IMG_6850Very much a garden for the plant enthusiast, I think, particularly if you’re into sub tropical ferns and sun loving agaves. When we visited in mid August the three valleys that make up this garden were bathed in warm sunshine and there was the sound of children’s laughter from the Maze and play spots. The valleys tip out into the Helford river where the hamlet of Durgan (now a series of holiday lets run by the National Trust), looks across the wide, slow running estuary that leads to Falmouth a little further up stream.

There’s also much of interest here for those that love inspiring landscapes, featuring variations in foliage shape, size and tint coupled with the different masses and forms of the many exotic trees and shrubs. This is a well crafted garden that makes the most of its situation, with breathtaking valley-side paths that give glimpses of interesting trees, features and of course that maze.

Despite being busy when we visited, the garden’s enclosed volume seemed to capture sound and, rather like a cathedral, gave back softened echoes that settle the soul.

Glendurgan Garden was laid out by Alfred Fox in the 1820s and 1830s, with the famous Cherry Laurel Maze being created in 1833. In 1962 Glendurgan Garden was given to the National Trust by Cuthbert and Philip Fox. Key features are the giant rhubarb plants in the jungle-like lower valley and spiky arid plants basking in the sunny upper slopes. There’s also a seat made out of an upturend boat, several tulip-trees and ponds. I gather that the Trust have introduced some colour into the gardens, where spaces naturally fall between the more major planting, but this is principally of spring and early summer wild flowers, long gone by the time of our visit. We must return at another season…

Further Information: National Trust Website

Old School Gardener

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