Seasonal highlights in Cotehele's garden

View of the house on the East Terrace

There’s something new in the garden at Cotehele for you to discover 365 days of the year. Spanning 14 acres plus 12 acres of orchard, it has variety far beyond the average garden on account of its terrain, rills and juxtaposition to the house.

 

Please book ahead before visiting the garden and orchard 

The garden and orchard at Cotehele are open for local visitors.

We've introduced advance booking to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at busier times such as weekends and bank holidays. You can book your tickets online or by calling 0344 249 1895. You do not need to book to visit the quay or wider estate. We're looking forward to welcoming you back.

What parts of the garden are currently open?

There is a one-way route in some parts of the garden. The Valley Garden is open with a one-way route in place, the entrance and exit at the bottom of the Valley Garden towards the river are also open. 

The Prospect Tower and Nelson's Piece is currently closed.

 

Bluebells galore

During April you’ll find bluebells in their element growing beneath the trees in Acer Grove. They carpet the ground and provide a beautiful colour contract with the emerging red and yellow leaves of the acers. You’ll find more bluebells on the estate walks around Cotehele, especially on the roadside verges down to the quay and around the Chapel-in-the-Wood.

Bluebells growing within Acer Grove
Bluebells growing within Acer Grove
Bluebells growing within Acer Grove

Blossoming orchards

Being in the south west, Cotehele’s orchards are amongst the earliest in the country to blossom each year. There’s an orchard of cherry trees and several of different varieties, as well as pear and plum, each with its own distinctive blossom. From late March through to April and May, the trees film with blossom and the air hums with the sound of pollinators collecting nectar.

Looking up to enjoy the Cherry Blossom on a clear day at Cotehele
Looking up at the Cherry Blossom on a clear sky day
Looking up to enjoy the Cherry Blossom on a clear day at Cotehele

The Valley Garden

The Valley Garden has now reopened. To help with social distancing we have introduced a one-way route around this area of the garden. Please follow the signs.

A tunnel from the formal terraces leads to the steep and wild Valley Garden with a path curving down to a thatched Victorian summer house, a medieval stewpond and dovecot. Throughout the spring you’ll be able to see the early camelias, followed by the magnolias and rhododendrons filling the place in late-March, April and May.

The Valley Garden in spring at Cotehele
Brightly coloured rhododendrons  in the Valley Garden at Cotehele, Cornwall
The Valley Garden in spring at Cotehele

East terraces

The terraces on the east side of Cotehele are probably the most formally planted. Throughout the spring you’ll find seasonally mixed borders of hydrangeas, roses, geraniums, spring tulips, magnolias, azaleas and a towering handkerchief tree in the north-east corner.

 

Upper Garden

In early spring look out for the brilliantly-coloured dogwood stems on the island in the pond. In the borders spot the hellebores blooming to. As spring progresses the upper garden show it’s true colours: the top (north) border is planted in ‘hot’ colours, and the west border is planted with golds and silvers, following a plan introduced by gardens adviser Graham Stuart Thomas in the 1960s.

 

The Cut Flower garden

This part of the garden is where we grow a variety of flowers for the house and for the 60ft-long Christmas flower garland usually on display within the Great Hall between November and December.

The Cut Flower garden will look a little bit different this year as we plan to do something a little bit different for our Christmas garland in 2021.

 

Robin on the back of a bench at Cotehele, Cornwall

What's that plant?

If you see a plant you'd like to identify and you don't see a gardener nearby, simply email: askthecotehelegardener@nationaltrust.org.uk and a member of the team will identify the plant. Try to: describe the location, provide some photographs, describe any special features such as flower and leaf shape, colour, bark etc.