St Dellan

On June 9th members and guests enjoyed a visit to St Dellan which is located almost at Land’s End and is reached by a mile-long lane that winds from Boskenna down through woods crafted from centuries of Cornish gales, crossing a stream before arriving at one of 36 small fields. These are bordered by a beach, covered with pebbles bigger than cannonballs, leading down to the sea – no possibility to paddle here!

These small fields, which are in a frost-free micro-climate, form part of the property owned by John and Sue Phillips, who were on hand to welcome us and tell us that in former times these fields were used to grow daffodils and potatoes. Some of the fields are still bordered by dry stone walls consisting of big granite stones that had originally been dragged up from the beach, while further protection from the elements was provided by hedges of Phormium, Escallonia and Olearia haastii. The fields are now down to grass and although they are mown they are largely left undeveloped and therefore give a better impression of the hard lives endured by the people who once made their living from cultivating them.

After exploring the fields we walked along a border containing branching Echium, bearded iris, and Kniphofia, and then climbed up through a small pine wood to eventually reach the beautiful cultivated gardens that surround John and Sue’s house. After a welcome rest on the sun deck – one of the many secluded areas where one could sit and enjoy the garden – we walked along a rose-covered terrace until we came to a pool surrounded by a huge mass of arum lilies. From there we strolled back up through the woods along a path which brought us to the neighbouring Cove Cottage – home of Sue and John White. Here we sat on a terrace to enjoy a delicious cream tea while we looked out over a delightfully laid-out garden which extended all the way down to St Loy cove. It had been a long journey for some of us to reach this corner of Cornwall, but we considered it well worthwhile as we took in the view, and the memory of the two gardens remained with us as we drove back home.

Pam Hurley
9th June 2010