Final preparations are being made to new additions at Trewithen Gardens in time for their public re-opening on Monday 1 March.
Gary Long, Head Gardener of the internationally renowned estate near Probus, has spent the winter months co-ordinating a number of new treats for visitors, celebrating and following in the ethos of the legendary plant collectors of the 1900s.
The George Johnstone Walk, which runs down the spine of the garden, has been cleared and replanted with exciting new species of plants collected in the last few months from all over the world including China, Vietnam, Nepal, Mexico and Japan.
The walk is named after one of the estate's previous owners, an ancestor of the Galsworthy family who currently own the estate. George Johnstone is also known as being one the most committed sponsors of the plant collectors of the 1900s.
Amongst the new plants on show from this spring will be a species of conifer new to the western world from Vietnam – xanthocyparis; an as yet unnamed wild Magnolia from China and Rhododendron macabeanum from north east India. The latter have been newly collected from the wild although the original is already planted at Trewithen having been brought there by a plant collector in 1928.
Gary said: "The idea behind the replanting is to give a longer season of interest with lots of attractive foliage rather than relying on just flowers, plus we want to follow in the ethos of the plant collectors of previous centuries."
Another new point of interest in the garden will be the apple orchard that has been planted in the rose garden area.
The principle species in the new orchard are the two old varieties, Cornish Gilliflower (Cornish July Flower) and Cornish Aromatic, both varieties that another previous owner of Trewithen, Christopher Hawkins, used to breed new varieties of Cornish apple in the 1800s.
Gary said: "We have planted a small orchard within the rose garden as roses and apples are in the same family Rosaceae. I wanted to re-introduce the varieties both for their historic value and to add out of spring season interest.
"The trees were planted along with some ‘newer' varieties including ‘The Duke of Cornwall', ‘Bens Red' and Tregonna King, which were chosen as good examples of Cornish varieties."
Gary explained that the cold winter weather has also proved a great help to the garden's spring display this year as for the second year running the early flowering Magnolia and Camellia bushes the garden is renowned for are only just preparing to flower, meaning visitors will see them in their full glory.
He said: "The winter weather means we should have a fantastic season this year and on top of that, thanks to the dedication of our excellent team of volunteers, we have all the new plants adding extra interest to the garden."
Gary added that if anyone, regardless of experience, would like to become a volunteer gardener they should contact him on 01726 883647.