This area was a kitchen garden in the 18th century and then an ornamental garden from around 1841 but subsequently became overgrown with laurel bushes. It was cleared and planted by Gerald Viscount Clifden with Asiatic magnolias starting in 1933 with two specimens of Magnolia campbellii and two specimens of Magnolia x veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’. These four trees are the largest magnolias in the garden and only the M grandiflora clothing the North Range of the house are older.
The magnificent specimen of M campbelli subsp mollicomata near the front of the gardener’s cottage was planted in 1947 and M sargentiana var. robusta near the path at the top of the stream completed Gerald’s magnolia planting in 1949. The surrounding park and trees allowed the magnolias to become well established despite the gardens being close to the southern edge of Bodmin moor. East winds in winter and late frost may affect the blooms but the trees are otherwise hardy.
Under the guidance of successive Head Gardeners (Peter Borlase and Nigel Teagle) the National Trust has established a selection of the very best magnolias at Lanhydrock which thrive in the mild Cornish climate. With over 200 magnolias in the 30 acre garden including 15 different species, 3 sub-species and over 100 different hybrids or cultivars it is possible to find a magnolia in flower in every month of the year. The most magnificent displays are in springtime.