The Gardens at Enys are perhaps the oldest in Cornwall, and are mentioned in ancient texts. We know from the William Borlase print of Enys that in the 18th century the Gardens were formally laid out in an Italianate style with long vistas reaching down the length of the current garden ending in two pavilions. In the early 19th century, Francis Enys started major alterations to the Gardens, creating less formal gardens. This trend has continued until we see the Gardens as they are today.
The Gardens at Enys offer a unique, tranquil and unspoilt experience, presenting a wide variety of peaceful garden vistas. It features a number of distinct but linked areas, each with its own individual character, flowing from one theme to another. Within the 30 acre gardens lie the open meadow known as Parc Lye, where the spring show of bluebells is breathtaking; the Ponds, where the waterwheel can be found; The Flower Garden, a more formal space laid out with borders and flower beds; the quite recent New Zealand Garden, established in recognition of the Enys family’s links with New Zealand; the elegant Broadwalk laid out to draw the eye to the thatched shelter at the end of the wide path; the Summerhouse Border, providing a lovely viewing point over the surrounding parkland; the Stumpery, a striking display of upturned sweet chestnut roots that resembles a modern sculpture park; a collection of rare Cornish apple trees in The Orchard, and the Pinetum, a developing collection of conifers from around the world.
The Gardens also have a wonderful collection of trees including over a hundred trees of veteran age. The Gardens feature two champion trees- a Carya tomentosa which can be found next to the Australasian border at the back of the Servants’ Quarters, and Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Variegatus’ which can be seen on the left-hand side of the walk down from the House towards the Flower Garden. Nearby stands the Chilean Laurel (Laurelia sempervirens), known for its strong aromatic leaves and bark.
Behind the cafe building you can also see a very tall Ginkgo biloba, said to be the second tallest in the UK (after the one at Kew).
At the north end of Broadwalk there is a Sequoia sempervirens; growing up around the massive trunk is a Wisteria that flowers up the tree in May.
In addition to the various gardens we also have a few seasonal features such as the beautiful Meadow Walk in the summer with Ox-eye daisies, which stretches from the corner of the House Lawn down to the Flower Garden. There is a lovely audio account by Dr Grace Twiston-Davies of her visit to the Meadow Walk and other gardens in Cornwall here.
Our Head Gardener, Danni Dixon, was interviewed in September 2023 by Jack Murley of BBC Radio, who walked around Enys with her. You can hear that fascinating interview here.