Lostwithiel Area u3a
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Garden Visits

Garden Visits  GroupThere are times when you need to stop working in your own garden and get inspiration from other people’s creativity and hard work. Does this apply to you? In that case, you would fit in well in our group! We do not have a waiting list, so get in touch if you would like to join us. Our programme of visits to gardens, usually in Cornwall and Devon, starts in February to visit a snowdrop garden and ends in October to admire the autumn colours.

Contact the Group Leader

Group contact: Irene Eliot

Telephone: 01208821794

Update of 7th February 2024

We are delighted that Irene Eliot has kindly volunteered to be the next Group Leader/Contact for the Garden Visit Group.  Irene is going away on a long holiday and has set the date for her planning meeting for Thursday 11th  April at the Royal Oak.  Come along and give her your support.

Update of 6th November 2023

It is with great sadness that we learnt that our Group Leader Pat Beasley had passed away unexpectedly last week.  Our thoughts are with her daughter Tanya and her family.

Update of 10th October

Unfortunately, due to lack of interest, we have decided to cancel our last visit of the year.

Update of 21st September

The reports of our August visits to Treglyn Gardens and of our September visit to Trenarth Gardens are now on the webpage.  

Update of 26 June

In May we went to see the magnificent bluebell display at Enys Gardens and in June we took a trip to Lethytep. The next visit will be to Treglyn Gardens on Sunday 23 July.

Update of 17th April

The reports of our first three visits are on our webpage.  Our next visit will be to Enys Gardens on Wednesday 3rd May.  Details will be sent to members in due course. 

Update of 24 January 2023

Following our second planning meeting, we now have a draft programme in place. See the 2023 programme sub page. Please note that our first visit is on Friday 24th February when we will be visiting the Garden House to admire their snowdrops. We will also spend time at Buckland Abbey.

Update 25th November 2022

Following our first planning of 24th November, members have gone away to do some research.  We will be meeting again in The Royal Oak on Wednesday 18th January at 10.30am.  This will be followed up by a meal at 12.30pm for those that want to stay on.


Update 8th November 2022

The report on our visit to Lukesland Gardens is now on the website (2022 report sub-page).  Members have been sent details of planning day of 24th November 10.30am-12.00pm at the Royal Oak in Lostwithiel.




Update of 30th September

I wanted to share with you the fantastic news that one of our new members, Pat Beasley has volunteered to be your next group leader.  However, Pat would like the support of a co-leader, especially to help with the use of the Beacon system and the website.  If you are interested, please contact me and I will forward to your details to Pat.  Needless to say, that in my capacity as Group Leaders co-ordinator, I will give on-going support to Pat and her co-leader, including hands-on training on the use of the website and the Beacon system.



Update of 16th September

1. Next and last visit of the year

The last visit of the year when we will visit Lukesland Garden near Ivybridge has been fixed for Wednesday 2nd November, leaving the LCC car park at 10.00am.  Full details will be sent in due course.  Fingers crossed for lovely weather that day so that we can enjoy the autumn colours.

2. Group leader role

I will be retiring from my role as Group Leader at the end of 2022 and to-date nobody has come forward to take on the role. The stark reality is that, if nobody comes forward, the group will cease to exist.  

Anybody taking on the role will be given full training by me on how to use the website and our Beacon system.

If you are tempted to become the group leader but need to find out more before committing yourself, do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail or on 01208 871272.

Best wishes



Update of 12th September 2022

We were due to visit Trenah Gardens on Monday 19th September.  I have cancelled this visit as our late Queen's funeral will be taking place that day.

Our last visit of the year will be to Lukesland Gardens sometime in October/November for the Autumn colours.  I will soon contact you to confirm the date.


Update of 12th July 2022

The report of our visit to the Real Food Garden will soon be on the website.

Please note that our September visit has been rescheduled to Monday 19th September.


Update of 9th June 2022

The report on our visit to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is now on the website (2022 report sub-page)

Our next visit will be on Friday 8th July when we will be visiting the Real Food Garden


Update of 18th May 2022

The report on our visit to Antony's Woodland Garden is now on the website (2022 report sub-page)

Our next visit will be on Wednesday 8th June when we will be visiting Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, near Penzance. 

