We finally visited Tremenhere sculpture gardens near Penzance last week whilst staying at the Cellars. I have been meaning to go there for ages. Other than a huge minotaur sculpture, huge hassan marble eucalyptus seed pods (see picture above) and a recreation of a gold winning Chelsea slate garden (see picture below) the art was a bit modern for us but interesting to see what the artist’s message was. Not always obvious!

The gardens were lovely; an interesting and beautiful mix of traditional plants and trees and palms and succulents of all sizes and shapes. The gardens are on a slope and there are various paths that wind up and down the slope and at the top there are fantastic views of St Michaels Mount. I would recommend a visit.

The land used to be owned by the monks at St Michaels Mount prior to 1294 and it was a vineyard for the Mount in the 15 century. It later became a noted strawberry growing area with exports to Newfoundland! It faces south, is sheltered and has good soil and a mild microclimate which has also allowed such an interesting garden to be created.

It was in the Tremenhere family for 600 years until the lineage fell away. A Pearce family then farmed it for 4 generations until 1997 and then a Dr Neil Armstrong acquired the land and created over time the gardens as they are now. This information is all in a leaflet you get when you pay to go into the gardens. I think it is lovely that he used the Tremenhere name. You can get married in the gardens as they do have a license. It must look lovely in the dark as they have little lights throughout the garden.

The ticket price is £8.50. But you can visit an art gallery (which was closed on Mondays when we went) and a shop and restaurant without paying. We were after a light lunch but it was more of a restaurant lunch so we did not try it but it did look a nice place to eat. You can just have a coffee and cake.

There was also a great small succulent nursery just outside the garden with a small shop containing various air plants and a beautiful green roof with lots of succulents on it – see picture below.

One of the plants we found in the garden we have outside the Cellars and at this time of year it looks stunning as the central leaves turn a vivid red.

I found out it is called Fasciculria bicolor. It originates from the coastal forests of Chile hence it does not mind the sea salt in the air. It is very hardy down to -10C and very drought tolerant. Perfect not that it gets that cold in Cornwall. It does seem better than any previous year so it probably liked the sunny dry conditions we have had this summer. Apparently to protect themselves from grazing animals they evolved tough, hard-to-chew, foliage and not even llamas are tempted by them!

Finally continuing on the red theme, there was a lovely sunrise in the cove on Friday morning.


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