Thursday, July 26, 2012

Higher at Lower Kenneggy Nurseries

Our frequent trips to Cornwall are never complete without a visit to the Lower Kenneggy Nurseries. For us, and for every plant lover for that matter, it is an absolute must to check out this place if you are in the area for it is a treasure trove of exotic, unusual, and rare plants from all over the world. And mostly grown from seed too by its lovely and enthusiastic owner Steve Mules.

As you arrive and enter the nursery the first stop will have to be its signature turquoise blue greenhouse, a greenhouse full of exciting plants...

The nursery's signature turquoise greenhouse!
Some pristine and rare Agaves!
A selection of Dasylirions
Agave bovicornuta
Agave colimana (?)
Leucadendron and other South African proteas
Prostanthera monticola

The after browsing the large sales greenhouse you go into the main plant sales area where the selection of plants become even wider.

Pristine plants from a pristine nursery!
Brachyglottis repanda
Pachystegia insignis
As we have regularly visited many times before, and have bought loads of plants from Steve through the years, a lot of the exotic plants thriving and doing so well in our garden originally came from this nursery. You might even recognise some of them (like the Pachystegia insignis above for instance).

But despite visiting several times before the excitement of seeing the place each and every time never diminishes for its nurseryman always has something new to offer, a reflection of his passion and enthusiasm for sourcing rare and unusual seeds and propagating material.

But of course, us being us we are rarely content with what's available in the main sales area. The instinct to have a peek beyond that is always there and fortunately Steve always lets us have a look at the propagation tunnels and his own personal collection. And things gets even more fun and exiting there!

Cross the line and be prepared to be delighted!
Just one of several propagation polytunnels
Different types of seed grown baby Puyas
Where it all begins, cuttings and seedlings

Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex'
Now this plant is not displayed on the main sales area but if you ask for it nicely....
he might let you have one (or two!)...
seed grown Schefflera taiwaniana (Edward Needham form)
and speaking of Edward Needham forms, he has several his form of Fatsia polycarpa
Yucca gloriosa

Aeonium 'Sunburst'
Succulents galore in one of the polytunnels
Agave montana
Agaves, Nolinas, Yuccas, and Dasylirions
More succulents...
and even more succulents!
The wonderful and huge Aeonium hierrense
Some of his Aeonium hierrense flowered this year and he's trying to obtain a batch of seeds by assisting in its pollination.
A Puya species
A multi headed Aloe polyphylla, a very unusual occurence!
A selection of Grevilleas, Proteas, Pelargoniums, and other shrubs.
And he has some Restios too!
Time permitting we're hoping to have a shorter visit to Cornwall again later this year and no doubt we'll make time to visit this nursery again whilst down there. For a nursery jam packed full of plant treasures how could we resist? If you love unusual plants, you'll feel higher at Lower Kenneggy!

Mark :-)

Lower Kenneggy Nurseries - Lower Kenneggy Lane, Penzance, Cornwall TR20 9AR Tel: 01736762959


  1. You always show such interesting plants that I've never seen before. Has to be hard to resist a lot of things when you visit there.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. I see a lot of things I would ask nicely for! did you buy anything?

  3. Hi Cher, yes it's difficult to resist as they have so many nice plants there :)

    Hi Loree, the last we visited I bought a couple of small Yuccas, a few Nolina seedlings, Agave bovicornuta and a possible Agave colimana. All very nice looking plants :)

  4. My god- I miss my succulents! What an amazing collection! How nice would it be to go and pick some nice plants to make a succulent bowl like Melissa and Keith do so well!

    Yes! What did you come away with?!

    So many plants id like! The fatsa polycarpa is beautiful!

    Also i always thought that the prices were very reasonable- especially for the larger aloes and agaves.

    How long before your pond gets finished?! x

  5. Hi Owen,

    I was fairly restrained the last time, Mark selected a couple of small Yuccas, a few Nolina seedlings, Agave bovicornuta and a possible Agave colimana.

    We had bought the F polycarpa before though, so it was easier to walk past. Very good plants and as you mention his prices are very reasonable, although no mail order sadly.

    The pond isn't too far off now, most of the major construction is finished, just need to finish the roof covering (see the last blog) and then it can be prepared for fibre glassing!

  6. Mark, you are so blessed to be able to visit a nursery like this, even though it is a bit of a drive, but I guess having to drive to Cornwall can't be considered a bad thing :-)! It was fun for me to virtually visit the nursery with you. Somehow I liked the agaves very much, especially the green and white striped ones. It got me thinking if I should try to get some to plant in my urns, which desperately need a planting make over, hmm...

  7. I was won over as soon as I saw the turquoise greenhouse! I could spend all day there, and a great deal of money! I saw a lot of plants I am unfamiliar with — what an education it would be. I love the aeoniums!

  8. Thanks Christina! Even a drive down to Cornwall is fun :) Agaves would look perfect on an urn!

    Hi Debs, love that greenhouse too, and a nice size as well! I'm a fan of the Aeoniums especially the variegated ones, easy to grow and overwinter as well :)

  9. Thank god I don't live anywhere with a nice climate...I'd be so overwhelmed with plant choices that I'd never get anything else done! I know a lot of that stuff isn't entirely hardy for you but still...even to be tempted by all of it... oh great now I'm drooling. On an aside, I loved that blue greenhouse, I've never seen one with the beams painted like that but it really looked great!

  10. These plants are mostly alien to me though we also have some of those in the tropics. Knowing you and your garden, i guess you always get those with unusually big leaves, shapes or forms, to add to your jungle of greens. Mark do you miss our tropical plants like the big Alocasia?

  11. Hi Tom, yes so many tempting plants there indeed, and do love that greenhouse too! :)

    Andrea, yes I do, very much so :)

  12. We go down to ST Ives at least twice a year and always go to Penzance,but are not aware of this nursery. Unfortunatly we have no car and rely on public transport.Very frustrating for a plantsman!

  13. Richard, if you get chance to visit then its worth the trip, its in the same direction as Trevena Cross from Penzance.

  14. I can see why it's a MUST STOP destination. I love all those plants and I'd have a difficult time leaving. Are plant nurseries aware that they are becoming vacation destinations for some us? LOL
    Great post.
    David/ :0)

  15. Hi David, I think some nurseries are well aware and add cafe and other retail facilities. Fortunately others like Lower Kenneggy just keep doing what they are great at. Producing top quality plants.

  16. Hi guys Lower Kenneggy Nurseries has just updated their website
    There is now a series of posts and photos of some of the many lovely plants steve has, or is cultivating. Worth a look enough to tempt anyone.


  17. Hi all
    Lower Kenneggy nurseries has just updated their website, see There are a load of photos of all the lovely plants that steve has for sale or is cultivating enough to tempt any gardener. Also they now have a facebook page and now a great google map so you can actually find it.



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