Sunday, May 12, 2013

Technicolour Trewidden!

Colour and warmth it was on our last day in Cornwall! It may not be from the weather but it certainly came from our visit to Trewidden Nursery last Friday!

The beautiful restio Cannomois grandis
For most of our stay in Cornwall the weather was brilliant, really sunny and somehow warm, just about right to feel comfortable walking around places in a t-shirt. But by Wednesday the rains had arrived and it was pretty much consistently drizzly all day on Thursday. Come Friday morning the rains have ceased and it was actually sunny for most of the day which was great! An unexpected bonus on our last day of stay in Cornwall.

We were going to drive home late afternoon so we arranged a visit to Trewidden Nursery in the morning and called in to nearby Minack Theatre afterwards as our last stop before we head back east.

Trewidden Nursery is spearheaded by Claire and Jeff, Chelsea Flower Show gold medallists (amongst mostly gold accolades) and they frequently participate in most of the major horticultural shows and plant fairs in the country. We do catch up with them in some of the plant fairs and events we both attend, and have featured them on the blog before but they were kind enough to invite us to visit their nursery, which is the hub of their operation as well as the site where most of the plant propagation are done.


Show specimen Restios seemingly standing (and swaying) to attention
They are very visible on the plant fair and horticultural circuit, and have an efficient mail order business on top of that but the nursery itself is not open to the public. They do have open days once or twice a year and the dates are announced in advance on their website.

Just to clarify, Trewidden Nursery may be adjacent to Trewidden Garden (hence the name) but they are very much a separate enterprise, with the plant sales of the latter not supplied by the former. They are mostly mail order, an important detail to take note of in case you're thinking of visiting or within the area. Perhaps this arrangement between the two sites may change in the future but for now they are independent from each other. However, if one does wish to purchase some of their fabulous plants on offer you could always see them in one of the numerous shows they attend or avail of their mail order.

When we arrived on their site we were met by Claire's sister Lynn and she graciously shown us a round, gave us a tour of the place, and shared so many interesting and fascinating anecdotes about their operation.


Does this look untidy to you? And look at all the rich and vibrant colours of the plants, they are glowing!
Like most of the nurseries we visit there is always this hesitation that the nursery is not tidy enough for visitors to see. Typical reaction from nurserymen but to be honest this nursery is one of the tidiest nurseries we've ever been to, certainly up there as one the tidiest. And it's not even open to the public so kudos to them all for keeping the place so neat!

But housekeeping aside, they do stock some wonderful and exotic plants and I was really looking forward to seeing what goodies they have in the polytunnels. As most of the visit involves being inside a polytunnel good weather wasn't really that needed but the sunny weather that time unexpectedly turned out to be a fantastic bonus. With the bright light most of the plants positively glowed and put on their photogenic best.


Specimen proteas ablaze with colour! Left: Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', Right: Leucadendron 'Safari Sunshine'
It turned out to be the most colourful nursery we've visited that week. Most of the plants were so warm and cheerfully bright to eyes and I had a fantastic time taking photos of them. Technicolour Trewidden it was! But if you sell hot plants and the sun is shining, what do you expect??

Bright and cheerful mass of Aeonium 'Zwartkop' aka Aeonium 'Schwarzkopf'
The nursery specialise of plants coming from the southern hemisphere and stock a wide array of succulents like aeoniums, agaves, aloes; as well as various restios, proteas, ericas, and summer flowering bulbs.

More Aeoniums you can shake your stick at (and most of these are their own hybrids).
Hot, hot, hot!
Leucadendron 'Safari Sunshine' - one for every day of the year!
But I have to say though that they are most well known for their show stopping specimens of Aloe polyphyllas.

The bright pink inflorescence of the Beschorneria in front could not upstage the Aloe polyphylla in the middle. The two Agave geminiflora at the back are holding their own right against it too!
One of their show specimen Aloe polyphylla about to flower

Mind you their Restios, Aeoniums, and Ericas don't lag far behind either.

Stunning! Calopsis paniculata
Just look at that colour and sharp contrast! Calopsis paniculata
Elegia capensis

Elegia capensis
Even more stunning! Cannomois grandis
Top...
To bottom...
Cannomois grandis, a restio I couldn't stop taking photos of. I couldn't decide which one or two to go for so you'll have all of the photos shortlisted instead...

Cannomois grandis





Even their seed trays are colourful!




