Winter in the garden

Illuminations light up the garden during Christmas at Trelissick, Cornwall

We’re coming to that time of year again when the last blazing colours of autumn are whisked away by bitter winds. In the garden at Trelissick we retaliate against the greys and browns of winter by making the trees and remaining foliage glow with every hue possible. The illuminations are a staple of Christmas here, and this year they’re better than ever.

In previous years our illuminations have remained at the top area of the garden, looping around the relatively flat plateau to the east of the house. We’ve been much more adventurous in our planning this time around and have illuminated two other distinct areas for visitors to enjoy. The first area is the Dell with its jungle-like foliage and winding paths; you’ll find yourself surrounded on all sides with glowing colour highlighting the stark patterns of the tree ferns and bamboo.

Weave your way through the jungle of the Dell
The Dell illuminated at Trelissick, Cornwall


Making your way down from the higher areas of the garden into the Dell is an adventure is itself – watch out for the affectionately named ‘Bonk Tree’ which is so named for its low hanging branch which people tend to bump their heads on. Don’t worry, you shouldn’t be caught out by this crafty rhododendron. We have our health and safety hats on and wrapped it in fairy lights to alert people to its presence.

Venture down into the Dell
The Dell illuminated at Trelissick, Cornwall


Winding your way out of the Dell you’ll come to the garden bridge which links the two illuminated areas of garden together. The bridge itself is seeing its last Christmas here at Trelissick as it’s come to the end of its life and is being replaced in the New Year. We are currently fundraising for this project in order to keep the garden connected. For this reason we are giving the bridge a brilliant send-off by illuminating it too. You’ll have the chance when visiting to donate at the bridge to then illuminate it yourself at the press of a button.

Towering trees light up the sky
Towering trees light up the sky at Trelissick, Cornwall

Crossing this shining walkway will lead you over to the woodland garden called Carcaddon. Here you’ll be craning your necks to see the full majesty of the illuminated giants here – a contrast to the enclosed feel of the Dell. Make your way up the path’s slight rise and look back the way you have come for a breath-taking vista of all of the garden’s illuminations. From here you can amble along the tree lined trail until the chill starts making you crave a hot drink (maybe a mulled wine?). We think that’s the only thing that’ll make you want to leave the garden – but we’re a little biased.


Christmas is a really special time here and the garden is a true spectacle to behold. We hope you enjoy seeing Trelissick in a new light this year and enjoy the other festivities we are putting on too!