Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Trebah, Cornwall

Trebah lies in an adjacent coastal inlet to Glendurgan, it too was originally created by the Fox family. Like all the other 'Great Cornish Gardens', climate and geography are the keys to its success. Closeness to the warmth of the Gulf Stream in the Helford estuary, and the sheltered wooded slopes are the secret elements.  
This illustration is a good indicator of the way both the house and garden lie in relation to the small beach at the bottom of the very steep garden
Enjoy a stroll through the garden down to the beach in the company of this resident Trebah Robin. On arrival at the beach, I will share a very sad and poignant reminder of WWll with you.
During May and June the water-garden becomes a riot of colours when the Candelabra primula, irises, Agapanthas, and Zantedeschia (arum lilies) open
Azalea 
Dicksonia antarctica tree ferns
Interesting juxtaposition of the Luma apiculata contrasting with the green bamboo stems 
Phyllostachys edulis is the fastest growing bamboo (outdoors) in the UK. It can grow up to 20cm (8inches) per day in height in its first 7 days of emerging from the ground when the weather conditions are correct i.e cloudy and windless. The growth rate gradually slows until each cane reaches its eventual height of approximately 6m in 60 - 90 days.
As the edulis suggests, it is edible, the shoots are used in oriental cuisine. The local squirrel population love it too.
In the Far East it is used in furniture making, and we have seen it used as scaffolding in Shanghai.
Very soon this area of the garden will be a "Gunnera Forest" with leaves the size of large umbrellas, and stems rising up to 3.4m (11 ft).
In this image I have exploited the surreal qualities of the Gunnera manicata 
 Hydrangeas (all blue)
Trebah's link with America 70 years ago
The 175th Combat Team of the US 29th Infantry Division Embarked at Trebah Beach in June 1944 for the D-Day assault on Omaha Beach, Normandy
Embarking on Trebah Beach
In the assault on Omaha Beach in Normandy they met fierce resistance. Steven Spielberg's classic film "Saving Private Ryan" accurately describes the terrible carnage of the first wave of the assault.
From D-Day to VE Day, the Division gained a proud record in the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe.  They suffered 19,800 casualties, approximately 100% of the Divisions strength on D-Day.
This memorial at the bottom of the garden pays tribute to the bravery of all those gallant young Americans. A Military Day is still held in the garden each year.

70 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary:

    We have never visited Trebah. And what an omission, if for no other reason than to see those amazing examples of both Dicksonia antarctica and Gunnera manicata. So very impressive seen in such quantities.

    The illustration of house and garden is most appealing. By whom is it done, do you know?

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - I vividly recall my first visit to Trebah many years ago. It was the first time that I had seen Gunnera manicata en masse - I was very excited to walk through them looking up at their huge majestic leaves overhead.
      I am sorry I do not know who did the illustration, it is one that contained the plan of the garden and which I scanned.

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    2. Thank you. We just rather liked it and wondered whose work it might be.

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  2. Dear Rosemary,
    I am blown over by these gardens. The landscape of Trebah.
    How interesting to read that troops left for Normandy from there. It brings a little tear to my eye.
    The tree ferns i am very used to seeing. We have them all over in Natal.. the deeper one goes down into a gorge the bigger they are.
    Trebah ,has a very special climate. for the trees and flowers to grow so big. Who would think that that was cornwall.
    Your photos are simply stunning .
    such a wonderful post. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you Rosemary.
    wishing you a good day ..val

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    1. Thank you so much Val for your very kind comment - I visited the garden many years ago, and it has always stuck in my memory as a place that I would like to revisit. Luckily it still lived up to my expectations.

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  3. Hello Rosemary, These gardens have an other-worldly look about them which is utterly fascinating. Bamboo, incidentally, is still the scaffolding of choice in Taiwan, even for some fairly ambitious projects.

