Trebah: The garden beside the sea.

We recently visited one of our favourite Cornish gardens nestled on the south coast near Falmouth. Enriched in over 180 years of history and horticulture, Trebah Garden is host to an abundance of trees and exotic plants and boasts beautiful sea views. The 25-acre garden set in a tree-lined valley features waterfalls, streams, and a scenic koi pond while canopies of foliage and flowers follow paths down to its secluded beach. Enjoying a cup of coffee in the café before setting out, you can’t help but be struck by the many shades of green from the lush jungle-like foliage that immediately transports you to a sub-tropical paradise.


Beginning to wander through the garden, past the 18th century Georgian Trebah house and the quaint koi pond, the garden provides snippets of the beach and Mallard Pond through the towering trees. Following the sound of running water, coming from the Cascade and to the Amphitheatre, impressive sub-tropical plants are abundant. Palms such as Cordyline australis, also known as the ‘Cornish Palm’, are synonymous with beaches and coastlines and have become a staple decorative plant within Cornish gardens. Trebah is also home to the country’s tallest specimen of Trachycarpus fortune, the fan palm reaches nearly 15m!


As the paths descend into the shade of the canopy of the larger trees, groups of the ancient and impressive tree fern appear. Thought to have originally come to the garden in the 1800s on ships from Australia, they have a tree-like trunk and feathery fronds up to 3m long. Many of us aspire to have one of these in our garden, Trebah have them in abundance! Found on Stuart Hill, Musa basjoo, or ‘Japanese Banana’, is another exotic foliage to be spotted amongst the tropical evergreens. It is the large paddle-shaped leaves that make up a huge part of the dense canopy.



One of our highlights of the garden is the sea of Gunnera manicata found at the base of the garden on the edge of Mallard Pond. These herbaceous perennials appear in spring and grow rapidly to form giant leaves up to 2m across. A green hue is created as the sun shines through its leaves, it creates a passage to be explored and also provides shade or shelter from the Cornish weather. At a turn of a corner, the abundance of perennials and evergreens are left behind and we are greeted with the gentle crashing of waves. What could be better than having your own private beach at the end of your garden? There’s time for ice cream, to skim a few stones, and watch the passing boats before making our way back to explore more of one of our favourite Cornish gardens.



Trebah displays an extensive array of horticulture that demonstrates its distinctive microclimate. It is intimate yet impressive and has clearly been loved and looked after by those who have been part of its history. We’ll be back very soon!

Find the sub-tropical plants mentioned above here- https://www.plantsofcornwall.com/sub-tropical-plants . And use code TREBAH10 at checkout for 10% off!

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