Conservation is at the heart of all the work the garden team put in at Glendurgan, protecting and preserving this distinctive Quaker garden for future generations to enjoy.
When the Fox family established Glendurgan in the 1820s they were a family of 12; now there are well over 80,000 visitors who enjoy visiting the garden each year. As the garden was not initially designed to withstand these volumes of people, the team have put conservation measures in place to help protect the more fragile areas of the garden.
Over the last few years improvements have been made to the footpaths throughout the garden, upgrading them to a bonded gravel path surface so they are better able to withstand the volumes of people who wander along them each year. Drainage has been improved so the surfaces are able to withstand the wet Cornish weather without washing away or creating large puddles.
Looking after the wildflower banks
Glendurgan suffered a severe storm in 1990 which felled over 70 trees in a matter of hours. This left large areas of the garden open where previously they'd been covered in trees. The garden team at the time took the bold decision not to replant with trees but instead to manage these open areas for wildflowers to flourish.
Throughout autumn, winter and spring the garden team now undertake the huge task of strimming and raking the grass banks across all three valleys.
The amazing display of wildflowers lasts throughout the spring months and includes violets, primroses, bluebells and aquilegias.
As summer approaches the banks are left uncut, allowing the wildflowers from spring to sow their seeds and increase their numbers each year, but this also weakens some of the dominant grasses which can overbear the wildflowers. Wonderful news for wildlife such as moths, butterflies and beetles which flourish in these conditions during the warmer seasons.
Creating a home for wildlife
Towards the end of summer you may also spot members of the garden team wading in the pond, not enjoying a cool dip, but clearing some of the invasive weeds in the water. This keeps the water clean and means that when spring rolls round we see more frog spawn and tadpoles swimming around, as well as dragonfly and damselfly nymphs which then hatch into adults, the sign of healthy and thriving ecology. We also had a family of ducks move themselves in in 2019 who seem to be enjoying their new home!
By keeping to the paths as you explore the garden, this helps to reduce the risk of plant disease spreading and help us protect the plants, trees and wildflower banks.
When visiting Glendurgan and supporting the National Trust you are helping us to look after this special place so it can be enjoyed for generations to come.