    While as an American, I was pleased to see the inscription on the stone, it caused me to reflect how much any places considered part of the free world owe to soldiers of many nationalities and periods.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - the Gunnera manicata are definitely other worldly, they look like something from the age of dinosaurs - how I wish that I could grow them.
      I should imagine that there will be a significant Memorial Day in the garden this year with it being exactly 70 years ago.

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  4. Dear Rosemary, once again I am astonished at the sight of a sub-tropical garden in England! The setting is beautiful, sloping down to the dear little beach, and there are the mainstays of our garden right here in Australia: tree-ferns, agapanthus, azaleas and palms. But we don't have a sweet robin for company - he is gorgeous. I remember the film Saving Private Ryan very well, and it is interesting that troops left from this very beach. We will remember them.

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    1. Dear Patricia - The Robins are unlike any other garden birds here - they do not fly away from humans but stay nearby. They are of course after what they can get from you especially when working in the garden. They sit nearby looking for fat worms that might be dug up.
      We do not have sub-tropical gardens just in Cornwall, there are several down the West coast of Scotland and also in Southern Ireland. Amazingly it is all to do with the gulf stream that flows down the West side of the country.

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  5. Dear Rosemary,
    The garden is really lovely and picturesque. The bamboo is a weed if in a garden down here and not controlled, but I suppose it's the same everywhere it will grow.
    I bet the hydrangeas are beautiful when in full bloom.
    Amazing where soldiers met their fate, and I bet there are many places in this world we may not know about of the same happenings as here.

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    1. You are right about the bamboo. We have the black (nigra) growing in our garden, but we do not have any problems with it as we have paving that goes right up to the edge of clump to keep it in check.

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  6. A very interesting and beautiful garden with some unusual plants, in a sheltered environment. I love the azalias, the fresh green new leaves of the hydrangeas and the tree-ferns. Wonderful images Rosemary!
    Thank you for sharing the story and memorial to the men of the US 29th Infantry Division.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing the garden Betty - Cornwall has a great many interesting gardens to visit which are a little bit different from some of the others in the country.

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  7. I do so enjoy the garden tours with you, Rosemary♥️
    So tropical and lush....love the scale of the plants.
    I guess the climate would be comparable to our West Coast here....BC has lovely gardens as well...
    Enjoy your Spring...we are slowly melting!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Thank you Linda - glad that you enjoyed seeing the garden, and equally pleased for you that your snow has started melting. That will be good news for my brother who is due back in Toronto in about a week. May be it will all be clear by then, otherwise they will feel fed up. You know what snow birds are like♡

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    2. Do you ever come over to visit?

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    3. I have been several times, but their lives are now very full. Their daughter is permanently in hospital with ALS and she has 3 young daughters that they help care for - it is a tragic situation for them all.

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    4. So sorry...I had no idea...

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  8. What wonderful gardens leading down to this lovely beach. Beautiful photos Rosemary. My son has a cottage in St Ives and next time we stay I'm definitely going to pay a visit as it's not too far away across country. Thanks for sharing this lovely bit of history.
    Patricia x

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    1. If you are a member of the NT you can certainly get your moneys worth in Cornwall. Trebah is not NT but you can pick up a leaflet on The Great Gardens of Cornwall at Tourist information centres giving all the gardens. If you visit one you can get the leaftlet stamped and then get an entry reduction on all the other gardens visited.
      St. Ives is an easy drive to Trebah.

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  9. I've really enjoyed this lovely series of posts on Cornwall, Rosemary, and must apologise for not commenting on them individually. I'm desperately trying to catch up after my blogging break. :-)

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    1. Dear Perpetua - glad that you enjoyed seeing them - it is always lovely to hear from you, but please do not feel that you have to comment - sometimes it is just impossible. I wonder if you have arrived in Scotland yet? If not, safe journey.

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    2. Yes, we arrived late on Sunday and have just about recovered and sorted ourselves out, thanks.

