Summer in the garden at Cotehele

Looking across the east terrace borders at Cotehele, Cornwall

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.

Booking ahead is advised before visiting the house, garden and orchard 

The gardens and orchard at Cotehele are open for local visitors. From the 7th June, the house (Great Hall, breakfast room, dining room, Punch Room and White Bedroom only) and mill will also open.

We've introduced advance booking to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing. To avoid disappointment please book in advance 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.

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.

The East Terrace is beautiful in June
Looking through the flowers in the East Terrace towards Cotehele house
The East Terrace is beautiful in June

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 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 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.

Apples in the Mother Orchard at Cotehele

Cotehele's orchards

The orchards at Cotehele are just a few of the 200 orchards across the country looked after by the National Trust. Traditional orchards are a part of our heritage but also a vital part of our future. As well as providing us with beautiful spaces to relax and delicious food and drink to enjoy they are home to many birds, bees, butterflies and insects.