It was a chance to exchange news, tips, discuss current horticultural issues and tour Trewithen's award-winning 30-acre garden and nursery. A busman's holiday maybe, but as gardening is often a solitary job it's a keenly anticipated event.
As this year's hosts, Trewithen had organised a busy schedule for their 30 gardening guests. The day began with a formal introduction by the estate's owner, Michael Galsworthy, whose family has lived at the property for nearly 300 years.
Following the launch of the Bursary for Cornish Horticulturalists by Brian Coode of the Cornwall Garden Society, Trewithen's Head Gardener, Gary Long, led a tour of the estate's historic gardens – pointing out the spectacular variety of flowering plants, bushes and champion trees and the recently established rose garden, the only one of its kind in Cornwall.
After lunch, Trelissick Garden's Head Gardener, Tom Clarke, gave a lecture on ‘The Plants of the Hoot la Pass', an area of India from where many of Cornwall's rhododendron originate.
The last treat of the day was a tour of the Trewithen nursery with its manager, Luke Hazelton, who has been successfully propagating some rare plants including Franklinia alatamaha.
Enjoying the occasion was Barry Champion, former Head Gardener of the Trelissick estate, near Feock, who started the tradition of Head Gardener's Day with Sir Richard Carew Pole of Anthony House.
He said: "It's such a good opportunity to form friendships, exchange ideas, worries, information and telephone numbers so we can all maintain the beautiful gardens Cornwall is so famous for. For me Trewithen is the finest private garden in the county, the standard is outstanding."
Pete Oates, who is Head Gardener of Bosahan on the Helford, alongside running his own gardening and landscaping consultancy, Arvensis Eco, said: "Trewithen is wonderful – one of the gardening gems of Cornwall. Gary does a wonderful job, especially with such a small team."
Head Gardener of the Flambards Experience, Nigel Pascoe, said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed the chance to get together with people who share my gardening passion. It's been a great day and has provided a difficult act for next year's hosts to follow!"
Gary Long said: "Everyone has been extremely complimentary which is lovely. We all tend to spend a lot of time working alone so it's good to get together and have time specifically set aside for chatting and sharing useful information."
Trewithen Garden and house are open to the public during the spring and summer. Full details of all the garden has to offer, opening times and entry costs can be found on the website www.trewithengardens.co.uk.