Online Open Garden Series - Duloe Manor

Online Open Garden Series - Duloe Manor

Lupins at Duloe Manor

Due to the coronavirus lockdown, the Open Garden events for 2020 have been cancelled. In this online Open Gardens series, we will be speaking with with those who open up their gardens for the fundraiser so you can 'visit' digitally!

Duloe Manor is a 17th century Queen Anne manor house owned by business supporters HPB. The gardens and parkland that surround the historical property parkland are beautifully maintained with herbaceous borders, a rose garden, quiet shady corners, ancient OAKS and the remains of the historic 18th century landscape. The garden was due to open on the 21st June to raise money for Cornwall Wildlife Trust as part of our annual Open Gardens series but due to coronavirus, has been unable to do so.We talk to head gardener, Richard Doney, about how he has seen the garden develop and what he enjoys about tending the land at Duloe Manor.


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What have you done to the garden since working there?

As head gardener I have been fortunate enough to see massive progress in the past ten years - from clearing the lower manor lawn of the surrounding laurel, to creating the grounds first herbaceous border and recently our biggest project yet a heritage rose garden.

3 Gardeners tend to the heritage rose garden at Duloe Manor

Gardeers tend to the heirtage rose garden

How do you decide what plants to grow at Duloe Manor?

We are so lucky to have such a temperate climate that we can grow specimens from all over the world, so choosing plants can sometimes be a minefield due to the vast amount of choice. I find reading about, and visiting other gardens can be real source of inspiration. My real passion is the rich horticultural history of Cornwall, so that influences me greatly.

For example - Cornwall as a peninsula was a real trading post for the plant hunters of the 1800's who brought in the great magnolias and camelias to fill the great estates we all know of. At the other end of the spectrum are the market gardens of the Tamar valley, which produced some the finest strawberries, cherries and of course daffodils for export to the rest of the country.

So when it comes to choosing plants we look at the past to help with the future.

A selection of 4 english heritage roses. Clockwise the roses are a pale pink, magenta, dusky yellow and brilliant white

Duloe Manor Heritage Roses

Our heritage roses in the rose garden are rich in history, the unusual Tetrapanex papyrifer (rice paper plant]) from Taiwan, and the (now very rare) late-blooming double white Tamar daffodils all reflect the diverse horticultural landscape at Duloe Manor.

What’s happening in your garden now?

At this present time the roses are in full bloom across the garden, the borders are full of shapes, textures and colour with lupins, hemerocallis (day lilies), and iris just to name a few. Oh and, of course, our 55 tree ancient lime avenue which is in full leaf at the moment and dates from roughly 1715.

What are your favourite plants in your garden and why?  

 My favourites really do change seasonally; in the Spring the driveway is a carpet of white galanthus (snow drops) which are stunning, which are followed by the many varieties of daffodils that span almost 6 months (and far too many to deadhead!). The daffodils we leave for around 6 weeks after flowering before simply cutting them off.

Personally, I am a real fan of a plant, shrub or tree with a scent such as the lovely vibernum x burkwoodii ,also known as ‘Anne Russell’, or the subtle scent of the cherry blossom which fills the air.  And not to forget the heady scent of the infamous rambling rector rose which showcases its flowers for a stunning, and worthwhile, 6 weeks.

What made you decide to be part of Open Gardens 2020?

 HPB have be business members of Cornwall Wildlife Trust for a long time, we  support their work and know that our visitors love visiting the Open Gardens across Cornwall eachyear. We wanted to help the organisation more, and realised that Duloe Manor would be a great location for visitors.            

  Not only are there many plants and flower species, we also have a very diverse range of habitats from meadow to ponds to designated wildlife areas which compliment the formal aspects of the garden.

Have you noticed changes to the garden at Duloe Manor? Has is been affected by the climate and ecological crisis?

Over the past 20 odd years that I have been involved in horticulture there has been massive changes in attitude towards the use of non-biodegradable materials: plant pots, strimmer lines etc and chemicals. All of these for the better too! So at Duloe Manor we minimise the use of pesticides and herbicides ,we are in the process going across to rechargeable hedge cutters instead of petrol and biodegradable products where they can be used effectively.

All of these measures can and will have a positive effect on our beautiful county we are so lucky to live and work in  and most of all that generations to come, can enjoy gardens as much as we all do.

blue, purple and pink hydrangeas flower from one shrub in a beautiful display of colour

Please help protect Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places

Thanks to the commitment of volunteers and garden hosts, Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Open Gardens series raises much needed funds for our work, securing over £20,000 in 2018 alone. Due to the pandemic, these funds are unlikely to be raised in 2020, putting the future of our work at risk.