Garden Visits

Contact:- Annie Singer 
Phone: 01208 871272 
Email:   annie.singer
 "AT" talk21"DOT"com or CLICK HERE

Programme of visits for 2017- 26th May update

Members will be notified by e-mail of the precise details of each visit, at least one month in advance.




Contact details


Thursday 22nd June (all day)


RHS Rosemoor and Dartington Glass

Annie Singer

01208 871272          


Thursday 6th-Saturday 8th July



A 3-day visit to Bath, the Hampton Court Flower Show and Kew Gardens (with Williams Travel)

Annie Singer

01208 871272

Tuesday 18th July pm


2 gardens in St Neot

Judy Bowen-Jones

01208 821843




A garden in St Austell tbc

Judy Dixon

01208 872310


Monday 25th September (all day)


The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum and Wildside


Lindsay Southgate

01208 873371

Friday 27th October or Friday 3rd November


The Japanese Garden, St Mawgan

Annie Singer

01208 871272


Late November/Early December A festive treat at the Gardens of Heligan  Kate Martin  01208 851418

Open Gardens Schemes:
I will advertise car sharing arrangements to visits to gardens open under various schemes.  So far this year, we have visited the following gardens:

Sunday 26th March:  Ince Castle (NGS)
Saturday 15th April:  Bodwannick Manor Farm (NGS)
Monday 17th April:  Riverside Cottage, St Clement (NGS)
Sunday 23rd April:  The Lodge at Feltchers Bridge (Cornwall Hospice Care)
Sunday 7th May:  East Down Barn, Menhenniot (NGS)

Diary ramblings


One of our members, Helene Fletcher, is opening her studio again this year for the Open Studios Cornwall event. Check my details (no 240 in brochure) or on line at  She will be opening her small garden as well on the  2nd,3rd and 4th June from 11am till 5pm. The charity we are supporting this year is the Cornwall Air Ambulance.
Her address is: 4 Middleway, St Blazey, Par, PL24 2JH, tel: 01726 817 620.  Helen looks forward to seeing you.

The U3A Art Appreciation Group is arranging a visit to Peter Boex's Sculpture Garden near Helston on Saturday 3rd June.  Members of the Garden Visit Group are welcome to join this visit. They are expecting to leave the Lostwithiel Community Centre Car Park  at 10.30am.  If you are interested, please contact Jenny McDonald at

20th June:  Lostwithiel Garden Society coach trip to  Trebah & Bonython Cost: £25 all in. Coach departs from the community centre car park in  Lostwithiel at 09.15 and returns around 17.00 or thereabouts.  If anyone is interested in joining this trip, please contact John Pegg or Mary Coad 


If you have not yet managed to walk though Lanhydrock to see the bluebells, do so as they are absolutely wonderful especially if you walk through the whole estate. 

The gardens at Ethy House will be open on Saturday 6th May to raise money for St Winnow Church - another opportunity to see more bluebells

I went to Pentillie Castle on Bank Holiday Monday for their garden open day.  The weather cleared up and we had a great afternoon.  Amazing views of the river Lynher, especially as you walk to the Mausoleum.  You are also able to go into the bathing hut which is used for civil wedding ceremonies.  And of course there were plenty of bluebells.  It was my first visit and I wholeheartedly recommend the visit.  There will not be any more open days this year but bear this in mind for 2018.

BBC Gardeners World have a magazine out now which contains a voucher lasting 1 year allowing 2for1 entry to 400 gardens, or half price for 1 in 165 of them.  Mag. costs £4.50  or £4.75.      I shall get mine soon as there's bound to some in our area.

Fowey Festival week - on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th May, it will be possible to visit 10 private gardens in Fowey. This is purely to see the gardens and no refreshments will be available but there is a good selection of cafes etc. in the town, as you know. If you're interested,  you can visit the website where a detailed description of each garden is given and a map of the Secret Garden Trail can be downloaded.



 OF 22 JUNE 2017

Nine members of our group and one guest set off from Lostwithiel at 9.00am relieved that the weather had turned much cooler.  It was most people’s first visit to Rosemoor and we were not disappointed.  There was so much to see and admire and we spilt up in order to visit the areas in which we were more interested and  equally importantly to do the visit at our own pace. 

We also got together for a one and a half hour guided tour, led by a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer, the longest serving RHS volunteer at Rosemoor.  We learned about the history of Rosemoor and Dianne pointed out the most significant places and plants in the garden.

