you’ll see a riot of colour, especially with the flowering of the magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias. However, the interest continues throughout the summer with the wildlife garden, rose garden and the water garden. In the autumn, expect to see vibrant berry colours, especially from viburnums and acers.
Famous for its biomes, the world’s largest greenhouses form the centrepiece of this spectacular global garden. It’s forever changing at the Eden Project, offering something new to see every time you visit.
What was once a clay mine is now a vibrant garden brimming with plants. Explore miles of paths that twist up and down the slopes of the pit, then discover gardens featuring everything from beautiful ornamental flowers to crops used for medicine, fuels, materials and food.
Feel the tropical heat in the rainforest biome, offering southeast Asia, west Africa and south America plant life. Then, meander down towards the Mediterranean biome, which offers plants that grow in warm temperate regions of the world.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens has a dramatic landscape. Along with large-scale tropical plants it also provides the backdrop to contemplative and inspiring art by internationally renowned artists too.
A trip here means you can get lost in the wilderness as well as the thoughtful artwork it inhabits. Tremenheere can be found in a beautiful sheltered valley, overlooking St Michael’s Mount. Wander through the woods and past the stream and find yourself leaving inspired.
Barbara Hepworth first came to live in Cornwall at the outbreak of war in 1939. She lived and worked in Trewyn studios, which is now the Barbara Hepworth Museum, from 1949 until her death in 1975.
Trewyn Studio and Barbara’s work remaining there was placed in the care of the Tate Gallery in 1980. Barbara described the sculpture gardens as ‘magic’ and we can see why. On a hot summer day in St Ives, this sculpture garden is the perfect place to find a quiet moment and take in the incredible artwork.