Sunny and warm weather last week enticed us to visit Lanhydrock, surely the most beautiful garden for magnificent magnolias? From the whitest of white M. stellata ‘Donna’ to the giant voluptuous deep purple goblets of M. ‘Apollo’, there are blooms with all shades in between. As with most National Trust gardens you have to pre-book to visit as numbers are limited. Here, many people come to walk with their dogs or cycle around the vast parkland so it is relatively quiet in the actual gardens. It is worth noting that the timed visit is to enter the garden where your tickets are checked, so make sure you leave sufficient time to walk down from the car park.
Let’s take a wander. Enter the gardens through the imposing gatehouse where the formal parterres and goblet-shaped yew trees are.
The softer shades of magnolias are instantly noticeable in the lower areas and the smell of new mown grass fills the air. First mowing of the season and the lawns look like velvet. It was nice to see people meeting up with one another (rule of six applies still), having a picnic, seeing a grandchild, probably for the first time. Unfortunately my family live too far away for a meet up like this yet. I’m going to have to wait until overnight stays are allowed.
We usually wander around the gardens in an anti-clockwise direction, so that we make our way slowly up to the higher parts and from there into the woodland garden. Some of the blossoms are magnificent and deserve a closer look.
Along the way we stop frequently to admire the flowers, sadly the Camellias are badly rain-damaged in this part of the garden, their vibrant colours turning a mushy brown. But there are plenty of new beginnings in the herbaceous borders and along the water garden. It was a misty day in Cornwall, though the sun did try to break through at times, and warm enough to dispose of the jacket. Unfortunately though, this meant no blue sky to contrast with the blossom.
Daffodils have been planted in their thousands in the edges of the lawns. Tall white ones echo the magnolia blossom and delicate yellows shine out among pale yellow and pink primroses. It must be a mammoth task planting all these bulbs.
The cute thatched cottage at this end of the garden looks like something out of a fairy tale with the magnolias framing it. White and bright red Chaemoneles (Japanese Quince) scramble up the walls.
As we climb upwards towards the woodland the pale Magnolias are replaced by huge Rhododendrons in darker shades of reds, bright pinks, and even yellow, though my camera lens only sees white. Fortunately there are many benches dotted around for you to take a break from the climb and simply sit and watch the petals fall silently, like confetti, to the ground. Despite being not too far from the busy A30 there is no other sound other than the endless fluty birdsong of blackbirds and robins and the chattering of sparrows.
Time to breathe and take in the beauty of nature and the joy of the beginning of spring.