As Christmas approaches the joint forces of Trewithen's head gardener, Gary Long and rose expert, Stewart Pocock, owner of the Cornish Rose Company, are hard at work planting thousands of roses for a spectacular show of colour and scent next summer.
The beds are being laid out in the shape of a traditional Celtic cross with a water feature at the centre, which will be created from granite reclaimed from Pentewan Harbour, Mevagissey – a structure built by Sir Christopher Hawkins, an ancestor of Trewithen's owner, Michael Galsworthy.
"The idea behind this garden is to dispel the myth that roses can't grow in the mild Cornish climate," explained Stewart. "You can grow roses in Cornwall. Gary and I have been doing trails here at Trewithen for two years now and they've done really well.
"Roses will actually cope with anything, they're one of the hardiest plants about. People think they're difficult but they're just like humans really, all they need is food, water and a rest in the winter, which can be achieved by pruning. We always advise people to treat roses like humans!"
Gary explained that Mr Galsworthy, who is passionate about roses, asked for a properly designed dedicated rose garden some years ago to extend the summer colour and flowering season at Trewithen.
"Mr Galsworthy wanted to create a wow factor with colour, smell and blooms,' said Gary. ‘It will be the first dedicated rose garden open to the public in Cornwall."
He explained that with the help of Stewart they have designed beds to include around 3,000 rose plants ranging from the newest rose ‘Sweet Haze'- the rose of the year for 2008 launched at Hampton Court last July – back to the 18th century Rosa mundi which was bred about the time Trewithen was founded in the mid-18th century. To add texture to the beds, the chosen roses will be of varying heights – from miniature bushes around a foot high to five foot standard roses and everything in between.
"As well as providing pleasure with this rose garden we're aiming to make Trewithen the centre for roses in Cornwall," said Gary. "People will be able to see the roses in situ then buy them at the nursery where staff will be able to advise them on the best variety for their particular garden."
Gary also said that anyone who can spare time to help in the rose garden – dead-heading and weeding – would be extremely welcome and would probably pick up some invaluable rose gardening advice.
To find out more, contact Gary on 07743 470945.