Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

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Tremenheere Gardens are hidden away just three miles from Penzance along narrow country lanes with tall hedges on either side. They are set on the sunny side of a narrow valley and initially the path follows the stream deep in the woods, carpeted by bluebells when I visited in May. The dappled sun filtered through the canopy overhead as the path wound gradually uphill past natural pools overhung by tall trees. Higher up, the path emerges onto open slopes where the planting becomes more exotic with palms, camellias, sweet smelling azaleas and rhododendrons and succulents more normally found on the Mediterranean coast. Cacti of all shapes and sizes feature in one area. Dotted around there are sculptures; one a row of upright logs with a lifeline cut though the top, including a mid-life crisis cut into one of the central ones. Another is a group of long jointed green bamboo poles stacked like a poorly-built teepee. Towards the top there are viewpoints with glimpses of the sea-green Mount Bay and St Michaels Mount. And we came across a Camera obscura, where we could turn the mirror and see a faded version of the gardens reflected onto the white table in the centre. Later we joined some children rolling down the slope on rich green grass smelling of herbs and flowers before heading back down to the Lime Tree cafe, where we had an excellent and reasonably priced lunch. If you prefer, there are benches scattered around the gardens – ideal for picnics or maybe painting the beautiful flowers.

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