Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Stunning springtime displays…

Cornwall is overflowing with stunning gardens; a real home-from-home for exotic plants and flowers that wouldn't survive elsewhere in the UK. Take the mild climate, the history of proud garden-rich estates and the regions' spectacular scenery and you have some unrivalled visitor attractions. Here’s our pick of wonderful springtime displays you can enjoy on a spring break in the West Country…

The Cornwall Spring Flower Show at Boconnoc, Lostwithiel, highlights the high calibre of gardening skill in the county and gives the public the rare opportunity to see the garden at Boconnoc itself. Gardeners embrace their competitive spirit to offer some exuberant displays. 

The Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan are two of the big names signed up for the show on 2nd and 3rd April, where aside from 'show garden' entries, the camellias, daffodils, rhododendrons and ornamental shrubs and trees guarantee a colourful spectacle. With over 100 trade stands, talks and demonstrations, there’s plenty to keep you amused. Entry also includes free access to the garden at Boconnoc, not normally open to the public. Whether visiting for the show or soon after, Treburtle Cottage in north Cornwall is ideally located for visiting gardens in Devon and Cornwall.

For a historic garden with a touch of adventure to its heritage, Trewithen, near Truro, is a must see. Much of its flora and fauna has grown from the seed collections of early seed hunters. It has been described as "perhaps the most beautiful woodland garden in England" and is internationally famous for camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias. Families will find plenty to do here: all ages are left wide-mouthed by the magnolia fountain while a play area, camera obscura and tearoom are also popular. When you have exhausted all the views the 28 acre site has to offer, you won't be disappointed to go home to pretty Lilypond Cottage in Feock to enjoy its lovely lawned garden and lily ponds.

A more formal garden can be found at the National Trust's Lanhydrock. It has a different climate to deal with, situated inland and 130metres above sea level, and still manages to put on colourful spring shows with over 120 species of cream and white magnolias and wild blooms that carpet the woodland. The house itself has more than 50 rooms open to view. As well as the walk from the house to theriver Fowey at Respryn Bridge, there are 30 acres of formal and informal woodland to explore, with the garden opening out onto an extensive network of footpaths zig-zagging through 900 acres of beautiful countryside. Rest your weary legs at comfy Merryfield Farmhouse and spot the spring lambs prancing in the adjacent fields.

You can use our advanced search to find holiday cottages in Cornwall and find nearby gardens to visit on our ‘Explore the area’ map. Don’t forget, if you can’t stay for a full week, short breaks are available at many of our cottages.

Look out for some more of our favourite springtime gardens later this week.