Keen green thumb? You’re in luck – Cornwall is packed full of excellent gardens from sub-tropical paradises to magnificent magnolia collections. And the best part is – plenty of them are dog friendly to boot. Here are five of our favourites…
Step back in time at Mount Edgcumbe. The gardens here have been built on and expanded over hundreds of years, without ruining the work of the previous generation. Today there are all manner of gardens to explore including The Rose Garden, The Fern Dell and The New Zealand Garden. The latest addition is the Black Bee Reserve which was created last year and is the first of its kind in England. Strategic planting and plenty of hives provide the bees with sustenance all year. And it fits in the in the original frame garden to mirror its purpose in an earlier period. How fitting!
Head to Trebah and explore a 25 acre wooded sub-tropical ravine garden that winds its way down to its very own beach on the Helford River. Open every day of the year, there is always something to see. In spring you'll be delighted by 100-year-old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias and the giant gunnera is a must see in summer. In autumn the gorgeous hydrangea valley boasts wisps of soft blue and white clouds across the mallard pond. And, in winter, the focus is on the flowering southern hemisphere plants. It's dog friendly and there are adventure play areas and dedicated trails for kids too.
A fascinating intersection of contemporary art and nature, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is a must see for any culture vulture with a penchant for gardens. It only opened in 2012 but it's already a Cornish garden staple and well worth a wander with your pup. Situated in a sheltered valley with a micro climate, it's the perfect setting for exotic and sub-tropical plants to flourish. And the views of St Michael's Mount aren't bad either! As you make your way around the garden you'll also enjoy an evolving programme of contemporary artwork. Revered artists including James Turrell, David Nash and Richard Long have produced permanent work which works beautifully with the natural surroundings.
Mad for Magnolias? Head to Caerhays Castle and Gardens and check out the stunning National Magnolia Collection. In fact, the whole garden is said to be a 'spring-time wonderland'. Dogs on leads are welcome and together you can roam the 120 acre English Heritage Listed Grade II woodland gardens and soak up the stunning sea views. If you'd like more insight, book a guided tour of the gardens with the head gardener. Afterwards why not head down to the nearby Porthluney Cove; it's dog-friendly year round (though they must be kept on leads from June – September).
Wander around this 30-acre estate which is home to several gardens boasting over 6,000 plants from around the world. Keen gardeners will be pleased to know that most plants are labelled too. As well as multiple gardens, Pinetum is home to several 'Champion Trees', either the tallest or broadest of their variety. Lovingly cultivated over the last four decades, Pinetum is a Cornish garden well worth checking out. It's set on level ground perfect for a stroll with your canine companion. In fact, it's so dog friendly the garden is even hosting a dog show later this year.
Need somewhere to stay to visit these gorgeous gardens? Check out our Cornish self-catering cottages to find your perfect holiday home.