Six on Saturday | Godolphin Gardens

Since not a lot has changed in my garden since last week – more of the same – I thought I would use a few flowers from a recent visit to another Cornish garden which is a short drive away  from me and open all year round. Famous for its bluebells in late spring I was interested to see what was growing this early in the year.

In the King’s Garden, a walled garden bordering the King’s Room, the magnolias were just beginning to open their blooms, but mostly they were still tightly curled in soft brown velvet. Extremely strokable. There are signs of life to come, but flowers were limited to cyclamen coum, common primroses, prostrate rosemary in flower, pulmonaria and some wonderful pink almond blossom espaliered on the sunny wall.

  1. Almond Blossom.
  2. Primroses. I prefer the common primrose – Primula vulgaris – which you find growing wild in the Cornish hedges, the flowers are typically pale yellow, though white or pink forms are often seen in nature. I have some of the more vulgar shades in my woodland border that I planted there after using them as tulip pot toppers. I think it is time to remove them now and replace with something more subtle.
  3. Catkins. I am not sure what the tree is, but the catkins were splendid, shining like golden rain in the wintry sunshine. We noticed a tree on the way to the garden which was heart-stoppingly beautiful. This one is in the Renaissance garden.
  4. Euphorbia/Spurge. I don’t know the type but the burgundy-red tips were very eye-catching. Edit: (Could it be euphorbia amygdaloides purpurea?) I saw one in the plant stall at Lanhydrock this week and it looked similar.)
  5. Snowdrops. I haven’t got any in flower in my own garden, but I do like them. Godolphin has a few clumps scattered around the borders and on the hedges. These were open in the sun and showing off the pretty green markings.
  6. Crocuses and my first Bumble BEE! They have hives  in part of the original 17th century garden with native black Cornish honey bees. I didn’t see any of those, but hopefully they will be out and about soon.

I couldn’t leave this post without a photo of one of my favourite views of the garden along the neatly clipped hedges (Box?)  back towards the house. I know, that makes it seven, but hopefully no one is counting. The header photograph shows one of the wide borders with clumps of daffodils at the ready. I have already noted on my calendar to return in two weeks time.

The National Trust took over the estate in 2000 and restored the garden, fully appreciating that ‘this garden is not about plants and flowers but about the unique surviving remains of a medieval pattern’. The garden was designed in the 14th century ‘modernised’ in the 16th century, since when the planting has changed but the space has been remarkably unchanged. I like this garden for the simple reason that it is small. The flower beds can easily be recreated in a normal garden and the soil is similar to mine so I can get ideas of what to plant.

For more gardens from around the world please visit our host – Jon – otherwise known as The Propagator – where you will find links in the comments.

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Six on Saturday


  1. bushboy says:

    Another lovely post Jude 🙂 So many beautiful flowers but a Bumble Bee! Fabulous I do hope you spot more 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I know you don’t get the furry critters in Oz – all your bees look like wasps! It was the same in South Africa. No bumbles.

      1. bushboy says:

        No they don’t look like wasps. We have a wasp that looks like a bee and a fly that looks like a bee. Our lovely furry bee, the Teddy Bear Bee is ever so cute 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          A Teddy Bear bee? Now I need to see one of those!

        2. Heyjude says:

          Nothing like a teddy bear, but it does have rather strange fat legs!

        3. bushboy says:

          Probably has very full pollen sacs

        4. Heyjude says:

          The pollen sacs do look full, maybe just excess pollen on the legs. You will just have to take another photo for me Brian. Are you all geared up for Beck’s spiky challenge?

        5. bushboy says:

          Oh trying to get myself in spiky shape Jude. I hope I can find another Teddy Bear Bee for you. They are solitary bees and make their homes in the ground. The one I found was at my besties old place.

  2. That is exactly my kind of place! Love it………I would like to have Black Cornish Honeybees in my garden!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I would love to have this garden!!

  3. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Nice to be able to say you can return in a couple of weeks…the advantage of having things close by. Bumble bees are gorgeous, but we don’t have them here, sadly.

  4. Lovely pictures – looks like a wonderful garden to have nearby.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a quiet place most of the time and if you feel energetic you can climb the nearby hill 🙂

  5. Oh, that sweet almond blossom!! It is my favourite, I think! There is such a richness of colour in the Godolphin borders! I love that euphorbia – it reminds me a little of E. amygdaloides purpurea, but I think the whole inflorescence is lime green on that. I love the mixture, with the maroon stem.

  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Ooh that’s a nice euphorbia!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a lovely one, any idea of the type?

  7. fredgardener says:

    Beautiful last picture ! I love these boxwood trees( I guess they are)

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think they are very old ones. Some had damage (brown leaves) last year and you can see new plants between the older ones.

  8. Chloris says:

    What a lovely spring garden. I went there a couple of years ago at bluebell time, that was a treat.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes the bluebells are lovely. I must visit Enys garden again this year to see the bluebells there. We were a bit early the last time we went.

  9. Helen Johnstone says:

    I saw my first bumble bee today too, feels so positive

  10. I’ve visited quite a few Cornish gardens over the years but not this one. Hopefully, that will be put right this year. It seems to be an amazing year for catkins

    1. Heyjude says:

      Must be the heat from last year’s summer! This is a small garden so easy to combine with another one like Tremenheere or St Michael’s Mount nearby.

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