To sail away to the Isles of Scilly, just 30 miles off the SW corner of England, for a weeks break. My doctor has told me to try walking more to build up my muscles after the last 2 yrs illness so we decided that the Scillies were almost flat and not too far away! Even though the islands are so close to the mainland, they have a much warmer climate than we do here, due to the Gulf Stream which comes across the Atlantic from the Caribbean. We spent the first day travelling through Cornwall, stopping at a few gardens on the way. The first garden was at Bosvigo House in Truro which was on Gardeners World a few weeks ago with Carol Klein.
When we first started looking round the garden we wondered where the plants were that we had come to see, all we found were beds with lots of spaces, a few bulbs and perennials just starting to grow. Suddenly we found the woodland garden and as you can imagine, I was so happy. Can you see the fritillaries here, I could also hear a pheasant, why wasn’t it eating their flowers?!
The further we went, the more treasures we found, this Trillium is definitely on my wish list now and the tight balls of flowers hanging over it are from the shrub Stachyurus, they make a nice pairing.
There were drifts of Erythronium wherever we looked, such a pretty dainty flower. I always say, don’t go on holiday when these are due to flower as they don’t last very long, what was I doing going away now, would mine still be out when I got home, they were, but only just!
We then crossed from the south coast of Cornwall to the north coast, to St. Ives, to visit the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden and museum.
Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903 – 1975 ) was a famous sculptor who helped to develop modern art in Britain and now a museum has been made where she had her studio.
The garden is only small and there are rather a lot of her sculptures here dotted amongst the plants. This one was really huge.
Her sculptures were commissioned by world leaders of her time and are found in many countries.
The old looking through the new appealed to me.
Part of the town of St. Ives where the museum is. The light here is unique and has attracted artists for centuries, there is now a Tate Art Gallery on the front showing works by modern and traditional artists.
Moving on towards Penzance near to where we were staying the night, is a National Trust property – Trengwainton Garden. The first part of the garden that we found was the woodland garden, ( what a surprise!) which had a stream running through it where the skunk cabbages, Lysichiton, were very happy in the damp soil.
This Magnolia veitchii is huge, apparently it was planted in 1925 on top of a much loved horse called Barum, who was buried here.
Over the trees roots are masses of woodland anemones and I spy some fritillaries, again with a pheasant calling in the background!
There were lots of Rhododendrons in flower, I thought this one had lovely spotted flowers.
The Camellia walk was in full flower. Because of its mild climate, Cornwall gardens are famous for their rhodos, magnolias and camellias.
Another magnolia in the car park which we passed on the way out, very pretty.
Onwards to our hotel for the night, this was the view from our balcony next morning, a lovely view of St. Michaels Mount. After the Norman invasion in 1066, St. Michael’s Mount was granted to the Benedictine Abbey of Mont St. Michael in France. It is now a family home and has a tropical garden. The island can be reached at low tide by a causeway, when it is possible to walk across. In 2009, bronze age artifacts were found on the island, so it has been inhabited for a very long time.
We went on board our ship in Penzance just a short way round the bay and before we knew it, we were waving goodbye to Land’s End, England. It was a beautiful, sunny day but there was a strong wind which made the crossing rather rough, especially here at Land’s End where lots of currents meet, rather like riding a horse with a very slow canter!
It took about 3hrs to reach the Scillies and the first island you come to is St. Martins which has the most wonderful silver sand.
Next to it is Tresco, home of the famous garden, you can see the shelter belt of trees on the north and east sides to protect the plants. They did have snow this winter, but just a sprinkling like we did in Devon, but no damage was done this time. Once before in the 1980’s, they had frost and snow that lasted for some time and did so much damage, they lost a lot of their plants, but more of that later when we visit the garden.
Now approaching St. Mary’s, the main Island in the group. St. Mary’s is the only island with a harbour deep enough for our large ship. Travelling between the islands is by little boat with very knowledgeable captains who know where every rock is, no matter what the state of the tide is.
Back on dry land once more with our ship, Scillonian 111 at the quayside. Now its time to explore and start walking! I think I will have to write a post for each island and maybe another for the wild flowers which were everywhere!