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    3. That was a quick response, but pleased to know that you are safely there♡

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  10. Hello, Rosemary! This is my first time to see bamboos grown in such a large scale in the UK. Bamboos are very popular in Japan: due to their versatility, bamboos have been used for many things in daily life ranging from foods (young bamboo shoots) to tools to construction materials. They might look delicate due to the slim form but they never break though they bend – isn’t it the true meaning of strength? The blooms of blue hydrangeas must be so gorgeous.

    Yoko

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    1. Hello Yoko - we visited this garden many moons ago during the summer when it is really luxuriant, but we wanted to see the spring blossoms this time. It is a very special place the way it sits in its own little inlet and is a joy to visit.

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  11. Another beautiful garden, Rosemary. Thank you for the tour. There seems to be a lot to see all the year around with so many magnificent specimens - some very old. I can just imagine the gardeners tending to the fast-growing bamboos and making sure the hydrangeas, tree rhododendrons etc. are maintained so that they produce the masses of flowers to create the lovely vistas.

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    1. As you can see from the photos the water garden, the hydrangeas etc are all still to come making it very colourful later in the year. I have never visited in the Autumn, so may be we shall have to give it a visit during October at some time in the future and see what it is like then.

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  12. Hi Rosemary, what a stunning garden! I love the white classic house, too! The gunnera forest must look terrific when the plants have reached their full height. Being German I feel so sad and sorry about all the suffering that World War II has brought to so many people.
    Christina

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    1. Hello Christina - I did not realise that you are German but please do not take this post to heart. Everyone suffers during wars, all countries and also the innocent population. For most of us it was all before our time♡
      The way the white house sits at the top of the garden with such a commanding view right down the garden must be a joyful sight for the owners every day.

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  13. Another garden I haven't heard and full of unusual plants which I expect look stunning later in the year. An interesting connection to the war - thank you for the tour.

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    1. In the collection of the Great Gardens of Cornwall there are 18 in all. They are sited along the South side of Cornwall so very easy to visit. Glad you enjoyed the tour.

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  14. It sounds like a very interesting, pretty and moving visit. I love the glade of tree ferns, they look amazing displayed like that. I expect that the gunnera is pretty amazing later on in the year too. xx

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    1. The Gunnera forest is quite something to see - we visited many years ago in the summer time and I can recall now what a huge impact it had on me when I saw it.

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  15. Another beautiful garden in Cornwall, lovely Dicksonia's and a Gunnera forest....... Lovely illustration too.

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    1. Thank you Janneke - I suppose it is the fact that many of the plants are sub-tropical and not generally seen in abundance in gardens that makes these Cornish gardens that little bit different.

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  16. What a lovely post Rosemary. I THINK I've been there but I'm not sure! Great pics......I love the Gunnera ones. x

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    1. Thanks Em - even you haven't been it is certainly within easy reach of where you live, and well worth a visit, but out of season is perhaps best.

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  17. What a verry beautifull post, with verry nice plants.
    Have a nice sunny week.

    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. The garden has some very special plants in it, and many of them are 200 years old. Hope the sun is shinning for you Inge.

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  18. do you know it looks familiar to me,,,I might of been there years ago. Lovely post, thank you for sharing and I didn't know about the D-Day connection
    xxx

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    1. It is a lovely garden to visit with so many exotic and different plants to wander around and enjoy.

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  19. Great pictures, love the circles and the details in each picture.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. It was a very nice garden to wander in with lots of lovely things to photograph.

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  20. The beauty of these gardens is breathtaking and what a peaceful haven Trebah Beach must have been for the young soldiers destined to move on to those terrible battles.

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    1. Precisely - the calm before the storm!

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  21. How ironic to leave for war within sight of a Quaker garden. Very poignant.

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    1. What a very pertinent comment Susan, something that had completely passed me by - thank you.

