Tremenheere Plant Fair. 19.09.12.

The garden at Tremenheere is developing rapidly. This year the plant fair was part of a weekend event to mark the full time opening of the garden and completion of the visitor centre. It attracts a wide range of nurseries bringing an eclectic selection of plants.

The garden is built on a hillside overlooking Mount's Bay and St.Michael's Mount. It benefits from a very mild climate and uses its advantages to explore the limits of what it is possible to grow in the British Isles. It is built on a steep hillside and stout shoes are required

Early in the morning there is a measure of chaos as the plant fair sets up. The new visitor centre stands in the background with the garden and woodland rising behind it. I have always been reassured by the sight of a gentleman in a garden remaining calm with a folding table.

A cool and overcast day brought plenty of visitors and helped to keep plants (and nurserymen) from undue stress. Some very rare and remarkable plants were available, from bromeliads to newly introduced Mexican Mahonia. I asked Gloria if she has been using photoshop the exact some strange revenge on the lady behind the closest stand. She assures me that the appearance of facial hair is a simple trick of the light.

I had never seen Leucospermum cordifolium before. It is unlikely to be hardy in many gardens, even in the extreme south west, but it has very remarkable silver leaves and astonishing enough to be worth some effort.

At the top of the garden the hillside is open to the sun and suits a wide range of succulents and exotics. The mature Cycads are wonderful and there is a range of young palms. In recent years this area has been badly hit by frost, but the large cycads are starting to recover and the remaining planting is filling in any gaps.

The south facing slope has fierce drainage and is fully exposed to the sun. It provides a very unusual arid environment in a wet south-western garden.

New plantings include Blechnum cycadifolium from Juan Fernandes island. It has only come into cultivation very recently and has hardly been tried in gardens yet. In habitat it is said to grow in full sun and to tolerate some drought at the root.

Among the most spectacular plants are several mature Xanthorrhoea. They have established slowly and are now starting to produce good heads of grassy leaves. They have withstood some cold winters recently.
The garden at Tremenheere continues its remarkable development and the Plant Fair was an excellent time to see it again in the company of other enthusiasts.

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