Tucked into the head of St Austell Bay lies Cornwall's Temperate Rainforest at Tregrehan.
Protected by the hills behind, massive trees and parkland, sits a sheltered botanical oasis; one of Cornwall's Great Gardens.
This family run estate welcomes everyone to share and enjoy its non commercial atmospheric setting. It is a delight on regular Spring open days or at any other time by prior arrangement.
The tree collection is the backbone of the woodland garden and the chief glory of the various collections at Tregrehan.
The garden was originally planted as an arboretum from the middle of the 19th century onwards. Then grew into a woodland garden with the understory filling in as the shade and shelter canopy developed.
This is unusual especially in the westcountry as most valley gardens in Cornwall used the existing native canopy and natural topography to create their woodland microclimate.
As well as producing plants for the garden, the nursery also has a policy of propagating other more popular plants for sale to the visitor. Behind the display glasshouse there is a dedicated propagation house for raising stock from seed and cuttings. Next to this there is a large historic growing on house that once was used as a stone fruit and pineapple house.
At the garden entrance there is a small sales area where a selection of plants are displayed. There isn't enough room for all the stock so it is always worth asking a member of staff if there is a specific plant somewhere else in the propagation system.
There is usually a range of camellias for sale including some of the Carlyon hybrids. Also available are bare root rhododendrons which will need careful handling, and other woody trees and shrubs that are suitable for milder gardens. When raising a batch of rare seed, surplus seedlings are potted on for sale as extras so there are often unusual items not seen in the average garden centre.
There are several mature New Zealand plants in the garden that were planted in the 19th Century.
The park consists of about 50 acres which wraps around the core part of the garden.
Plant collectors collectors such as William Lobb and Harold Comber introduced many trees and shrubs from South America which succeed in the mild Cornish climate.
The large Asiatic tree magnolias dominate the colour show in the garden from early spring until the mass of other colour arrives later on in March.