Here are a few salient points:

  • Rosemoor became home to Lady Anne Palmer and her mother following the death of her father, Robert Horace Walpole, the fifth and last Earl of Orford, in 1931.
  • The Stone Garden, designed by Lady Anne’s mother, was the first area of hard landscaping.
  • During the war the house was used by the Red Cross as a temporary refuge from the bombing for people from London’s Docklands and East End.
  • After the Second World War, Lady Anne returned to live permanently at Rosemoor with her husband Eric Palmer and young son.
  • Lady Anne’s interest in gardening began in 1959, when she caught measles from her children and, while recuperating in Spain, met the noted plantsman Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram. He opened her eyes to the beauty of the Spanish maquis and this became the first of many expeditions around Spain and England to see plants. Ingram also invited her to visit his garden in Kent and to take some cuttings and young plants back with her to start a garden of her own.
  • She did just that and so started the plantsman’s paradise we know today at Rosemoor. Lady Anne travelled widely to form her collection, including South America, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, the USA and Japan, and such wide travels have led to great diversity among the 4,000 plants represented in Lady Anne’s Garden.
  • When Lady Anne gave Rosemoor to the RHS in 1988, it consisted of the house, the 8 acre garden around the house and 32 acres of pastureland.
  • In 1989 work began on building the new visitor centre, named the Robin Herbert Visitor Centre for the Society’s President at the time. This modern building, with its panoramic views across the garden, incorporates a shop, plant sales area, restaurant and lecture theatre. A new entrance road, car park and maintenance tracks were also needed, as well as drainage and water-supply systems, electricity, gas, telephones and sewerage.
  • The small seasonal stream was diverted and dammed to form a series of pools and falls, with massed streamside plantings leading to a lake, which doubled as a reservoir containing all the irrigation water for the garden.
  • With an underpass to link the new and the old gardens completed and the reservoir filled, the garden opened to visitors on 1 June 1990.
  • The pattern of the formal garden was outlined by more than 1,200 hedging yews, and 2,000 roses formed the first ornamental plantings.
  • Bisected by the A3124 the garden remains two very distinct areas. On one side is the original garden - Lady Anne’s garden - which remains a diverse collection of plants in an informal setting, and on the other is the new garden, a formal, decorative area in a glorious woodland setting - truly an astonishing achievement in such a relatively brief time.

Many of the areas of the garden were at their best:  the Herb Garden, the Potager, the Cottage Garden, the Lake, the Meadows, the Rose Beds (Rosemoor organises a Summer Rose Trail, one of a series of seasonal walks) as well as the Fruit and Vegetable Garden.  However, this is a garden for all seasons and we all agreed that following this first visit, we would all want to go back as we felt that there was so much more we wanted to see.

Rosemoor hosts the national collection of cornus trees and they were in full bloom.  Some of us were also excited to see for the first time a tulip tree.

We hope that the photos in this report will whet your appetite and we recommend this garden wholeheartedly to all our members.

NOTE: Slide show below may not work on all devices.  Alternative version of slide show available here.
Photos may also be viewed on our Flickr Page.

Created with flickr slideshow.

We have 2 visits planned for July:
  • Six of us are taking part in a 3-day trip with Williams Travel and will be visiting Bath, the Hampton Court Flower show and Kew Gardens
  • We will be visiting 2 gardens in St Neot, courtesy of one of our members, Judy Bowen-Jones and an e-mail will soon be sent to members.


Report on Visit to Lukesland Gardens of Wednesday 10th May 2017

Fourteen members of the Gardens Visits Group journeyed over the border into Devon to visit this hidden gem of a garden on a lovely sunny morning.   ‘Hidden’ it was, as one of our drivers found out when, with sparse directions and the non tech version of SAT NAV , the only option was to stop and ask!  Something which is becoming a dying art these days.   Well done Carol – for passing the test!!   We all met up at the car park and made our way through to the gardens to wander as we wished and to meet up again around 1pm for lunch in the Old Billiard Room tea shop.

Lukesland has a total of 24 acres, lying in the valley of the Addicombe Brook and was a joy to explore its many nooks and crannies amongst the woods, valley and streams.  There were some magnificent rhododendrons looking at their very best in the sun, together with azaleas, bluebells, magnolias and many more flowering shrubs.  Also there were plenty of places to sit and admire the streams and ponds created from the waters that flow down off Dartmoor.  This is a very special and unique feature of this garden.