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  22. Dear Rosemary,what a beautiful garden!!Such beautiful flowers and trees!!That little robin bird,what a great shot!
    Gorgeous pictures from a fantastic place!Thank you for sharing!!Wish you a happy April!
    Dimi...

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    1. It is a lovely garden Dimi - glad that you enjoyed visiting it.

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  23. What a beautiful garden, thanks so much for these wonderful images. Brixham as you may know also played it's part in the D-Day landings and we have memorials along the Breakwater see http://brixhamlife.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/wwii-operation-tiger-heritage-tour-to.html

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    1. Thanks Suzie for that information, I will take a look at the site you mention. Glad you enjoyed seeing Trebah.

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  24. It is many years since I last went to Trebah and I do recognise it from your marvellous photos. It's time to go back. I love the tree fern forest and the gunnera en masse. Watch out for your black bamboo, after a number of years establishing in our last garden it started to lift the paving stones nearest to it. The strength of those mature culms is amazing.

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    1. My last visit was a long time ago too, I don't think they had the 'monet' style bridge then. I was really taken with the Gunnera back then as I had never walked through a glade full of them before.
      I will do as you say and watch the black bamboo. It is 15 years old and so far the job done by our stonewaller to contain it has worked, but never say never.

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  25. I went there once, years ago, and your lovely and interesting post brought it back to me. I had forgotten the name so would not have been able to find it myself. How different life was in the forties. How lucky we are now.

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    1. You are right, the illustrative painting of the Americans embarking at Trebah beach does remind us of how fortunate we are today.
      I am pleased that this post reminded you of your own trip to the garden so many years ago.

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  26. Dear Rosemary,

    Your posts make me want to know more about the Fox family; they certainly knew how to create a world of their own. And I would never have guessed that there are parts of England where bamboo and palms thrive! And finally, thank you for your own memorial to the American men who died in Europe. It would seem to have been a more noble time.

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    1. Dear Mark - There are in fact other areas of the country where gardens like Trebah flourish. Unbelievably there are several up along the West coast of Scotland and also in Southern Ireland, all of which benefit from the Gulf Stream.
      You might be interested to read a small synopsis re: the Fox family here:-
      http://www.cornwallgardenstrust.org.uk/glendurgan-a-personal-memoir-of-a-garden-in-cornwall/

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    2. Thanks for that link. To simultaneously be in banking, shipping and engineering is indeed a recope for success! Reading of how the Fox family cultivated plants from all over the world reminded me of another English gardener.

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  27. Fabulosity on earth , an amazing garden , what a sight when all the blue Hydrangeas bloom and the Gunnera has developed in full size , and I LOVE Phyllostachys , the only problem is they are so invading. Gorgeous post. Wish you a nice weekend.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Jane - you are right about the Phyllostachys being so invasive, but I expect that when you have such a large area to grow them in plus a team of gardeners it is not such a big problem as it is for those of us with smaller gardens. We have the Phyllostachys nigra which so far we have managed to contain.

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  28. What a lovely and interesting post again Rosemary...I really enjoy to follow you on your trip! What a beautiful garden, so magical and different!
    Have a great weekend,
    Titti

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    1. Thank you Titti I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing Trebah which has you mention is magical and different.

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  29. As always beautiful pictures the garden looks amazing.Back in the late 1980's we had a holiday in Falmouth and went around Helston and took a short ferry ride across the river and walked along the coast path and saw glimpses of a wonderful garden which I assume from memory must have been Trebah. I have enjoyed your visits of Cornish and Devon gardens. Sarah x

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    1. If you return Sarah you must visit Trebah, I am sure you would enjoy it. Just one more post to go from our trip but from Devon.

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    2. Look forward to seeing it. Sarah x

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  30. This is a garden I wouldn't expect in England. Especially the Gunnera garden looks surreal. Must be wonderful to pay a visit there.
    Marian

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    1. All of these gardens on the south coast of Cornwall benefit from the gulf stream bringing a micro climate to the gardens.

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