Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A visit to the National Trust Gardens of Glendurgan

The Fox brothers Robert, Charles and Alfred were from a prominent Quaker family and were deeply engaged in exotic botany and horticulture. They founded the gardens at Trebah, Glendurgan (now a National Trust property), Penjerrick and Rosehill, in Falmouth, all currently open to the public and containing mature specimens on exotic plants and trees. Today we visited Glendurgan (Cornish: Glynn Dowrgeun, meaning deep valley of otters).

This thriving sub-tropical valley garden runs down to the Helford River at the fishing village of Durgan.

Boasting beautiful blooms in every season, this waterside garden flourishes from its sheltered ravine position. Although the view doesn't directly face the calm banks of the estuary, you can explore under lush canopies and wind through the exotic gardens to meet the water's edge.

Noted as a horticultural hotspot, Glendurgan is one of the best of Cornwall's characteristic valley gardens. Purchased by Alfred Fox in 1820, it was created following his brother's pioneering example at Penjerrick, where the innovative planting had already impressed many horticultural writers of the time. Alfred Fox planted Pinus Pinaster as windbreaks, as well as variety of vibrant trees and shrubs, and several orchards. The garden is an enchanting display of rare and exotic shrubs year-round, but is particularly popular for its spectacular spring magnolias and camellias.

One of the most exciting features is the cherry laurel maze dating back to 1833, where you can lose yourself. The house is privately occupied