It may have felt a little chilly over the last few days but the sunshine of last weekend encouraged the first pink buds to burst forth – ensuring an uplifting splash of springtime colour for visitors to the garden, renowned throughout the world for the quality and beauty of its flowering trees and shrubs.
Cornwall's flora has always been a few weeks ahead of the rest of the country because of the mild climate but, over the last three years, the start of that floral preview has been getting steadily later.
"But later is better," said Trewithen's Head Gardener, Gary Long. "The later it begins the better the blooms and the longer our visitors have to share them."
Gary explained that from 2002 for six years running, flowering began at the end of January but, from 2009, after our first relatively hard winter, the seasons were re-set and the first flowers didn't begin to appear until the end of February or beginning of March.
Over the coming weeks, visitors to the estate near Probus, between Truro and St Austell, will be treated to the ever expanding array of vibrant colours of a text-book spring. Camellia and Rhododendrons are already providing a predominantly red burst of colour and there are other quintessential springtime blooms – including patches of delicate snow drops as well as thousands of golden daffodils.
The visual feat looks set to continue into the summer as Gary predicts the rose garden will be another success. Not only has the cold winter helped the roses rest but they have been treated with an organic ‘home made' mulch comprising two parts composted wood chip to one part each of well rotted manure and Trewithen's own garden compost.
Gary said: "We successfully predicted a cold winter followed by a late and vibrant spring and we're confident the garden will continue to flourish throughout the year, said Gary. "Unfortunately, though, we can't promise a BBQ summer!"