Tregrehan 27.06.12

Tregrehan stands a mile or so inland from St Austell bay where the ground starts to rise into the hills. It is close enough to get some benefit from the sea in winter, and to be exposed to atlantic gales. The garden is filled with an astonishing range of trees and shrubs, many of them recent introductions by the owner.

The walled garden on the north side of the house is a formal space, mostly laid to lawn. On a rather grey day we didn't spend as long examining the planting on the walls as we should have done. I get the feeling we missed rather a lot.

A terrace at the north end of the walled garden supports a long greenhouse, and in front of it a south facing border. It was a misty day, south was a theoretical concept rather than the source of sun and warmth. The diverse planting reflected the mild climate. The greenhouse and the walling hold the formal picture together and allow the plants to shine.

The glasshouse is a beautiful thing. Built in 1846 it was refurbished recently without destroying its character (which is a rare achievement in the modern day when garden buildings get listed as 'heritage' and doomed to remain in perfect pristine pointlessness for ever, too precious to use for anything except dutiful admiration).
A very large greenhouse, it was lovely to see it used as a cherished part of a family garden with salad crops and vegetables mixed among the ornamental treasures.

The ground falls away gently to the south in a formal style appropriate to the proximity of the house.

The Yew Walk was planted as part of a garden renovation and restyling from 1845 onwards. It serves to divide the formal garden on the west from the valley garden on the east side.

The valley is planted with open woodland, including many mature trees from earlier phases of garden development. New introductions of trees and shrubs are following a long Cornish tradition of seeking out new plants.

Even on an overcast (bordering on wet) day, the valley had a calm and enchanting atmosphere and was filled with fascinating plants.
Tregrehan has been on my list to visit for many years. It was a long anticipated deight!

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