Tresco Abbey Gardens Is Blooming Marvellous

Student Hugh Fletcher with Mike Nelhams, curator, admiring an Agave Americana in flower

Student Hugh Fletcher with Mike Nelhams, curator, admiring an Agave Americana in flower

 

With the poor weather over the past couple of days, it would be easy to forget that Scilly has the mildest climate in the UK.

Which explains why Tresco Abbey Gardens has again recorded dozens of flowers in bloom in the first few days of the year.

The flower count is an island tradition stretching back more than 150 years.

This year, Head Gardener Andrew Lawson, assisted by Garden Student Hugh Fletcher counted 255 different types in full bloom

Curator Mike Nelhams says it’s a specialist job, making sure that only one species of each plant is recorded, even though some are almost indistinguishable from each other.

Mike says numbers are slightly down on last year, despite the mild autumn and winter.

He puts that down to the hail and gale force winds as the count finished up yesterday morning.

“It’s easy to miss things in those conditions,” says Mike.

Amongst the usual proteas, aloes and pelargoniums that are in full display, there were also passionflowers from Peru counted, which are much rarer at this time of year.

Mike says you’d be hard pressed to find another garden in Europe at this time of year with over 250 types of plants in flower.