Spring stirs in my winter garden

Dramatic Steely grey winter skies in a sea viewWinter brings the white flash of a  seagull’s wing  against leaden  skies and yet in the garden, spring is starting to stir as it comes back to life.

The first bright Soleil d’Or Narcissi have burst into flower at Ednovean Farm in the wild garden with new ranks of Daffodil shoots pushing up through the glossy winter grass each day now encouraged by the mild winter days. This Daffodil or narcissi is grown commercially on the Isles of Scilly and does well in West Cornwall’s sub tropical climate – Cornwall has held a subtropical status since July 2016 encouraging gardeners and growers to select new plants from an ever increasing menu.

For my Garden diary photos for December and January 

Cornwall’s sub tropical climate.

Sub Tropical Date palms and European palms

Date and fan palms at Ednovean Farm’s entrance

Cornwall was declared Sub Tropical in July 2016 which puts it on a par with parts of Mexico and Vietnam following research by the University of Exeter.

What does sub Tropical mean?

To be considered sub tropical the temperature has to be above 10 degrees for seven months of the year.

It is in the wintertime that we have every reason to be grateful for our climate as the temperatures fall elsewhere in the country, The recent study looked at the temperature of individual areas in a detailed comparison area by area and it was found that all of Cornwall’s beaches and some in Devon could be described as sub tropical along with south and south west facing slopes and sheltered valleys.

What method is used?Phoenix Canariensis in flower in January

The world famous method, used by Exeter University, was developed by a Cornish- American Geographer – Glenn Thomas Trewartha in 1966.

This system suggest that climates of 10 degrees or more for four to seven months of the year are temperate and 10 degrees or more for seven months or more of the year are considered sub tropical.

Two rare frosts


I was excited and a little nervous to see two rare frost in the garden this winter and rushed down to take photos although this doesn’t compare with the BBC sending a reporter to Tooting (or some place similar!) to stand in a  shivering in a quarter of an inch of snow fall and report on the catastrophic winter chaos. Still for us in Cornwall it was winter and had me nervously peering at my agaves (but I think they’re OK)


Visit Cornwall’s spring gardens near to Ednovean Farm

Cornwall’s spring gardens are famous for their camellias and Azaleas and I’ve already noticed the soft velvety blooms peaking out from amongst the glossy foliage of local gardens

Trewidden Gardens Near Penzance

This is one of Cornwall’s great gardens and will open again on the 12th of February until the 17th of September. This glorious garden of stretches of fifteen acres and has a collection of over 300 Camellias and Azaleas. Visit website for Trewidden Gardens

Trengwainton Gardens

One of the National Trusts estate gardens with superb walled garden. Open 12th February until the 29th of October from 10.30. but please note this garden closes each week on Fridays and Saturdays (excluding Good Friday) Visit website for Trengwainton Gardens

Tremenheere Garden

Tremenheere Sculpture Garden is a  truly sub tropical experience to visit this sheltered valley garden with wonderful over Mounts Bay. Opens daily from the 11th of February. Visit website for Tremenheere Sculpture Garden

Ones to wait for


A dramatic cliff top garden above Lamorna Cove reopening in April until September on Wednesdays and Thursdays only. Visit the website for Chygurno Gardens

St Michael’s Mount Gardens

Reopening from the 12th of February until the 26th of October times vary subject to schedule so please check here before your visit! Check website for St Michael’s Mount Gardens

This winter in the gardens at Ednovean Farm


A robin in a bird bath in a winter garden

Winter has proved a rich and fulfilling time for the garden to rest and recuperate ready for spring. Our cheerful robin who won the territory of the horse barn ( with daily oats and barley!) has been a welcome distraction this winter, keeping us company as we worked and singing sweetly in the rafters as dusk falls.And throughout the garden the hedges shelter and nurture the birds until spring when the serious business of nest building will start. I wonder if our Robin will stay for the summer with us  or did he migrate from Scandinavia to escape the cold winter?

Now I’m excited to see what the new season will bring to us in our garden at Ednovean  Farm

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About Christine Taylor

Christine has written a weekly blog about life at Ednovean Farm and interesting places to visit in West Cornwall for over ten years now, concentrating on those off the beaten track places that only the locals find. Charles and Christine Taylor have hosted Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Ednovean Farm Nr Penzance in West Cornwall since 1991 and live there with three cats and five horses, including a Spanish Stallion called Danni. Ednovean Farm has been awarded AA five star gold for Bed and breakfast and is included in The Michelin Guide and The Alastair Sawday Guide . The Farmhouse and gardens has been featured in BBC Homes and Antiques, Homes and Gardens. Period Living and 25 Beautiful Homes as well as being used as a film and photo shoot location.

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