The New Year Flower Count 2023
Despite the blustery and damp weather of late, Tresco Abbey Garden was in full and magnificent bloom on New Year's Day.
The 2023 Tresco Abbey Garden New Year flower count saw 278 different species of exotic plants in bloom on New Year's Day, thanks to its unique microclimate, which sees the garden in full colour even through the winter.
The flower count, which takes place each year, celebrates flowering plants unseen elsewhere in the UK. Described as a ‘Kew Gardens without the glass,’ our glorious island garden is home to 20,000 plants from more than 80 countries.
This year’s count saw the Abbey Garden’s usual show of early Camellia and subtropical Aloe, Banksia and Protea blooms.There were also more unusual specimens like the South African Natal Bottlebrush and the Three Kings Trumpet Vine from New Zealand.
Head gardener Andrew Lawson said: “The flower count is a wonderful island tradition that has been taking place since the garden’s early years when Joseph Hooker of Kew Gardens and Augustus Smith of Tresco competed for plant species on New Years’ Day.
“This year was no exception; it was great to count how many beautiful plants we have flowering in the garden!”
Winter garden volunteer Sophie Pipe and Brett Haythope, a student of the Elizabeth Hess Scholarship, assisted Andrew in this year's flower count.
The Elizabeth Hess Scholarship offers three students a year of practical training in Tresco Abbey Garden and the chance to live on Tresco for a year. This year’s applications are open until April 1.
Tresco is situated less than 30 miles off the Cornish coast and enjoys exceptional hours of sunshine and the warmth of the Gulf Stream, meaning snow, ice, and frost are infrequent visitors, allowing the sub-tropical plants to flourish throughout the year.