The final few flowers out of a total of 36,160 are just being added to Cotehele’s 60ft garland before its open to the public this Saturday (22nd November).
Staff, volunteers and members of the public at Cotehele, near Saltash, in Cornwall have spent two weeks adding the flowers which are grown and dried at the property, one by one to create the longest Christmas garland at any Trust property in the country.
‘My target every year is 26,000 flowers so this has been an exceptionally good growing and drying year,’ says Dave Bouch, Cotehele’s Head Gardener. ‘This year the yellow and orange straw flowers have done really well and we’re looking forward to seeing how they will all come together. We won’t know until about the end of this week (Friday 14 November) what colours will dominate and what this year’s garland will look like.’
Seeds were sown in early spring, flower picking began in May and each flower has been added one by one to create a stunning 60ft garland – which forms an integral part of the Christmas display at the property.
Every year during the middle two weeks of November, the historic house opens to the public so visitors can watch staff and volunteers putting the garland together from flowers such as Ornamental Grasses, Everlasting Sand Flower, Straw Flower, Paper Daisy, Paper Rose and Statice. Visitors are also invited to climb the scaffold and insert in a few flowers if they’d like.
From Saturday 22 November, the spectacular result can be seen daily until 31 December, except 25 and 26 December.
Dave says, ‘It will be satisfying to look up at the colourful garland and reflect what a sunny summer we had and what the gardens provided all year long. If you’ve not seen the garland at Cotehele, you must. A visit to the garland will undoubtedly become one of your family’s annual Christmas traditions.’
Elsewhere in the Great Hall, traditional decorations include conifer and Mahonia around the door ways highlighted with some native berries from the garden. They’ll also hang Beech and hazel branches from the wall.
Creating the Cotehele garland video