Seasonal highlights in Cotehele's garden

Spanning 14 acres of gardens and 12 acres of orchards, Cotehele's garden is unique and varied all year round, but visiting in summer is particularly enchanting. The borders in the upper gardens become a myriad of herbaceous plants and colourful flowers, while the terraces burst with hydrangeas, roses, geraniums and irises.

What is open in the garden at Cotehele?

All areas of the garden and orchards are open, apart from Nelson's Piece and Prospect Tower which is currently closed for everyone's safety.

East terraces

You’ll find terraced herbaceous borders on the east side of the house, leading down towards the fanastic view of the viaduct towards Calstock.

Here you’ll find seasonally mixed borders of hydrangeas, roses, geraniums, irises, salvia, Centaurea Monatana and Centaurea Montana Alba and Veronicastrum.

Plants growing in the borders on the East Terrace
Plants growing in the east terrace borders at Cotehele, Cornwall
Plants growing in the borders on the East Terrace

Upper Garden

The upper Garden has a central pond, filled with red and white water lilies in the summer. Their lily pads provide shelter for all the frogs that spawned here in spring. The pond is framed on all four sides by herbaceous borders planted in different colour schemes.

At their best in the summer are the top (north) border, which is planted in ‘hot’ colours, and the west border, which is planted in golds and silvers. These planting schemes follow a plan introduced by garden adviser Graham Stuart Thomas in the 1960s.

Upper Garden in the summer
Upper Garden in the summer
Upper Garden in the summer

Cut Flower Garden

In summer the Cut Flower Garden is full of blooms. This is where we grow a variety of flowers for both the house and the 60ft-long flower garland usually on display in the Great Hall at Christmas. Each year, the garden team usually cut and strip between 20,000-40,000 flowers, before bunching them up to be dried in the store room ready for Christmas.

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

The Cut Flower Garden in the summer
The Cut Flower Garden in the summer
The Cut Flower Garden in the summer

The Valley Garden

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.

In summer the Valley Garden becomes a jungle of lush green trees and gunnera manicata (giant rhubarb). Spend a moment relaxing by the serene pond and then follow one of the wildflower lined paths down to the quay.

The 16th century dovecote in the Valley Garden at Cotehele
The 16th century dovecote in the Valley Garden at Cotehele, Cornwall
The 16th century dovecote in the Valley Garden at Cotehele

 

 

 

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.