I am not sure why, but I became fixed on the idea of visiting this particular garden on my week off. There are so many to choose from and it isn't in my leaflet of gardens I can get a discount to. Nor is it on my doorstep, there are other grand gardens closer.
I was a little upset this morning. F had done an evening and night shift (more a question of going to sleep than working!) only to discover this morning that a member of staff couldn't do the day shift. So he agreed to stay on... Determined not to waste the day, I finished a creative project and then set out...
This garden isn't the biggest, at 15 acres, or the grandest. It is a bit of a woodland garden really. Except the trees are huge specimens of Magnolias, Rhododendrons, Camellias and Azaleas with other rarities thrown in. I had missed the Magnolias and the Camellias and Bluebells had passed their best but the Rhododendrons and Azaleas were in full swing! I suspect the Summer tourists don't get to see this garden anywhere near it's best. I shall go earlier next year to catch the Magnolias as I think they are lovely.
The garden has few open areas, mostly the occasional clearing here and there. One exception is the Walled Garden which is an absolute sun trap. They uncovered some cold frames used for growing vines. These are so rare that no one really knows as yet how this type should be restored as these appear to be the only surviving ones. They slope downwards and they think the vines were placed at the bottom and trained up the frame with the slate below catching the heat.
Tree ferns were planted in one area of the garden but have slowly been spreading themselves around the garden. It is believed to be the best collection of tree ferns in the Northern Hemisphere. They are huge! The snow we had this winter, which is unusual here, killed off a lot of the old leaves but the new growth is sprouting through. During the war a bomb fell and uprooted some of the tree ferns and damaged a tree. The impact crater is still there, full of tree ferns that re-established themselves!
Mining has had an impact in the gardens. An old quarry has been filled with tree ferns and another area of 'burrows' forms a rocky area with little pits and piles of waste. Both areas have been fully reclaimed... The rock garden has a little green pond where I sat and watched a pair of Robins. Another pond elsewhere is much larger and contains a sculpture of a whale's tail.
Mining relics have been turned into various water features with stone casting moulds used for making tin ingots, full of moss and bugs and water. They also have five tin smelting cauldrons and there are very few of these surviving. During the war effort they were melted down but the ones at Trewidden were 'lost' and now make very nice ponds for waterlilies.
I saw very few people and felt very relaxed. The garden had a recommended route but I did take opportunities to go off the beaten path. The less used paths were covered in moss. In fact a lot of things were covered in moss....
I took so many photos it is hard to know which ones to post....
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