Spring in the garden

Spring is a wonderful time to explore Coleton Fishacre garden. While there are no leaves on the trees the sea views are vast and captivating, and throughout the garden spring flowering bulbs and shrubs are starting to provide pops of colour. Some of the grass paths and lawns may be closed when you visit to give them a chance to dry out after heavy rains, but there will still be plenty to see.

Streamside

The winter rain has filled the steams so that they are babbling away, with dramatic waterfalls. The sound of running water can be heard throughout the garden. The edges of the streams are home to marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) candelabra primulas which are all in flower in spring. While you're streamside it's well worth a visit to the middle pond, which the garden team cleared out over the winter, so it's looking clear and fresh at the moment.
 
Look out for the candelabra primulas in flower along the edge of Coleton Fishacre stream
Candelabra primulas flowering at the edge of a stream in Coleton Fishacre garden
Look out for the candelabra primulas in flower along the edge of Coleton Fishacre stream

 

Beautiful bulbs

 
Bulbs flower throughout the garden. The bank just before you reach the Quarry is a great place to see crocuses, daffodils and snowflake (Leucojum) in flower. Fritillaries, tulips and camassia (part of the asparagus family, with blue star-like prongs) are looking great on Seemly Terrace. The wooded areas of the garden are all filling up with the promise of bluebells, scilla, three-cornered leek, and wild garlic. They'll all be flowering before long, and filling the air with the scent of wild-garlic so iconic of late spring at Coleton Fishacre.
 
The garden at Coleton Fishacre is a great place to see bluebells
Bluebells flowering in the garden at Coleton Fishacre
The garden at Coleton Fishacre is a great place to see bluebells
 

Terrific terraces 

 
At Seemly Terrace and the house terraces spring is the time to see herbaceous plants in flower. Some highlights include:
  • primroses
  • bleeding heart (Dicentra)
  • hellebores
  • euphorbia
  • corydalis,
  • wallflower (Erysimum)
  • elephant's ears (Bergenia)
  • tree echium (Echium pininana).

 

Super shrubs

 
The lower half of the garden is the place to go to see an abundance of camellias, rhododendrons and, azaleas in flower, amongst the tree ferns which thrive in the sheltered valley. The climate here, which is as mild as in South Cornwall, allows the tree ferns to go uncovered throughout the winter; something which is uncommon in this country. 
 
Spring bulbs and shrubs in flower at Coleton Fishacre
Spring bulbs and shrubs in flower at Coleton Fishacre
Spring bulbs and shrubs in flower at Coleton Fishacre

 

Spring cleaning

The garden have been busy with a project to rejuvenate Kent's Border; the border by the house at the top of the garden. Last spring they removed and rehomed plants that were growing there and invested some TLC in the soil. It was then planted with hedging, topiary, soft planting, and, of course, plenty of colour. Deep plums and purples, bright magentas and the softest pinks will blend with creamy whites and fresh green foliage once the border is established, evocative of the Arts and Crafts style. 

 

Spring garden walks

On Fridays at 2pm the garden team lead a free walk around the garden, sharing the top spots to see the spring flowers, the work they're doing and the history of the garden. The walk begins at the far end of the courtyard. Normal admission prices apply. 

 

Artist in residence

On selected Sundays in March and April, artist in residence Jo Turner will be working in the garden, capturing the views in a mixture of pen, ink and water colour. Jo specialises in landscapes, buildings, objects and people. Each week she'll be stationed in a different part of the garden, where she'll be happy to chat about her work and will have materials on hand for you to use if you are feeling creative.

Jo says 'I love interacting with visitors and talking about what I'm doing and what we are looking at, the light, the colours, the mood, even the rain....'