A Cornish garden with romantic connections

Thursday 3rd May 2018

A place of interest to both gardeners and poetry lovers alike is the latest garden to open this year in support of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Open Gardens scheme.

In 1870 Thomas Hardy arrived as an architect at the Old Rectory at St. Juliot near Boscastle and started his romance with the Rector’s sister-in-law Emma. Many of the places Hardy mentions in his poetry can still be recognised 140 years later, including a long herbaceous border which leads to Hardy’s Seat, a place as peaceful today as when Thomas and Emma sat there over a hundred years ago.

The Old Rectory opens to the public in aid of the Trust on Sunday 13th May from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Entrance is adults £5 with children under-16 free. Pasties, cream teas and coffee by Crantocks Bakery, Roddas, and Cornish Coffee will be available. There is limited disabled access. Dogs are allowed on leads.

The three-acre south facing woodland garden has plenty to enthral gardeners with magnificent rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, and a large Victorian walled kitchen garden. The latter is a fox-proof haven for the hens and ducks, as well as home to honey bees which help pollinate the garden’s amazing variety of fruit.

In fields adjacent to the garden are rare breed pigs, Jacob sheep, plus 80 solar panels which provide nearly all the electricity for the house.

Chris Betty, Communications Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“The romantic history of this beautiful garden gives the Old Rectory an added appeal and we are delighted to be able to share it with gardeners and literary fans alike. Money raised through our Open Garden’s Scheme goes towards the important wildlife conservation work we carry out in the county and we are very grateful to everyone who attends.”

This is the eighth year running that the Trust has held their highly successful Open Gardens scheme. Other gardens opening for the Trust in 2018 are: June 3rd Little Park, Malpas; June 17th Lethytep, Lanreath; June 24th Arundell, Crantock; July 8th Meadowside, Trevarth; July 22nd Trevoole, Praze-an-Beeble; August 5th Trenarth, Constantine; September 2nd South Bosent, Dobwalls; September 16th Marsh Villa Gardens, Par.
More details of the Old Rectory event and all the other gardens opening this year can be found at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/opengardens