Update of 12th May 2022

The report on our visit to Pencarrow is now on the website (2022 report sub-page)

Our next visit will be on Wednesday 18th May when we will be visiting Antony's Woodland Garden

Update of 28th March 2022

Our first report of the year is on the website (2022 report sub-page).

Our next visit will be on Monday 25th April when we will be visiting Pencarrow which will be open for the NGS

Update 7th March 2022

Have a look at our 2022 programme which has been updated as the April and June visits have been confirmed.

Update of 1st February 2022

Our latest version of our programme of visits for 2022 is now on the website (see left hand menu) with our first visit planned for Wednesday 23rd March to the Pinetum Gardens in St Austell.  Invitations will be sent to members in due course.

Update of 29th December 2021

I hope that your Christmas celebrations have gone well.  

A group of Garden Visits Group members have been working hard in the background to put together a draft programme for 2022 and I have posted the second draft.  As you can see:

  •  We have a gap in April
  • We have a choice of outings for May and for June
  • We need to add dates to our programme

I do not intend to have a planning meeting in 2022 because of the need to minimise the risks of Covid infections.  I would therefore be very grateful if you could let me know by the end of January:

  • If you have any ideas for a visit in April
  • Which visit you would rather do in May and in June

I look forward to hearing from you and I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year.


Update of 9th November 2021

We would normally have our first planning meeting this time of the year to put together ideas for the following year.

I have decided to do this by e-mail this time round, firstly because of the high prevalence of the Covid virus and secondly because we have a draft programme in place from 2020.

You will notice that there are 2 gaps in the programme: 

  • we visited Trewithen last year, a visit which had been planned for April 2020
  • the person organising the June visit has moved away

What I am e-mailing you is very much a first draft:  what we fancied visiting in 2020 might no longer appeal! I would be grateful if you could get back to me by the end of November with the following information:

  • Are the gardens in the draft programme still the ones you would like to visit?
  • Do you have other suggestions to make for any of the months but especially for the two months which now stand empty?
  • If you had volunteered to organise a garden visit, is this still something that you would like to do?

I would also like to remind you that I will step down as Group Leader at the end of 2022 and I would love it if somebody else could come forward to take on the role from 2023 as soon as possible so that we can use 2022 as an “induction year”. It would be a shame if the group had to fold due to the absence of a leader.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Update of 18th September 2021

The report of the last visit of the year to South Bosent had been uploaded. I will be in touch in due course about next year's programme.

Update of 7th August 2021

I have chosen South Bosent near Dobwalls for our September visit, a garden which we would have visited in the Spring of 2020.  The garden will be open for the NGS on 15th and 16th September and I have opted for the date of 16th September for our visit. I will send further details early September. 

Update of 30th July 2021

There will be no visit in August and details of the September visit will be sent to members in due course.

Update of 27th June 2021

The Lostwithiel and District Branch of the RNLI has organised a RNLI Open Garden on 11th July – our first fundraising event since February 2020.

Here are the details:

  • The venue is Fan Cottage, Piggy Lane, Lerryn by kind permission of Lin and Rob Briggs
  • The event will start at 11.00am and finish at 3.00pm
  • The entrance cost is £6.00 which includes a cream tea
  • Only registered assistance dogs allowed
  • Car parking and toilets in the village

Although I will be involved in the running of the event as the chair of the committee, I am happy to sort out car sharing for the group.  I recommend that you do the visit in the morning before the car park gets full.  Other parking is available on the road if you turn left before the bridge (road to Couch’s Mill).  I would suggest that you leave the LCC car park at 11.00am

I would be grateful if you could let me know by 6th July if you:

  • Intend to join us on the day.
  • are willing to drive and offer lifts.



Update of 5th June 2021

Our next outing is on Saturday 26th June when we will be going to the wildlife haven of Lethytep in Penadlake.  That day the garden will be opened to support the work of the Cornwall Butterfly Conservation.  Here are the details of the Open Day:

  • ·         Open to all by donation £6 at gate 
  • ·         Refreshments, toilet, ample parking 

For further details visit their website: http://www.lethytep.co.uk

I suggest that we meet in the Lostwithiel Community Centre Car Park to sort out the car sharing, ready to leave at 1.45pm in order to get to the garden close to 2.00pm

I would be grateful if you could let me know by Sunday 20th June whether you:

  • ·         Intend to join us on this visit
  • ·         Are willing to drive
  • ·         Are willing to car share and if so with how many people either as a driver or a passenger

I would suggest a £2.00 donation to the driver.

