Thurs, Fri & Saturday - 11:00am - 4:30pm (27th April - 1st September)
Address: Trematon Castle Gardens, Castle Hill, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 4QW
In 2012, garden designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman took over the lease of Trematon Castle from the Duchy of Cornwall and began to plant a private garden which they garden with minimal help and in an experimental way, aiming to play to the Castle’s romantic and pre-Raphaelite glories, the astonishing wild flowers, woodland and orchard, have been intensified with bold borders full of scent, colour, lustre and panache. The garden is intended to be relatively ‘unkempt’, it is private and personal, an alternative to National Trust and commercial gardens, it is run not for profit but for love. This may not be everyone’s idea of an open garden – there is a total refund policy for anyone who feels aggrieved.
Mixed woodland with dogwood and magnolia, tulip tree, foxglove tree, evergreen oaks and oaks surround the garden which generally lies within the old castle walls. At the end of April the Motte is a riot of wild flowers, carpeted with cowslips and primroses, bursting with bluebells, spangled with Campion and Early Purple Orchids, and in the summer flushed with ferns and scented with wild thyme, majoram and woodbine. The orchard is awash with Camassias and Pheasant eye Narcissus, the scent of Lilac and Philadelphus is supplanted in June by wild species and rambling roses.Many Cornish favourites are here, Camelias and some Rhododendron, Euchryphia, Carpenteria, Fuchsia, Mimosa and Cornus, but the intention is to created a scented garden with scented loads of varieties of Philadelphus, and Lilac, Ribes odorata, and Daphnes. There is an aromatic bank of Cistus, Lavender and Rosemary, Cardiocrinums and swathes of Alliums, Acidanthera, Agapanthus and Nerines. For lushness and extravagance amidst the stony ruins on the shady side of the Gatehouse Gunnera umbrellas reach up and right over a Neptune, while on the sunny side clamber Rambling Roses with Standard Roses in beds of downy Peonies with Lilies.The arc of the bailey wall to the west of the house shelters a double banked border. This is intended as a mixture of opulence, Topiary, Mecanopsis, Iris, Peony, Roses, Salvias, Campanulas, and mediaeval charmers, the violas, lilies, gillyflowers and sweet rocket of illuminated manuscripts. The pool garden of exotic planting and Indian Pavilion is viewable but for safety and insurance reasons you cannot walk round it.
It is very much a work in progress, and very much the designers home rather than a commercial destination. If you think you will enjoy a fascinating grouping of history, architecture, landscape and plants we hope very much that you will come and we regret that dogs, picnics cannot be allowed in the garden, blue badge parking is not possible but those less nimble can be dropped off and collected at the Lodge Gate. A lot of the garden is rather inaccessible owing to narrow steep paths – but there is still a lot to enjoy.