This green roof is the most colourful and best I’ve ever seen. It’s at the nursery at Tremenheere Sculpture Garden in Cornwall, which sells unusual plants and succulents from Surreal Succulents. Needless to say, I did not leave empty-handed…
My soggy holiday in Cornwall wasn’t all bad, and one of the highlights was Tremeheere Sculpture Garden. Set in a sheltered valley just outside Penzance, it has stunning views of St Michael’s Mount. The garden (which is more like a park, really – it’s pretty huge) it is home to ponds, bogs, woodland, sunny and arid areas and native woodland areas. Some of the planting is quite immature in places as it has only been open to the public since 2012, but it is definitely one to watch.
There were two standout pieces of sculpture: firstly, the ‘Restless Temple’ (above) by Penny Saunders, which is one of the first things you see as you approach. The columns have pendulums beneath them, allowing the pillars sway in the wind, like a giant wind chime.
The piece de resistance, though, has to be James Turrell’s ‘Skyspace’. An underground corridor leads to an elliptical chamber, whose ceiling frames the sky. We’d read nothing about it beforehand, and were totally blown away by it.
The Skyspace will also be joined by another impressive piece of work. As we left, I spotted some huge columns, each made of thousands of pieces of slate, lying on the grass. I thought they looked familar and have since confirmed that they are from Darren Hawkes’ gold-medal winning Brewin Dolphin garden at Chelsea 2015. They are being installed at Tremenheere, which seems like the ideal home for them – and will make the garden even more exciting.
I’ve just got back from a very foggy and wet week in Cornwall. It was disappointing because a) Cornwall looks stunning when it’s sunny b) We couldn’t see anything because the fog was so bad and c) I do not enjoy holidays that involve wearing a cagoule. In desperation one day, we went to the nearest National Trust property, Trengwainton, figuring that it would have a nice cafe at the very least. It’s filled with tender, exotic plants but we only managed to see the veg garden, where Christian enquired as to why my veg patch is not planted in straight lines like this one. A very good point – my veg planting has been very haphazard this year. By that time it was raining horizontally, so we retreated to the heaving cafe and agreed that we may as well call it a day and head back to our holiday cottage.
On the way back, we stopped off at an ancient monument looming eerily out of the fog, like a mini Stonehenge. We clambered over a dry stone wall to have a look at it, and sheltered under it for a while with a bemused-looking Swiss couple and their dog. We all looked sympathetically at each other before going our separate ways.
It’s impossible not to fall for the charms of St Michael’s Mount – it looks atmospheric from afar, and romantic from within. The garden is ever so pretty, filled with exotic plants (the granite rock acts as a giant heat store) that can withstand salt-laden winds. Succulents abounded,which made me very happy – my favourites are below.
The garden is a tad precarious – the garden was crowded when we visited, and when there was a bottleneck on the paths, it wasn’t hard to imagine someone toppling off one of the terraces. While we were visiting, a woman had to be airlifted off the castle path by a Royal Navy helicopter – a private drama made public. Her rescue seemed to take ages, the helicopter whirring rather menacingly above our heads. It made me feel fortunate to be eating ice cream, admiring succulents and enjoying my holiday. I hope she was ok.
By the time you read this, I may be sitting once more on the Rock Pool Cafe’s terrace, admiring the view. I took this picture back in June, when the British summer was shaping up nicely, and Cornwall looked like (and was as hot as) Greece. The red geraniums were giving the place a Mediterranean air. I’m going there this week, and I’m hoping that the sun will still be shining.
See you in a few days : )