Guest Blog Post
Just outside of Kingswear, an elegant Art Deco house surrounded by a tropical garden nestles in a coastal valley. Coleton Fishacre, cared for by the National Trust, was built as a country home for the D’Oyly Carte family, of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. With a climate as mild as South Cornwall created by the great trees sheltering this garden in a coastal valley, exotic and tender plants thrive in Coleton Fishacre garden. From formal terraces to woodland to explore, this garden is varied and filled with year-round interest, and one of the few National Trust gardens to be RHS accredited, and is one of five places shortlisted for Garden of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018. Now in their seventh year, the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards are ‘a celebration of the British countryside and its people, from mighty landmarks and outstanding national parks to the best nature reserves and finest rural pubs.’
BBC Countryfile Magazine invited their readers to send in their suggestions for the greatest sites in the countryside. Their expert panel then gathered to review all of the submissions, and whittle the nominees down to five in each category. The final shortlist was announced on Monday 15 January, and in the category of Garden Of The Year, Coleton Fishacre Coleton Fishacre is joined by:
• Bodnant Garden, Conwy
• Rousham Gardens, Oxfordshire
• Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
• Mount Stewart, County Down
Head Gardener Simon Akeroyd said ‘It’s an honour to be nominated for the award of Garden of the Year, and to be shortlisted amongst these nationally renowned gardens. In gardening terms, Coleton Fishacre is one of National Trust members’ favourite gardens; its standard of horticulture is incredible. It is just an amazing combination – the gardens are beautiful with stunning views and then there is the sea. It also has an unusual rare micro climate where we can grow special plants like the protea from South Africa. Coleton Fishacre is unique.’
BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018 Judge, Mark Rowe, said of Coleton Fishacre: ‘One of the edgier National Trust gardens, this is framed by coastal cliffs, and is not especially formal – it’s quite ragged at the edges, and it has a lot of charm to it.’
You could help Coleton Fishacre to win Garden of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018 by casting your vote. Voting is open from Friday January 19 until Monday 5 March, and you can vote online on the BBC Countryfile Magazine website, countryfile.com/awards, or by post, sending the form in the February issue of the magazine. The winners will be announced mid-March in an online ceremony and will appear in the May issue of the magazine, which goes on sale 13 April.
To find out more about Coleton Fishacre, which is open daily from Saturday 10 February, call 01803 842382 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre. For in-depth information about the garden, you could join a member of the garden team for a spring garden walk, which run on Fridays from 16 February – 30 March, 2-2.45pm. The walks are free to join, normal admission prices to Coleton Fishacre apply.