Cornwall's southerly location and mild coastal climate make it a haven for gardeners. There are some great gardens to visit within a short distance of Penhale. These include the famous Lost Gardens of Heligan and the incredible Eden Project.
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A few minutes drive from Penhale Park, near to Par railway station, you will pass an unassuming hedge and a small sign advertising Marsh Villa Gardens. Do not be fooled! Behind the hedge you will find three acres of the most incredibly beautiful and well kept gardens. You can see beautiful formal borders, mixed beds and woodland areas. There are marshland walks and a large natural pond.
You can tell the amount of care and love that has gone into making this garden. Anyone who enjoys plants and gardening will love to spend time here. It is such a great place to relax and get away from it all. Take your time and lounge in the shade of the trees and watch dragonflies buzz over the pond.
Chat to the owners, and find out about the history of the garden, which lies in a former tidal creek, upon which Daphne Du Maurier based her novel, 'The House on the Strand'. Enjoy a cream tea or a slice of delicious homemade cake. Browse the plants for sale. Dogs are welcome on leads.
Marsh Villa Gardens
St Andrews Road
Tel: 01726 815920
Distance: 2.5 miles
A colourful 3.5 acre cottage style garden in a secluded valley. There are many beds and borders of herbaceous perennials, shrubs and grasses, with lots of colour throughout the season. There is also a potager for vegetables and herbs, and rows of soft fruit for pick your own.
There are collections of Crocosmia, Dahlia and Agapanthus. In one area there is a large wild life pond and bog planting and in a shady part there is a Fernery. Stroll through the Japanese area and Iris beds, and see the Iris Fairy Well. Relax away from the crowds, make your own refreshments in the tea hut and sample some delicious homemade cakes. You can purchase plants propagated from the garden & entertain your children with a garden quiz (for all ages).
Hidden Valley Garden
Tel: 01208 873225
Distance: 2.5 miles
Tregrehan has been home to the Carlyon family since the 1500's. Jovey Carlyon's passion for trees during the late 19th century is evident in the towering specimens seen today. Beneath this canopy, Gillian Carlyon's renowned collection of camellias flourish. At its floral peak in the spring, the 20 acre garden and greenhouse are a magnificent sight. The garden is open to the public from mid March to the end of May and one day per week throughout the summer.
Tea, coffee and snacks are on sale and you can bring your own picnic basket. The nursery is open during garden open hours and by appointment anytime. Specialising in rare and unusual plants, professional advice is available.
No dogs are allowed in the garden.
Tel: 01726 814389
Distance: 4.5 miles
Winner of the Bronze Award for Small Tourist Attraction of the Year in the Cornwall Tourism Awards, Pine Lodge Gardens is situated on the warm and sheltered south coast of St.Austell Bay, and provides excellent growing conditions for rare, unusual and tender plants. Many have been grown from seed from plant hunting expeditions all over the world.
The collection at Pine Lodge Gardens now stands at well over 6,000 plants, all labelled, in over 30 acres of well-maintained gardens, and it is being added to each year. Planting in Pine Lodge Gardens has been very carefully planned to provide interest throughout the year.
Pine Lodge is very close to Penhale Caravan Park and easy to find, on the main road into St Austell (A390). This makes Pine Lodge a must, and it is well worth a visit.
The gardens are now open all year. You can also visit the tearooms for a delicious freshly cooked meal or a cream tea, and take time to browse the variety of plants for sale.
Pine Lodge Garden
Tel: 01726 73500
Distance: 5 miles
This incredible coastal garden has the most stunning cliff top views over the English Channel and the beautiful Fowey estuary. It is situated on the seaward side of the small fishing village of Polruan, just across the river from Fowey. This unique position on the south Cornish coast creates an almost subtropical microclimate in which palm trees, tree ferns, echium and other tender plants flourish.
Discover a vegetable garden perched at the top of a precipitous cliff, and from there wind down through the rest of the garden to a secluded swimming cove.
Headland garden opens in support of the RNLI and NGS. During the 2009 season the garden was open from May to September on Thursdays only, so it is always best to check opening times.
Cream teas are available. No dogs allowed.
Tel: 01726 870243
Distance: 6 miles (take the Bodinnick car ferry over the river Fowey.)
A Victorian garden, which is full of colour all year round. It has a magnificent collection of magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons. Beyond the gardens you can follow numerous paths through woods and parkland down to the banks of the River Fowey.
Lanhydrock puts on one of the counties most colourful spring shows, with over 120 species of cream and white magnolias amongst the many wild flowers that carpet the woodland. Learn about the history and the work involved to keep the magnificent gardens maintained via the new interpretation on permanent display in the garden's thatched cottage.
With so much space to roam, Lanhydrock is a family friendly day out. The restaurant has a good children's menu and there are baby-changing facilities on-site. There are also baby slings, and pushchairs for loan, as well as a children's play area to keep the children amused whilst you lie-back and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
The garden, shop and refreshments are open all year.
Tel: 01208 265950
Distance: 9 miles
Heligan has been the seat of the Tremayne family for over 400 years. The gardens, created mainly in the 19th century, were some of the finest in England, with acres of planted gardens, ornamental woodland, and a huge walled vegetable garden.
During World War 1 the male staff went to war, and most did not return. The House was taken over by the War Office to use as a convalescent home for officers. Then throughout the Second World War the US army used the house. Practice landings for D-Day took place on Pentewan Beach, a mile away. Outside of war time the house was rented out. The acres of gardens and woodland remained in the ownership of the Tremaynes but nothing was done to them. They became a time capsule, untouched by the modern world and covered with ivy and brambles.
Luckily the gardens have been renovated and bought back to their original glory, and are now one of the most popular botanical gardens in the country. You will be able to explore the many different areas of the garden, including the enormous Jungle area of sub-tropical plants, an Italian garden, and an incredible Victorian walled vegetable garden with amazing espalier fruit trees, glasshouses, and a rare working pineapple pit - warmed by rotting manure!
You will find quality food and drinks on sale in the Heligan Tearoom, as well as in The Stewards House. There are also plant sales and a gift shop. Open all year, the gardens do not allow dogs between April and October.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Tel: 01726 845100
Distance: 12 miles
On the edge of Bodmin moor, Pinsla is a small two acre artist's garden situated in peaceful secluded woodland.
Interspersed with sculptures, the imaginative planting and winding paths create a magical feel that transports you from the everyday. This garden will leave you feeling relaxed and inspired.
There is a nursery on site, where plants are propagated and grown for the garden and for sale. You can also stop for a cup of tea and some lovely cakes!
Pinsla Garden and Nursery
Tel: 01208 821339
Distance: 12 miles
Caerhays is home to the National Magnolia Collection, as well as being famous for an impressive range of Camellias and Rhododendrons.
There is a pretty tea room offering cakes, lunches and snacks, as well as a gift shop selling many plants and gardening items.
The gardens are predominantly spring flowering and so open from February until the end of May only, seven days a week. Guided tours of the gardens last around 1½ - 2 hours and must be pre-booked. Dogs are welcome on leads.
Caerhays Castle Garden
Tel: 01872 501310
Distance: 16 miles