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Tremenheere, While You’ve Been Away…

We have been closed for the annual winter break but plenty has been happening behind the scenes. From a grand entrance and new pathways, to sub-tropical planting and magnificent artwork additions, the gardens are ablaze with change as we prepare to welcome back visitors. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s been happening while you’ve been away.

A new way to arrive

If you’ve visited Tremenheere within the past few months you may have noticed a new entrance emerging… From the day of our reopening on Saturday 11th February, you’ll now be carried over the water by a beautiful new bridge. This is an adventure in itself if you amble slowly to notice the large banana plants and ferns, and you won’t miss Tamsyn Challenger’s brightly coloured Ducking Stool, which in our opinion compliments the bridge wonderfully. 

The woods along the bottom left of the gardens is a favourite starting point for many, offering a serene shaded space engulfed in nature. Soon when you walk along the path you’ll notice a transformation from boardwalk to stone slabs that’ll guide you along the river, past Michael Johnson’s Wall of Taps into the depths of the sweeping ferns and exotic and sub-tropical trees. 

New pathways 

One of the best things about garden is being able to explore every inch of it, and with new pathways comes fresh opportunities to do so. We’re excited to have a brand new path of steps leading up past the left of the Pagoda, opening up a part of the garden that was once only viewable from the distance.

Meanwhile on the other side of the garden, the steep slope has been transformed with new steps leading down towards the look out tower. Now visitors can slowly wander down at their own speed and catch glimpses of St Michaels Mount through the trees. 

We have now designed a step free journey around the gardens for those visitors who may have difficultly climbing. Due to the natural contours of the land, access to the gardens is limited for those with physical disabilities and the majority of the gardens are unsuitable for mobility scooters and wheelchair users.

New benches have been installed, perfect for taking a break and admiring the view and all that nature has to offer.

Loss of trees

While there are some wonderful new beginnings in the gardens, we have sadly had to lose a large number of trees due to Ash Dieback. Ash Dieback ‘Hymenoscyphus fraxineus’ is a fungal disease originating in Asia and is estimated to be killing around 80% of Ash trees which will change the overall landscape of the UK. Read more about the disease from Woodland Trust. 

The woodland at Tremenheere is 200 years old in parts and unfortunately many of the beech trees are coming to the end of their life. We have an annual tree survey to assess our trees and advise on management. We are then required to carry out the work accordingly over the winter closure period. This winter the work needed has been extensive to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors.

The impact of this work has been significant, however, more light has been introduced into the garden and opened up new views of the sea and St Michael’s Mount. 

New planting

But with this loss, comes new life. There has been new planting around the lost tree stumps, including a Nolina Azura Glediata, originating in Mexico which is set to gain some height. Thousands of bulbs have been planted in the woodland, including by the lookout tower. We also have plenty of new additions to the many ferns around the gardens.

New artworks 

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of several new sculptures to the Gardens’ collection. Three of these are by Lisa Wright, which were created for Future Forest – part of a major project to commemorate the Centenary of The Forestry Commission England in 2019. Her exhibition The Figure in Landscape will be running alongside the opening of the gardens in Tremenheere Gallery on 11th February at 2-4.30pm until 3rd March. 

The other sculptures to look forward to as the gardens re-open are by Alastair and Fleur Mackie, and Aimee Lax, and in due course, Jonathan Michael Ray and Emily Powell. In the meantime, there is a particularly large plinth with an outstanding view awaiting its arrival… but what will it be? Here’s a clue… it’s by Alastair and Fleur Mackie. 

Skyspace refresh

The famous James Turrell Skyspace, ‘Tewlwolow Kernow’ has received some tender loving care after over 10 years at Tremenheere. The surface of the elliptical domed chamber has been sanded and re-fibre glassed so that it can carry on to it’s full fascinating potential. It’s crisp white interior helps reveal how we internally create the colours we see and perceive reality when witnessing the sky. 

As we countdown the days to our reopening, we want to say a big thank you to all of the gardeners, volunteers and everybody at Tremenheere who has worked so hard over the winter to help us continue to maintain and improve our beautiful gardens.

Don’t forget, we’ll be running our ever-popular Locals’ Offer from 11th February – 31st March 2023. During this time residents of Cornwall will receive special discounted single-entry tickets into the gardens – £6 for standard adult tickets (as opposed to £11) and £3 (as opposed to £5) for a children aged 5-15 (Under 5s are FREE as usual). To claim this offer you must bring a proof of address (such as a driver’s licence or utility bill). There will be added option of advanced online booking for 2023, which will open soon.

Starting 11th February 2023, the Sculpture Gardens will be open daily, 10.30am – 4.30pm with last entry at 3.30pm, admission prices apply. Tremenheere Gallery will be open Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm, closed Sundays and Mondays, FREE Entry. Opening times for Kitchen, Nursery and Shop will differ from Sculpture Gardens and Gallery, please check individual websites for opening times.

Plan your visit and find out more about opening times and admission prices here.

Feature image credit: Falvey Armstrong