I look forward to your company.


PS:  the July Garden visit will take place on Sunday 11th when the Lostwithiel Branch of the RNLI are holding an Open Garden at Fan Cottage, Piggy Lane, Lerryn by kind permission of Lin and Rob Briggs.


Update of 25th April 2021

Our next visit was due to take place on 13th May.  However, the owners of South Bosent have decided to cancel the May NGS open days due to the drought.  Definitely, a visit to include in our 2022 programme.

 Boconnoc House is opening its garden for the NGS on Sunday 9th May from 2.00 until 5.00pm and, as it meets our preferred criteria:  local and with plenty of space, I suggest that this becomes our May visit.

 It looks like we will have to pre-book and that afternoon teas will be served.

 I look forward to hearing from you by Monday 3rd May as to whether you will join me at 2.00pm on this visit.

 Happy watering!



Update of 22nd March 2021

I have now received 18 responses to my survey which I would like to share with you:

  • Apart from two members who wanted us to wait until 2022 to restart our programme of visits, the rest of the members were keen to restart this year. There was roughly the same number of people who wanted to restart on 29th March, 17th May or 21st June
  • Members would like to visit local gardens to start with and prefer to visit big gardens where social distancing will be possible.
  • When car sharing is allowed, most members would be happy to share with one other person only. Many mentioned that they would only share with people who had been vaccinated.

In the light of the above, I have decided to start planning the 2021 programme of visits and here is what I suggest (assuming that there are no changes to the roadmap):

Friday 23rd April: Trewithen Gardens

  • We will need to book online
  • £8.00 for locals (ID will be required)
  • Tea Shed might be open for take away refreshments
  • No car sharing allowed, so we will meet there at 1.30pm (and at half hour intervals to follow the rule of six)

Thursday 13th May: South Bosent, near Dobwalls (NGS Open Day)

  • Pre booking available
  • £5.00
  • Cream teas available
  • No car sharing allowed, so we will meet there at 2.00pm (and at half hour intervals to follow the rule of six)

Saturday 26h June: Lethytep, Penadlake (Charity Open Day for the Cornwall Butterfly Society)

  • No need to book in advance
  • £6.00 donation
  • Refreshments available
  • Car sharing allowed so we will leave the Lostwithiel Community Centre Car Park at 1.00pm

I hope that this draft programme will whet your appetite! I will of course send reminders nearer the time. We can plan the rest of the year’s programme in due course.

Do not hesitate to contact me for clarification and further suggestions.



Update of 1st February 2021

Four weeks of lockdown behind us and a few more ahead of us unfortunately.  Now for the good news:

We have made a great start on our photo gallery on our new page “The arrival of Spring 2021”. Thank you to those members who have contributed photos of their gardens and/or their local area.  We have an uplifting selection of flowers, especially snowdrops and camelias.  I look forward to the February photos.

I have recently been made aware of the fact that there is a big selection of virtual tours on the NGS website. Here is the link: Virtual garden visits - National Garden Scheme (ngs.org.uk).  Enjoy the tours from the comfort of your home.  Not the same, I know, but the tours will provide much needed escapism during the wet and cold winter months.

Continue to keep safe


Update of 14th January 2021

Some members have suggested that we resume recording the seasonal changes through our photos.

It is unlikely that we will be able to resume garden visits before late Spring at the earliest so let us keep in touch with each other this way.  To that effect  I have created a new subpage on our page of our u3a website entitled : "The arrival of Spring 2021".

I look forward to receiving your photos which can be taken in your own garden or in your local area. All you need to do is give me the name of the flower, plant, shrub or tree as well as the location.  Happy snapping!

As soon as restrictions are lifted, I will be in touch about our programme of visits for 2021.

In the meantime, keep very safe



Update of 13th October 2020

Our photographic record is coming to an end.  I am just waiting for a few more photos on the last two themes:  Autumn in my garden and Autumn colours.  I visited the Eden Project early October and you will find some photos of both biomes in the relevant section. 

