Real gardens: Burncoose

A beautiful Cornish garden with rare and striking trees and gorgeous natural plantings.

Some gardens are manicured to within an inch of their natural life. Others rely on natural charm and the plants that flourish within them. Secretly, F&F loves these sorts of gardens the most, and so it is a real pleasure to feature the beautiful Burncoose Gardens in Redruth, Cornwall, on the blog.



Apart from occasional fêtes and open days, the garden was completely private and rarely seen by anyone other than invited guests up until 1984 when the Nursery opened at Burncoose. It was this milestone that prompted the opening of the 30 acre gardens to the public.



Much of the charm of Burncoose Gardens was and still is the carpets of bluebells, daffodils, primroses, snowdrops and wild violets which grow in abundance in late winter and spring. Great care has been taken not to spoil this natural, informal woodland feel, by adopting sympathetic maintenance of the garden – which for more than 40 years was the responsibility of the same Head Gardener, Mr Arnold Dance.

As well as these informal, woodland delights there are many other noteworthy highlights in the gardens. Once described as ‘a garden oasis in the mine wastelands of Cornwall’ the garden has progressed from being a typical Cornish spring garden into a garden for all seasons, with year round noteworthy characteristics. One such highlight includes a collection of hydrangeas which flower the most intense blues and purples on the garden’s acidic soil in the summer.

Araucaria_araucana monkey puzzle

Striking and rare plants on site include an Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle Tree) – a popular attraction in the garden, this tree was recorded as being over 100ft tall in 1930, and is much the same height today, just with the development of an additional side shoot. There is also a Rehderodendron macrocarpum – this unusual, rare tree flowers in late May and has numerous trusses of pendulous white flowers followed by large dark pink fruits which take two years to germinate.

The gardens celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2014, and are free to visit for the whole year. Click here for more information.

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