Botallick, Lanreath

On April 13th the first view we had of Botallick should have given members a foretaste of what was to come: a blaze of colour could be seen in the valley below as we approached, later recognizable as an enormous Cornish red rhododendron in Botallick garden.  Very soon, however, as we were greeted by the Bucknells and enjoyed excellent coffee and delicious biscuits, we could see that there was much, much more.

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Peter and Pat Bucknell have created an outstanding garden around an old gabled farmhouse which once belonged to the Boconnoc estate.  When they arrived here in 1994 there was a relatively small traditional garden around the house and a selection of farm buildings which have been gradually and gracefully incorporated into the landscape.  The garden has now grown to about three to four acres and includes a large pond and a stream crossed by two bridges.  There are several seating areas one formally planted within the walls of an old building – for peaceful contemplation but I’m not sure when the Bucknells have time for this as Botallick has now become a real treasure house of familiar and unusual Camellias, Rhododendrons & Magnolias each of which Pat can name immediately. Not only are these aesthetically planted in the old garden and are now to be found in the orchard but are gradually taking over the area around and below the farmyard.

These plants are carefully placed so as to flourish but if very occasionally – they don’t then they may be moved elsewhere to give them ‘one more chance’ or be quietly banished. Roses, Wisteria and Clematis swathe the old buildings adding colour and continuing the growing season.  It would be invidious to pick out any one species as the best but I think that the superb collection of yellow magnolias was among my favourite. We all left Botallick full of admiration for the Bucknells’ professional approach and the sheer quality and beauty – of what they had achieved in such a relatively short time.

Report by Angela Stubbs
Photos by Claire Leith
13th April 2011