Welcome to Tregothnan which, translated from Cornish, means
“The House at The Head of The Valley”
Everything we do here at Tregothnan brings us back to the magnificent botanical garden. It provides us with produce and inspiration; our range of English estate teas and herbal infusions are grown here, our Manuka and wildflower honeys are produced here, our seasonal British flowers and foliages are sourced here. The gardens, both in Cornwall and in Kent, are the beating heart of the estate and we are constantly inspired by their resilience and beauty.
The flora at Tregothnan has been cherished for many centuries. From the 1840s it became a global hotspot for botanical innovations, and “the most introduced plants anywhere in the world now flourish in Cornwall” according to horticulturalist Philip McMillan Browse. The equable climate is moderated by the vast Atlantic Ocean as the air rises above the ten mile ridge of Cornwall. The humid air loses its damaging saltiness and perfectly mimics the high foothills of the Himalayas. Tregothnan itself is on the banks of the deep sea creek that is the river Fal – truly a micro-climate that has supported many extraordinary species of fruit trees and an enormous range of rare plants for centuries.
Tregothnan botanical garden protects many endangered trees, including one of the world’s rarest trees, the Wollemi Pine. The Wollemi Pine was purchased and brought to Tregothnan in 2011. When the specimen was found by a botanist in an Australian ravine, its discovery sent shockwaves through horticultural society. The pine was thought to have been extinct for more than 50 million years, so finding a living specimen was like finding a live T-Rex walking across a Texan desert.
The Wollemi Pine was brought to Tregothnan for cultivation and as a protected safe site for plants, the botanical garden was a perfect location to try and grow this mind-blowingly rare tree. 12 years later and the Wollemia nobilis (or Dinosaur Tree, as it’s more commonly known) has flourished and propagated back to life. Cuttings from Tregothnan’s specimen have been sent all over the world and the tree is now flourishing away from its endangered status.
The world’s largest Camellia Maze grows at Tregothnan. It’s a very large maze, which is highly unusually made from Camellia. The largest mazes in the world are made from ash or beech, something more suitable for hedge pruning. Camellia is not an obvious choice, but as Tregothnan is the home of Camellia in the UK, that had to be the material used for the Tregothnan maze. In March the maze blooms in pink bud, creating overwhelming beauty for this candy coloured labyrinth.