Back in May on our annual holiday to Cornwall we included a day trip to the Scilly Isles, and in particular a visit to the world famous Tresco Abbey Gardens, a delightful subtropical garden just off the coast. As we have done in the past we took the helicopter from Penzance heliport. Sadly this will be the last time we are able to make the trip via this particular route as the site has been sold off to be turned into yet another supermarket. There appears to be no replacement service in the pipeline from the southern end of Cornwall so in future we may have to take the ferry (several hours each way) or a helicopter from Newquay if a direct service is established. Perhaps next time we will have to stay in the Scilly Isles itself for a few days to make it worth while.
|Just in case you had forgotten where you are....|
As well as having a large collection of plants, Tresco is also home to a collection of carved figures from boats wrecked on the rocks over the years. The figureheads in the Valhalla collection represent the final century in a tradition dating back over 3,000 years. From earliest times ships' bows have carried carvings of human or animal forms as part of the overall decoration of the vessels. The figures have altered over the centuries. Their pattern, size and shape have adapted to fit new types of ships' hulls, while their artistic style has changed to reflect contemporary fashions.
|Tresco Children sculpture by David Wynne in silhouette|
|Despite it being a wet spring we had lovely blue skies for our trip. Meryta sinclairii|
|Washingtonia robusta (left) and Rhopalostylis sapida (two on right)|
|Large Agave americana variegata|
|Don't forget to look up! Some of the taller palms such as this Phoenix canariensis are covered in epiphytes, but with their heads above the shelter belt some look rather tatty.|
We couldn't write a blog post about the Tresco Abbey Gardens without showing a couple of photos of the small portion of the ruins that remain.
|The rocks are covered in all manner of succulents and other xerophytes|
|Tall Phoenix canariensis in the background and Cordyline indivisa in the bottom left|
|Gaia, the Earth Goddess, surrounded by Cordyline indivisa|
|Looking back up the Neptune Steps to the bust of Neptune|
|360 degree Trachycarpus fortunei leaves|
|Schefflera digitata with juvenile leaves|
We have been to Tresco four times over the last few years, it seems strange to think that we will have to change the way we get there from now on, but despite that I know we will be back again soon!