Can you ever have too many Camellias?

Cornish gardens are notorious in early spring for their abundance of Camellias, Magnolias, Azaleas and Rhododendrons.Β  And this year I am trying to visit as many as possible. In addition to the exercise we get by walking the miles of footpaths, I get to indulge my passion for flowers and my love of photography. Trengwainton (NT) gardens in nearby Madron are not open all year round, but they are now, so a couple of weeks ago on a sunny, though showery afternoon we decided to go for a walk.

The south-facing garden has a uniquely warm micro-climate, meaning that half-hardy and tender trees, shrubs, and other plants thrive here even when they cannot survive in the open anywhere else in Britain. Along with the usual spring plants there are many wonderful tree ferns and hydrangeas. Large Magnolia trees reach for the sky with tiny diamonds at the end of their branches.

The route we usually follow is to visit the brick Walled Gardens first which are in the exact dimensions of Noah’s Ark according to the Bible, and because the brick holds the heat better, the gardens are practically frost free and enables vegetables to be planted quite early. This early in the year though there is little to be seen, but we had some books to drop off at the second-hand book shop which is beyond the walled gardens and in the orchard area.

There is a Camellia walk which winds around and back onto the main tarmac road which leads to the house and terrace.

I cannot get over how many different colours, shapes and sizes of Camellia there are. Each and every one like a spring Rose.

Where a quiet stream and bog garden is laid out along the meandering course, offering a home to bamboo, lilies, primulas.

Yet more winding pathways take you through woodland areas with daffodils, bluebells (yet to come) and many, many hydrangeas planted along the edge under the tree canopy, leading to a Tree Fern grove and a little pond with a wooden bridge. Azaleas, Rhododendrons and more Camellias can be found here.

This path brings you out close to the house (private) and a wide terrace with views over Mount’s Bay. The terrace has two wooden arbours (one a silent zone) and several benches from where you can rest and drink in that view.

Making our way back along the road we stop to look at the mass of daffodils planted in the lawn and the large Azaleas alongside. Here bunnies play hide and seek whilst robins and blackbirds sing in the trees. In fact the only noise you hear in this garden is birdsong.

Discarded camellia petals carpet the ground in places, Spring Snowflakes and Hellebores shimmer in the undergrowth and a large pink Magnolia hides its flowers high above our heads. We make our way out of the grounds (pausing only to purchase a Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’) to the tea room where you can treat yourself to a healthy lunch or simply coffee and cake. We just had coffee on this occasion as we were too late for lunch (12 – 15:00), but we will certainly be returning for one of their delicious sounding salads.

Jo’s Monday Walk


  1. restlessjo says:

    Of course not, you silly woman! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Ooops- sorry, Jude! You must have thought you’d died and gone to heaven. I’ve seldom seen a more beautiful garden. It’s a stunner! You can’t possibly regret living where you do with this on the doorstep. πŸ™‚ Thanks, darlin!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I don’t regret a thing when the sun shines! Garden and beach visit today. I am happy. Happier if the back would get back to normal.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well that’s to the point. πŸ˜€

  2. Sadje says:

    Beautiful flowers and pictures

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    I feel like I’ve had a chance to experience spring long before it reaches here. In comparison, the only growth I’ve seen are the early shoots of the tulips snuggled closed to the south-facing wall of the house. They are about 4 inches high – in spite of the fact the ground is still frozen everywhere else.

    No, we can never have too many camellias!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, no. Still frozen 😦
      I am sure I could not bear such a long winter. I find ours bad enough.

      1. Joanne Sisco says:

        Yes, I suspect you would make a terrible Canadian πŸ˜†

        1. Heyjude says:

          I’d have to live on Vancouver Island πŸ™‚

  4. beetleypete says:

    One of the best gardens yet. Stunning plants, and lovely photos too. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The one thing we are not short of here are spring gardens!

  5. Absolutely glorious, Jude. I’m so envious. 🀒

    1. Heyjude says:

      Best time of year to be in Cornwall. Lovely gardens and no crowds.

  6. Beautiful pictures. The Camellia buds were just beginning to break open when I was in Cornwall a few weeks ago but they’ll probably be all gone by my next visit. πŸ˜”

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well, I’m not sure when you plan your next visit, but there are still loads in flower and bud now.

  7. Colline says:

    The flowers are absolutely beautiful and made me smile. What a beautiful walk!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was a lovely walk on a lovely day. Hope to do it again on Sunday to mark three years of our move to Cornwall πŸ™‚

      1. Colline says:

        You definitely live in a beautiful part of the world.

  8. Cathy says:

    What an amazing range of camellias – and of course with magnolias and rhododendrons and azaleas as well it must have been a wonderful visit for you

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m not a big fan of the Rhodies, but I do like Azaleas and Magnolias. Time to return this week to see whether those daffodils are open.

  9. Su Leslie says:

    Never!! Though I’ve only recently come to appreciate camellias, having been a rhododendron fan for ever. Beautiful garden Jude and lovely photos.

    1. Heyjude says:

      This year they have been wonderful – often they go brown and horrid because of wind or frost or rain. I’m not so keen on rhodies.

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