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The Isles of Scilly and Tresco Abbey Garden (Part 1)


Now I suppose it is the time to ‘fess up about my age – I’ve just applied for my bus pass, and am hoping those nice people at the Pensions Office will be putting some money into my bank account at the beginning of October (they’d better!).
My birthday treat from hubby (Oh, thank you, thank you, dear!) was a trip to the Isles of Scilly, something I’ve always wanted to do.

Of course, Tresco Abbey Garden was the first thing on my wishlist, so we caught a boat to Tresco from St. Mary’s, where we were staying.

Tresco is a private island rented from the Duchy of Cornwall by the owners of Tresco Abbey, and is beautifully kept, even the cottages for self-catering hire, the pub and the hotel.

New Grimsby Harbour, where the boat drops you or picks you up, according to the tides. You then have a bit of a walk to the garden, whether you are dropped here or at Carn Near, the low tide jetty (from that one you have to cross the heliport!).

The first bit of the garden you see. The gardens are arranged from top to bottom, so to speak, with the plants from hot, dry countries at the top, down to the New Zealand plants at the bottom. None of the garden can be seen from outside, so clever are the shelter belts.

I bought 3 unnamed Crinum bulbs for £1.00 on one of the islands, which promptly sprouted red flower spikes as soon as I got them home – I do hope they turn out to be these!

Aeonium Schwartzkopf “hedge”. Aeoniums are everywhere in the Scillies. I paid £3.00 for a small one (which I thought was a bargain), and the lady at our B+B said she would have given me one from her garden!

The biggest Agave I have ever seen. The Crinums in the path stood nearly 3ft. tall.

The vistas were one of the best bits of the gardens, but the photos hardly do them justice.

No idea what this is – it just sort of erupts from the earth! (Anyone know?)

Neptune Steps with Father Neptune’s statue just visible at the top.

Another weird one!

The agapanthus, which grow everywhere, were mostly finished flowering, but I did manage to get them into a sunset shot. The weather was grey for most of our stay, but I persuaded hubby to stay an extra day, just to see the sun!
This was taken on our last night in the Scillies, from Juliet’s Garden restaurant in St. Mary’s, an excellent place to watch the sun go down with a bottle of chilled white wine!

More blog posts by Shirleypoppy

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Good blog Shirley and lovely photos :)

What a great place to visit, i've always wanted to go and these photos show me what i've missed !

That pointy little brick arch is lovely, so too your plants that just sprout up from the ground, they're gorgeous !

17 Sep, 2009


This is a good blog. ...

By coincidence, yesterday evening I was discussing Tresco with Delonix1 under one of his photos!

17 Sep, 2009


It's lovely when you reach that age when you get paid NOT to go to work and a bus pass thrown in as well!
Lovely pictures of Tresco, it looks absolutely beautiful and now I see what I missed when I went there many years ago. The sun was beating down when we left St Mary's but within minutes of arriving on Tresco, it startting bucketing down and continued all day. We saw virtually nothing! We were only on a day trip from the mainland so it was our only chance. The sun did come out again when we were on the boat going back to Penzance though Such a shame for my recently widowed mother who wanted me to see the place she and my father loved.

17 Sep, 2009



Superb photos! What an incredible garden!
I can see they take very good care of these
gardens. I'd love to go there one day.

I must admit I smiled a little with the comment
about the large Agave americana. They grow
wild everywhere here and grow 3 times as
large...thousands are blooming now.
However, with that being is a
very healthy specimen. : > )

17 Sep, 2009


Great pix. super blog... more please

17 Sep, 2009


I ent to Tresco Abbey Gardens several years ago and your blog makes we want to go there again.
I'm fairly sure the flower 'erupting' from the ground is a South African bulb of some sort, possibly a haemanthus or a scadoxus

17 Sep, 2009


Lovely pictures, enjoyable blog Shirleypoppy.

17 Sep, 2009


It's lovely seeing shots of these gardens at a different time of year - the vistas do look amazing, particularly the Neptune steps.
The 'another weird one' looks like some kind of pitcher plant flower.

17 Sep, 2009


Happy Birthday !

17 Sep, 2009


What a fabulous birthday present,it looks an amazing place.Thanks for sharing with us and your photo`s are absolutely lovely.......

17 Sep, 2009


Thank you all for your comments - don't tell "Him Indoors", but I have plans for a return trip in July 2010 (our Ruby Wedding anniversary).
Delonix : And I thought it was Texas where everything was the biggest! We do our little best in the UK - these are just lucky to survive outdoors in the Scillonian mild Gulf Stream climate.

18 Sep, 2009


Lovely place to go and see, and happy birthday, as for you bus pass i've had mine over 3years and i still walk to most places, yet our buses run every 7-10mins.

18 Sep, 2009


I need to get my trifocals reground: I kept reading "Sicily" and was very confused! Have heard rumors of subtropical climes off your big island, & great to see pix! Scilly definitely gets added to my "places to visit" log! Before global warming shifts the Gulf Stream...

18 Sep, 2009



I do agree this garden is very impressive for the northerly
latitude. I also forgot to mention...the Trachycarpus fortunei - Windmill Palms are very tall...they look as
tall as they grow here...which is 50 feet / 15 meters tall.
I wonder how old they are?

25 Sep, 2009


Well folks, you learn something new every day - the "Crinum" bulbs I bought turn out to be "Amaryllis belladonna" (not the Christmas present Amaryllis, although related) or Jersey lily. In the States I believe they are called Naked Ladies (!). Now I quite like the idea of Naked Ladies in my garden...... Wonder what they will make of our winter?

Delonix: Re-reading the blurb I find that the gardens were started in 1834, so the Trachycarpus could be venerable old gents by now. They are readily available in garden centres here now, thanks to global warming.

25 Sep, 2009



That's amazing if these Windmill Palms are ~ 175 years old.

I know Windmill Palms are very hardy...tolerating temps down to 4 degrees F. / -15 degrees C.

26 Sep, 2009

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