The Gardens of St. Michael’s Mount

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

May, 2018

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Travelled with

Adult family

Reasons for trip

The gardens have been tended on “St. Michael’s Mount”: since 1780. It is quite an interesting perspective to look down at them from the castle. When you see them from that vantage point they do not seem that steep. However, when you walk through the gardens you can see how they are built into the Mount. Within the gardens we walked along grass paths connected by steep granite steps. There are benches on most levels so you can stop and have a rest and drink in the views.

The granite core of the island keeps the island warm in the winter with stored heat from the summer sun and helps to keep the frost away. Unfortunately, when we visited in May, many of the plants had been killed off in February due to unusual snow falls. Also, the water and sewer pipes had just been replaced and the lower path was closed due to new sod having recently been laid. It’s hard to believe that there are only four gardeners. Given the conditions they work in on this piece of rock, the gardens are quite amazing. In addition to herbaceous and perennial plants, there are many succulents, some small and some quite large, and numerous in flower. Some of the succulents are aeoniums, aloes, echeverias and sempervivums (hens and chicks).

As you enter the gardens, you walk along the Laundry Lawn where wash was laid out to dry in the sun. Walking past the Pill Box and Gun Emplacement you arrive at the East Terrace. This is where you start to walk up onto the terraces. Normally you’d be able to continue along the lower path around the buttresses to the Elm Bank but this was the path that was closed to us. The paths meander up to the well and then lead into the walled gardens then the West Terraces and the Hot Bed. This side of the island gets lots of sunshine and the plants are quite colourful.

Access to the gardens is £8 for adults or free if you are a National Trust member. If you want to part with some more money there are plants for sale as you leave the gardens.

Denise Bridge

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