Summer perennials at Cotehele

Looking through the foxgloves towards Cotehele house in Cornwall

Cotehele garden is beautiful in summer, filled with a myriad of colourful plants and flowers with the herbaceous borders being particularly spectacular.

East terraces

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

Amongst the many plants growing here are geraniums, irises, salvia, Centaurea Montana and Centaurea Montana Alba and Veronicastrum.

Summer borders on the east terrace at Cotehele
Looking across the east terrace borders towards the valley at Cotehele, Cornwall
Summer borders on the east terrace at Cotehele

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. This pond is framed on all four sides by herbaceous borders planting in different colour schemes.

At their best in 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 gardens adviser Graham Stuart Thomas in the 1960s.

Crimson water lilies appear in summer
Crimson water lily on the lake at Sheffield Park Sussex
Crimson water lilies appear in summer

Find out more about the plants

We have volunteer garden guides most days who can share information about the planting schemes and the interesting features in the garden. In the upper garden there are planting sheets discreetly displayed in the corners of the garden where you can find a full list of all the plants in the borders each season.

Feeling inspired?

If a stroll around the garden at Cotehele has left you full of ideas for making your own garden more beautiful then do stop by the Plant Centre, as you’ll find many of the plants growing in the garden for sale here.

We’re proud to sell plants grown in peat-free compost and grown locally in Cornwall at the Lanhydrock plant nursery.

The plant centre at Cotehele
The plant centre behind the shop at Cotehele, Cornwall
The plant centre at Cotehele
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