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Blooming Marvellous


A plethora of plants were in bloom at Tresco Abbey Garden’s annual New Year flower count...

Shrugging off the gale force winds brought by Storm Eleanor, the 2018 Tresco Abbey Garden New Year flower count saw 306 exotic plant species counted in bloom.

At a time of year when most other gardens in Britain are looking bare and colourless, Tresco Abbey Garden is a rare exception.

The New Year flower count, which was completed by Abbey Garden’s Head Gardener, Andrew Lawson, Curator Mike Nelhams and garden students, is an annual island tradition that has been taking place for more than 150 years which celebrates flowering plants unseen anywhere else in the UK.

Described by some as a ‘Kew with the lid off’, this botanical wonderland brings together a global gathering of plants from over 80 countries.

Proteas and Aloe Arborescens from South Africa, Acacia from Australia, Passion Flowers (Passiflora) from Peru, Sophora microphylla from New Zealand and Bomarea caldesii from Ecuador are just some of the exotic flora that adorn the garden at this time of year, thanks to the island’s mild climate.

New to the garden in 2017 was a Dendroseris litoralis (originally from the Juan Fernandez Islands 400 miles of the coast of Chile), which this year has flowered for the first time – offering a stunning spectacle adding to the ever-growing collection.

Mike Nelhams, Curator of Tresco Abbey Garden, said: “Tresco’s mild climate enables us to nurture a wonderful variety of exotic flora usually found in the southern hemisphere. While most other gardens in Britain are looking less colourful, it’s always a wonderful time of year to tally up just how many plants we have flowering in the garden, and this year is no exception.”

Tresco’s location less than 30 miles off the Cornish coast, means the island is blessed by the Gulf Stream meaning snow, ice and frost are infrequent visitors and helps protect the garden’s sub-tropical plants.

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