The 1695 Lanhydrock Atlas shows a bowling green in this area. The Parterre was part of the redesign of the formal gardens in 1858. Gravel paths between the box hedges were replaced with grass when Gerald Viscount Clifden updated the design in the 1930s. The large box hedge surrounding the Parterre was added in 1935 to commemorate the silver jubilee of George V.
In spring the Parterre has block colours of tulips with an under planting of forget-me-nots while for the last twenty years the summer bedding has featured begonias. Look out for some changes this coming summer!
Replanting the same bulbs meant problems with tulip fire (a fungal disease) and tulips couldn’t be planted for several years in the 1950s. Between the Parterre and the beds in front of the raised church border a total of 5,000 tulip bulbs are planted and lifted every year.
The history of the parterre
As first developed in France by Claude Mollet around 1595, parterres had a simple interlacing of herbs surrounding sand or flowers. Box hedging was first used in the 1630s. Out of fashion in England since the 1720s naturalistic landscape garden movement, including a parterre in the 1858 redesign was a recognition that garden fashion had changed.