Carolyn and I visited Trengwainton’s 25 acres last week and discover special plants nurtured for generations by those with a passion for their beauty and extraordinary story.
Here spring comes early here with champion magnolias flowering from February onwards. They were amazing if you peered skywards to see their huge waxy blooms outlined against the sky, they had walled gardens that are crammed with tender exotic plants from around the world while other areas feature towering rhododendrons and giant tree ferns.
Camellias are quite simply spectacular when in bloom. They are closely related to the tea plants that gives its family the name, Theaceae. The genius was named for a Jesuit ministry, Georg Kamel, who first cultivated these plants in the Philippine Islands in the 17th century. However Camellia Japonica is native to Japan, Korea and Taiwan. They have been prized in Japanese gardens from the 14th century, and in the gardens of Kyoto temples there are many ancient trees estimated to be about 400 years old. Although Camellias are mentioned in 17th century books, the first living Camellia Japonica plant did not arrive in London aboard ship until the very earliest years of the 18th century, and by the early 19 century Camellia lore and become well-established. The trees in this garden are some of the oldest in Great Britain.