A touch of cool blue and silver amongst the warm colours...


And just because you haven't seen enough Restios yet...

Elegia equisetacea
Such a tactile plant!
Proteas, Ericas and Aeoniums

Protea cynaroides
Aeonium 'Cornish Tribute'


Erica mammosa 'Pink'
It was a great and thoroughly enjoyable visit, seeing the place and their beautiful (and colourful!) plants, augmented with a spot of retail therapy as I came home with a few more Aloe polyphylla (we can never have enough of them after all!).

I'm sure we'll catch up with them again very soon, in some of the shows and most definitely at the coming Chelsea Flower Show. Now I wonder what new goodies they will have on display there, hmmm....


Sneaky peek... 
An improvement of this...

27 comments :

  1. How fabulously different the selection is than the nurseries around my home.

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    1. It was nice to see their selection of plants Stephen :)

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  2. Whoa, pretty restios... Droolworthy, just became a first time restio owner today actually, Rhodocoma capensis, but that Cannomois, and the Callopsis!!!

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    1. Their Restios look amazing Max! Wish we could grow them in our garden

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  3. What a glorious place! How could I not know about some of these plants?
    Thanks for all the pictures. I'm sure you all had a wonderful time.
    David/:0)

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    1. Aloe polyphylla would look great in your garden David

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  4. Wowsa! I could get into some trouble there. I think I would have had to have a Leucodendron and heck a Restio too! Thanks for sharing so many bright photos, perfect after a grey day here.

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    1. Same here Loree. If they had a smaller pot of Cannomois available we would have tried that one.

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  5. Stunning. Not sure I would've had enough room in my car for all that I would have bought; aeoniums alone. Dave

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  6. The colors on some of those are amazing. I don't think I've ever noticed that much color on grasses before. They sure stock a lot of fantastic plants.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Some of the Restios do look like grasses Cher, was nice to see the ones outside swaying with the breeze.

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  7. I'd go nuts there! That Cannomois grandis is out of this world. Too bad it's not very hardy--it would look great in your garden.

    I love the photo of Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' and 'Safari Sunshine'. I have both of them planted within 12 feet of each other in our front yard.

    Can't wait to find out what all you bought!

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    1. It seems that Cannomois grandis could do very well in your garden Gerhard! Will do a post about our Cornwall plant haul soon, just need to take photos of them :)

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  8. I would never have guessed that a nursery could be kept in such pristine condition. The blue gate in the golden surroundings was a perfect introduction to an inspiring post. Must this vacation really end?

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    1. Thanks Ricki :) It had to end I'm afraid but we'll be posting lots more about it the following days to come. And no doubt we'll be back there next year again.

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  9. Technicolor describes this place perfectly! Not sure how I feel about restios... They are strike me as very odd, though they are certainly photogenic.

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    1. Restios, not everyone's cup of tea but in the right setting they do look fab, and photogenic :)

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  10. Wow, wow, wow! The color of the restios are amazing! I would have had to have had one of those, for sure. Probably later on, I would have wondered what to do with it, but I would not have been able to resist!

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    1. Such a tempting plant indeed Holley!

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  11. Oh I so love the Cannamais grandis!! Those colours are amazing. Lucky you visiting such a glorious place.

    I always think plant nurseries that aren't open to the public have a special atmosphere - an intense kind of growiness, where you tiptoe among the plants so as not to disturb them!

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    1. I agree Ingrid, its always extra nice to be able to have a snoop at nurseries that are usually not open to the public :)

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  12. I love all the restios but that Cannamais grandis is really special! I had the pleasure of seeing one in person last year and was smitten! So many fabulous plants! Was your car so full that it scraped the road as you pulled away from this marvelous place? Wow, what an intoxicating place to visit. Thanks for taking us along!

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    1. Almost Peter, almost :) and you're welcome!

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  13. OMG you are so privileged! I love all the plants most specially the Calopsis and Elegia, love their colorful stems. And those Aeoniums, oh how beautiful. I saw only the green tree Aeonium in India and already love it, how much more if i see that burgundy-colored one! I am drooling with envy!

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    1. Thanks Andrea! Now I do wonder how some Restios would fair in a tropical location like yours, hmmm....:)

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  14. What a fabulous place, and such a treat to get a guided tour of somewhere normally closed to the public, particularly with Chelsea so close. Mind you, they got a great piece of publicity from it!!

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