Imagine walking down a path under cathedral shape and size yew trees, and the only company is bird song, then down through a ‘just managed’ woodland full of bluebells, Algerian oak (the largest in the country) sweet chestnut, rhododendrons, camellias, wollemi pine (and much more) to a silvery stream with deer contentedly grazing.
Such is the magic of Tregrehan (pronounced Trgrain) which has been home to the Carlyon family since 1565, and is a grade II historic garden of some twenty acres.
The current owner, Tom Hudson, who welcomed us, is from the New Zealand branch of the Carlyon family, and arrived at Tregrehan in 1987. Tom felt that the garden needed to be taken back to its roots, and is now working within a conservation remit to very great effect. A lot of the plants have been grown from seed collected in the wild by him, as he is a noted plant collector.
The estate boasts many structures, prime amongst which is a very large Victorian glass house that was restored in the1990s and is used for ornamental species requiring a little bit of frost protection, something that was much needed last November when winter came with a vengeance to Cornwall.