New knot garden at Trerice

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Eight hundred young yew trees have been planted to map out the intricate design of a new Ladies’ Garden at Trerice near Newquay in Cornwall, which is now open for you to visit.

This gem of a knot garden is set to bring to life this romantic Elizabethan manor house which has been a labour of love for the gardening team and 13 volunteers.

After more than two years of hard work, the new 30m x 30m design of this Dutch-inspired knot garden has been revealed. It cleverly mirrors the geometric design of the decorative plasterwork ceiling in the great chamber of the manor, which is undergoing major conservation work 60 years after we first opened the house to visitors.

How the knot garden was created

John Lanyon, our gardens manager for Trerice said: 'Painstaking research and archaeological work revealed very little about the original garden, which gave us the freedom to design an entirely new knot garden inspired by Trerice’s period features.

'The new garden quietly brings together and to life the glorious Elizabethan age of both house and garden. The link between the chamber ceiling and garden is inspired, to the extent that as you stand at the chamber’s ‘solar window’, gaze up at the ceiling and look down on the identical knot garden design below.'

Traditionally, knot gardens were created by training and trimming box hedging but, with the threat of box blight, yew has been used instead. Over time this garden will mature, and release the heady scent of herbs and flowers – from silvery-grey strands of lavender and purple-flowering oregano to scented old rose varieties.

Preparing for the garden

Andy Lay, former teacher and garden volunteer said: 'I’ve worked on the project since we first had the idea of re-introducing some kind of formal garden in this area of the grounds two years ago.

'We had to first clear the old orchard and spent last summer laying out the intriate design before planting it up as it is now in February and March this year.

'There was originally a formal Dutch garden in this area of the grounds and the knot garden gives a new and different dimension for visitors coming to Trerice.

'The lavender is already alive with honey bees and there is a constant humming. Once the yew hedging matures a bit we’ll be able to clip this into shape which will further bring the design to life.'