Ladock House

After the AGM, the skies cleared and over 30 members assembled in the garden of Ladock House in the shelter from the cold south-east wind outside. On the lawn, Geoffrey Holborow explained the history of the 4-acre garden and the house which was a Georgian rectory, adjacent to the church built in 1832 on open pasture land. The garden was originally laid out by the serving rector as a miniature park (2-acres) mostly with Rhododendron ponticum, Rhododendron Cornish Red, cherry laurel and a lime walk. A curving drive from the road to the house is flanked with beech trees, reckoned to be over 170 years old.

The house was purchased from the church 45 years ago and the garden planted mostly by Geoffrey Holborow who said he had no plan or idea of colour which is a remarkable understatement considering how the garden has matured.  Much of the original rhododendron had to be cleared and planted with named varieties of rhododendron, azalea and magnolia. Particularly spectacular during our visit was the scented azalea (Rhododendron luteum) and the Rhododendron ‘Alice Johnson‘ planted because of the connection with Trewithen. All around the garden, set out in a series of compartments and linking walkways, the display of bluebell, primrose and campion made a colourful base to the mature shrubs.

An attempt is being made by the next generation of Holborows to establish a wildflower meadow. This generation now live in the house with Geoffrey and Lady Mary moved to the coach house. Here a new shrub planting incorporating a vista towards Ladock village is being established. Throughout the garden are several newly planted trees such as the Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Ballerina’ commemorating the public service Lady Mary Holborow has given to the county.

Lady Mary invited us into the coach house for tea and cake and the opportunity to chat amongst ourselves.

David Pearce