Whilst Trengwainton is very different to Heligan, I found it to be just as exciting. The gardens are renowned for their collection of rare specimen exotic trees and shrubs, and I was not to be disappointed. From a plantsman's point of view, this place is paradise!
Owned by the National Trust, this 26 acre garden boasts a wonderful microclimate thanks to it's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the gulf stream on the South Western edge of the UK. It is close enough to the sea to benefit from the associated mild winters, but far enough away to avoid issues with excessive salt scorch and exposure. The dense planting of woodland surrounding the gardens also provides an effective windbreak, ensuring that the many decidedly tender plants flourish within the grounds.
One of the highlights of Trengwainton is its stream garden. This small watercourse has been brilliantly planted with marginal aquatic plants and moisture loving species. Immaculate hostas jostled with brightly coloured primulas and Zantedeschia aethiopica - both the standard white form and the ever popular 'Green Goddess'. We timed our visit to perfection - the stream garden was looking stunning!
|Hostas and primulas - a perfect choice for moist ground in dappled light.|
|As a gardener, plant combinations such as this are always inspiring!|
|Zantedeschia, primulas and crocosmia in the Stream Garden.|
Along with the healthy stands of Zantedeschia, other plants from the aroid family included Arum italicum and Lysichiton americanus - the American Skunk Cabbage. The latter had finished flowering, but evidence of it's bright yellow spathes remained in the shape of the seed heads, covered in ripening fruits. Technically, this structure is termed an infructescence. How about that for a word to casually slip into conversation?!
|Lysichiton americanus - the American Skunk Cabbage with ripening seeds.|
Other species of tree fern were also to be seen. Dicksonia fibrosa and Dicksonia squarrosa both looked to be in good health. If only I could get away with growing them here in my garden!
|Petasites in the foreground, Dicksonia antarctica in the background.|
|Some of the Dicksonia were enourmous! Cyathea dealbata in the background.|
|Cyathea dealbata. I want it!|
|Backlit Cyathea dealbata fronds. Nice!|
The notoriously fickle Coryline indivisia appeared perfectly at home, growing on a sunny bank in a woodland clearing. This relative of the much more common, and much less demanding Cordyline australis, has a reputation for suddenly going to terminal decline for no apparent reason. The roots of this plant need a constant environment with no significant fluctuations in moisture levels or sudden changes in temperature. Consequently, it never survives for long in a pot, and needs very careful siting in the garden.
My final photo of this stunning garden is of an impressive Schefflera taiwaniana. This plant is gradually becoming more widely available and is highly effective within the exotic style garden. Commonly seen as a single stemmed small shrub, there were several specimens at Trengwainton that were moderate sized trees, and were certainly the largest that I'd set eyes upon. This particular species is on the wish list for my own garden, but I can only dream of a specimen the size of these!
|Schefflera taiwaniana - not a bad size! Cyathea dealbata behind.|