Thank you to all the members who have submitted photos and those who have sent e-mails of support. It has been an absolute pleasure to build, on your behalf, week after week since the lockdown of 23rd March, an amazing record of our Cornish landscapes, your gardens and open gardens.

Let us hope that we will be able to organise garden visits next year.  In the meantime, I am leaving you with these two photos:  one which symbolises hope in the gloomy months ahead (photo taken early October on the coast path by the Gribbin Head) and the other which will resonate with all gardeners(photo taken by a mill near Duloe in September)


Keep safe and well, both physically and mentally.



Update 24th August 2020

Autumn is on its way. My house martins have flown away and you will have noticed that some trees are already shedding their leaves. Autumn colours will provide us with great photo opportunities. I take this opportunity to thank the members who have continued to e-mail me photos for inclusion on our three sub pages.  I hope that you have enjoyed looking at the photos as much as I have.

In the meantime, I am going to invite you every week to submit photos from your garden or the countryside on a theme. It is not a competition, just a way of continuing to build up a photographic record of the year.

The theme for the week of Monday 24th August is “Yellow, orange or red garden flowers”. I look forward to receiving and posting your entries.  I will contact you on Tuesday 1st September for the next theme.


Update 30th June 2020

I started receiving photos taken by members during their visits to gardens.  This gave me the idea of starting a new sub-page in order to share those photos with all members. Enjoy your virtual tours!


Update 25th June 2020

As some lockdown measures begin to be eased, those Interest Groups involving outdoor activities including the Garden Visits Group are considering if they can start to meet again.

Having spoken to some members of the group, I have decided not to resume our programme of visits for the remainder of 2020. The main reasons for my decision are as follows:

  1. Some of you will still be shielding and being incredibly careful
  2. We all need to minimise our number of interactions to stop the spread of the virus
  3. There are still only 6 people allowed in any outdoor group activity
  4. People in groups must socially distanced:  one of the pleasures of visiting a garden with others is to chat, share knowledge, point out what somebody else might miss etc
  5. Car sharing is still out of the question and this would disadvantage those of you who do not drive

The easiest thing to do is to roll over this year’s programme into next year in the hope that we can resume “normal” garden visiting from March 2021. I hope that you will not be too disappointed by this decision. In the meantime, keep sending me photos of your gardens and of the Cornish landscapes you walk through on your outings.

Enjoy the summer in your own garden as well as in any other garden you might visit.


Update 22nd May 2020

Now that we can travel further afield for our exercise, our photo gallery now includes many photos taken from the whole of South East Cornwall and beyond.  A big thank you to the members who e-mail me their photos to post on our website page.  Don't forget to send photos of your gardens too!

Update 1st May 2020

I have now created a new page called "The Cornish countryside through the lockdown months."

Those of us who were lucky enough not to have to self-isolate were able to go out for our daily exercise during the lockdown months.

Taking photos of trees, shrubs and flowers to share with friends and family gave us all an additional purpose to our walks.  So let us share all our photos with the members of the group.  E-mail them to me and I will post them for you on this page.


Update of 29th April 2020

Like me you have no doubt missed visiting gardens.  Instead you have had more time working in your own garden.  In order to remain connected I thought that it would be a good idea if we could share photos of each other's gardens.

To that effect I have created a new page called "Members' gardens" which you can access through the left hand menu.  To start the ball rolling, I have posted photos of my garden.

I look forward to receiving photos of yours for inclusion on this page.


Update of 14th March 2020

It is with a very heart that, following consultation with our Chairman, I have decided to cancel our programme of visits due to the Coronavirus.

All members of the group have been sent an e-mail informing them of this decision.

I will be in touch when it will be safe to resume our programme of visits.


Planning the 2020 programme

We met on Monday 11th November 2019 in the Royal Oak Inn, Lostwithiel in order to start planning our 2020 programme.   We met again on Friday 21st February 2020 in the Royal Oak Inn, Lostwithiel to confirm our plans.  A big THANK YOU to everybody who volunteered ideas towards the programme and to the members who did the research to confirm dates and other details.

Our exciting programme for 2020 is on the website and each member will receive a copy.  Visits are advertised by e-mail two weeks in advance with full details.
Our programme of visits will start on 18th March when we will visit Trewithen Garden.