Gardens open for wildlife

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s popular Open Gardens scheme begins in April and for residents and visitors alike this is a chance to explore a dozen of Cornwall’s most stunning gardens some of which are opening for the first time for the public.

The gardens all have a common theme of providing a haven for Cornish wildlife and the Open Gardens scheme raises vital funds for the Trust’s conservation work protecting Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places. Last year the figure was just short of £13,000.

Chris Betty, Communications Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“Our Open Gardens scheme, now coming into its eighth season has been growing in numbers and reputation every year and we are hoping that this year will be even more successful. The money raised makes a huge difference to our important conservation work and we are just so grateful to all the garden owners who are taking part this year. We believe that the continuing success of the scheme must be due to the diverse range of gardens opening for us across Cornwall and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere at these events – as well as the cake!”

Volunteers take care of all the administrative work leaving the owners free to chat to visitors and inspire them as to how they can use what they see in their own gardens. These are events that all the family can enjoy, even the dog, except where specially excluded due to wildlife. Cream teas, pasties, and drinks are provided by supporters Rodda’s, Crantock Bakery, and Cornish Coffee.

Burncoose House and Garden, Gwennap, Redruth, TR16 6BJ
Sunday 15 April from 11am-4pm
The first garden opening in the scheme is well known for the famous Burncoose Nurseries, winners of over 20 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold medals. But now the Cornwall Wildlife Trust has been given special access to the whole of this hidden treasure, including the recently refurbished grand Burncoose House and its immediate garden. A magnificent 30-acre woodland garden with rhododendrons, magnolias, azaleas and camellias, will be a blaze of colour at this time of the year.

Pedn Billy, Bar Road, Helford Passage TR11 5LF
Sunday 22 April from 2pm-5pm
Crowds flock to the Helford, near Mawnan Smith each year for this one, and it is not only the garden which is stunning but also the location. Wild flower areas, beautiful specimen trees and terraced borders, and half of the 12 acres are ancient woodlands with paths that wind down to Port Navas Creek and Helford River to its own private beach. Pedn Billy opens in the spring with all that means for Cornwall, the bluebells, the daffodils and the spring flowers.

Pedn Billy

Higher Trenedden, Peakswater, Nr Pelynt PL13 2QF
Sunday 29 April from 2pm-5pm
An 8-acre garden set in a quiet valley with countryside views. It ranges from an established cottage garden to an arboretum with specimen trees, a meadow with a large pond, and a board walk through marshland with an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife. There are more boardwalks through a wet wild wood, with its veteran oaks. No dogs are allowed at this one due to the wildlife.

The Old Rectory, St. Juliot, Boscastle PL35 0BT
Sunday 13 May from 2pm-5pm
The Old Rectory will be of interest to gardeners and poetry lovers alike. In 1870 Thomas Hardy arrived as an architect and met the Rector’s sister in law Emma. Many of the places Hardy mentions in his poetry can still be recognised. Today the 3-acre south facing woodland garden has magnificent rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, long herbaceous borders and a large Victorian walled kitchen garden. There are hens, ducks, rare breed pigs and Jacob sheep.

Little Park Farm, St. Clements, Malpas, Truro TR1 1SX.
Sunday 3 June 2pm-5pm
Add to a beautiful garden stunning views over the Malpas Passage near Truro and you have a lovely afternoon out in June. The house faithfully replicates a traditional 18th century Cornish farmhouse. Semi-formal gardens sweep around the house and a large conservatory opens onto a terrace from where the beautiful views can be enjoyed. There is a large natural pond full of native plants and paths that lead into grassland and wildflower meadows with further views.

Lethytep, Penadlake, Lanreath PL13 2PG
Sunday 17 June 11am-4.30pm
This spectacular 52 acre garden is an established favourite and is literally a giant playground for Cornish wildlife with woodland, meadows, lakes and ponds. Lethytep is particularly renowned for butterflies, dragonflies and wild flowers. There is plenty to see and do which will amaze even the most established naturalist.

Arundell, West Pentire, Crantock, TR8 5SE
Sunday 24 June 2pm-5pm
This is the garden where no garden should be, set on a headland between two fantastic beaches. But garden there is, with a rockery, shrubbery, cottage garden, herbaceous borders, a stumpery, gravel garden, small pinetum area and spectacular exotic garden. Add to this a pond and a stream. This garden has featured on the Gardeners World television programme.

Meadowside, Trevarth, near Redruth TR16 6AE
Sunday 8 July 2pm-5pm
A six acre smallholding managed with wildlife in mind. There is a large vegetable garden, a wildflower meadow with many southern marsh orchids, 2 large productive poly tunnels, an orchard, fruit cage, and a
walled garden with herbaceous and shrub borders and a south facing gravel garden. Hedgehogs are often seen along with many rabbits and the odd fox, and there are sheep, pigs, hens, turkeys and bee hives.

Trevoole Farm, Praze-an-Beeble, TR14 0RN
Sunday 22 July 2pm-5pm
Within the 2-3-acres there are granite lined flower borders which lead to the farmhouse courtyard and shade and bog gardens. A rose walk takes the visitor past chickens and a herb garden. A vegetable garden, a wildlife pond and an orchard are all part of the attractions at this garden which has not been open to the public for the past four years but which now has gone in the direction of encouraging wildlife wherever possible.

Trenarth, High Cross, Constantine TR11 5JN
Sunday 5 August 2pm-5pm
The four acre gardens surround the 17th granite farmhouse with its central courtyard, and wonderful, far reaching pastoral views. There are many unusual and tender plants within the listed garden walls, vegetables, orchard, yew "rooms", woodland area and quirky features such as a toilet in a telephone box. The site is a maternity roost of lesser horseshoe bats and the planting encourages birds, butterflies and insects all the year round.

Trenarth Garden

Jeremy Pedersen

South Bosent, Dobwalls, nr. Liskeard PL14 4LX
Sunday 2 September 2pm-5pm
When the owners bought the old farmhouse and about 9-acres of land six years ago the object was to create a garden to attract wildlife. Already it is visited by a range of birds, insects, butterflies, moths and bats. Four ponds provide homes for newts, toads and frogs as well as mallards and the passing heron. Trees have been planted, including fruit trees, and there are perennial and annual plants, as well as areas of true wilderness.

Marsh Villa Gardens, St. Andrews Road, Par, St. Austell PL24 2LU
Sunday 16 September 2pm-5pm
This magical 3-acre water and woodland garden lies in a former tidal creek and is rich in variety and conservation significance. From first plantings in 1988 the garden is now well established with extensive herbaceous borders and mixed beds set amongst a network of waterways that drain the Tidesmill marsh levels. Meandering paths lead from one area to the next.

Entrance to all gardens is £5 per adult with under 16s free. For further details and directions please visit or call 01872 273939.