The Gardens at Pengelly are an intriguing mix of ornamental and wild. Ponds and a ‘jungle garden’ of tree ferns and exotic plants greet you by the entrance and merge gradually with Cornish wildflowers, lakeside plants and meadow.
When we came to Pengelly we discovered a watery wonderland of lakes, ponds and a lot of Asian ornamental plants, shrubs, pots and statues mixed in with native species and wild flowers. With Cornwall’s mild and lush climate, plants grow incredibly quickly so our first job was to get our heads round what was here!
We wanted to create beautiful, maintainable and sustainable gardens that support the wildlife diversity and also showcase some of the exotic plants while keeping true to the theme of ‘Wild Cornwall’. To help us in the herculean task of re-landscaping our 5 acres, we worked with Cornwall-based landscape designer Matt James to create a vision for the gardens and planting at Pengelly. For more about Matt, see his website www.mattjamesgardens.com
From Jungle Garden …
We have kept the more ornamental and exotic planting close by the Mill House. As you arrive you’ll see a glade of tree ferns ahead of you and an area of lush and exotic planting around the ponds forming a jungle garden. Walk along the path by the babbling stream and you find a mix of wild flowers and Asian planting leading to a lagoon and our beautiful lakes.
Across the lagoon bridges you’ll spot our lovely Boat House. But continue along the path through the field with the lagoon to your right, go up a slight incline and the dramatic view across the lakes unfolds in front of you. To your right is the Boat House and at the far end of the lake you’ll see the green canvas roofs of the Sail House just above the treeline.
To Wild Cornwall
As you walk around the lakes, you’ll see wild grasses and reeds, the pink flowers of Red Campion and the tiny purple blooms of Wild Mint. And on opposing sides of the lake are magnificent bulrushes and the dramatic umbrella-like leaves of Gunnera – or ‘Giant Rhubarb’ as we like to call it – a plant you may recognise from some of Cornwall’s Great Gardens like Heligan and Trebah.
Along our borders you’ll find newly planted native species of trees. In time these will grow more to create a lovely Cornish hedgerow and rich wildlife habitat.
And a Buddha or Two
While we’ve not kept most of the pots that we found here, preferring to plant into the soil, you will discover some of the original Buddha statues dotted around the land. From a serene statue by the stream to a stone Buddha who sits tranquilly in a pool, there’s often a surprise around the corner…