They also have a variety of specimen trees including the Handkerchief Tree which promises to be in flower by the end of the month in all its glory.   We were told that there were views over Dartmoor from the higher woods, but sadly we never found them.

The House is only open to the public a couple of times a year and is still lived in by the third generation of the Howell family who also oversee the care of the gardens.

Some of the group took a packed lunch and sat by the swimming pool (not a very inviting shade of green and in need of some TLC), before more walks along the little streams and over the little bridges that criss-cross the valley stream.

The photography members in the group spent the day, some of it on their knees, trying for reflections, waterfalls, streams etc. and just capturing the beautiful surroundings.  We hope that you enjoy the photos (including theirs) included in this report.

The catering was limited, and for an ‘out of the way garden’, the Old Billiard room tea shop was surprisingly busy serving up soup lunches.  Hopefully everyone managed to get something to keep them going.

On such a lovely day it was a pleasure to be there and everyone enjoyed the visit.    The gardens are open Sundays, Wednesdays and Bank Holidays until 4th June and then open again in October and November.

We highly recommend this garden that none of us had heard of until a friend of Annie’s recommended that we should visit.  A big THANK YOU to Jennie Mursell for organising this most enjoyable visit.  More photos from our visit can be seen on flickr.

Our next trip is on Thursday 22nd June when we will be visiting RHS Rosemoor.  Members will soon be e-mailed all necessary details.



A big THANK you goes to Carol Williams for organising a very enjoyable day out.  First, twenty one members and their guests made their way to the Polgooth Inn for a light lunch.  Thirteen people travelled on the Lerryn Area Minibus driven by Annie.  We got to Caerhays for 1.45pm and Annie gave us a thrill when she drove the minibus, without a scratch, under the arched gateway…We all laughed when we realised that fifty yards on, there was a proper drive into the estate, which Annie decided to use when we left the gardens as she thought that we had had enough excitement for one day!  On arrival at the gardens we met up with three other U3A members who are in also in the photography group and who had spent some time in the morning taking photos.

Caerhays is a spectacular spring garden and public opening is normally from February to the beginning of June.  The 120 acre woodland gardens are Registered as a Grade II* Park and Garden by English Heritage and they are home to a National Magnolia Collection (600 SPECIMENS).  The origins of this historically important collection of Chinese plants can be traced back to the work of the great plant hunters Ernest Wilson (1876 - 1930) and George Forrest (1873 - 1932).   The gardens at Caerhays are a fantastic spring-time wonderland for visitors.   Although there are structured walks around the garden giving views over the estate and grounds, the lake, and out to sea, Caerhays is not a manicured or planned garden in the conventional sense.  It is however designated as being of outstanding importance by Kew Gardens.  We had pre-booked a guided tour of the gardens by the head gardener, Jaimie Parsons, which lasted last around 1½ hour.

What memories did we take away from our visit?  Here are a few quotes gathered on the minibus:

  • It was a very nice day out and it was good to have such an expert guide.

  • We were amazed to learn that only four gardeners look after the gardens.

  • There was originally no sea view from the house.  It was created by the miners who were employed to remove the banks that were blocking the view..

  • Evergreen azaleas are no longer classified as azaleas but as rhododendrons.

  • If you are a magnolia, rhododendron or camelia that does not grow, beware as Jamie will not hesitate to use his chainsaw!

  • Lithocarpus is a genus in the beech family.  It is a large tree with big leathery leaves which make a rejuvenating tea in China

  • A magnificent range of magnolias and rhododendrons, some 120 years old whilst others had been planted in the last few years.  I was surprised to find a range of perfumed varieties.

  • We were given the stripped bark of a magnolia to smell. The scent was very lemony and Jaimie explained that Caerhays sells bags of the bark for £900 each and the bark is used by Molton Brown to make their products.  No wonder the lotions are so expensive!

  • There is a variety of rhododendron which is pollinated at night by beetles.  We were advised not to smell the flowers!

  • My sort of garden:  let it grow but look after it!

  • Lovely cakes!


NOTE: Slide show below may not work on all devices.  Alternative version of slide show available here.
Photos may also be viewed on our Flickr Page.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Our next visit is scheduled for Wednesday 10th May when we will visit Lukesland near Ivybridge in Devon and members have already been e-mailed details.