Cotehele’s garland celebrates diamond anniversary

Cotehele’s annual tradition of building a 60ft Christmas garland made up of thousands of flowers grown on the estate is turning 60 years old, and the team at the National Trust House and garden are celebrating.

In honour of its diamond year, the gardeners have been sowing secret plans all year to give it a new look, which today was revealed.

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picture by James Robbins

picture by James Robbins

Cotehele Ranger James Robbins discovered a dormouse in ‘a torpid state’ in a nest box on the National Trust estate nr Saltash in Cornwall,

during his autumn dormouse-check recently.

‘Dormice are fattening up for winter now,’ says James. ‘They gorge like mad on berries and nuts, especially hazel nuts, which they open in a characteristic fashion, then they sleep, then eat some more until finally they crawl under leaf litter at the base of trees for the winter hibernation. They’ll become active again in spring.’

The Wildlife Trust classifies dormice as a priority species in the UK.

622 flowers an hour added to Cotehele’s bumper Christmas garland

After a very good growing season, National Trust staff and volunteers at Cotehele, nr Saltash in Cornwall, have nearly completed the process of creating the longest Christmas garland at any Trust property in the country with 46,000 flowers used - Head Gardener - David Bouch is pictured

Head Gardener, David Bouch adding some more flowers to Cotehele’s garland

After a very good growing season, National Trust staff and volunteers at Cotehele, nr Saltash in Cornwall, have nearly completed the process of creating the longest Christmas garland at any Trust property in the country.

When they are finished, the process which began on Monday 2nd November, they will have created a 60 foot garland overhead containing 34,000 flowers plus a 40 foot extension around the east doorway with another 12,000 flowers, all grown and dried on the estate.

‘The garden and volunteer team have calculated that they are adding 622 flowers one by one each hour’, said Dave Bouch, Cotehele’s Head Gardener.

Good growing season boosts Cotehele’s garland by 40ft

After a very good growing season, National Trust staff and volunteers at Cotehele, nr Saltash in Cornwall, have nearly completed the process of creating the longest Christmas garland at any Trust property in the country.

When they are finished, they will have created a 60 foot garland overhead containing 34,000 flowers plus a 40 foot extension around the east doorway with another 12,000 flowers, all grown and dried on the estate.

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Careful management ensures Christmas symbol continues to thrive

-Work has begun on removing hundreds bunches of one of the traditional symbols of Christmas, mistletoe, at Cotehele , one of the few National Trust locations in the South West where mistletoe is thriving.

Chris Groves, National Trust Orchard Officer at Cotehele explains how the traditional orchard provides a perfect habitat for mistletoe to flourish.  ‘Part of the essential conservation work we carry out at the property involves cutting it back and removing the distinctive mistletoe clumps.  This work helps encourage a healthy growth of both male and female mistletoe and ensures the mistletoe doesn’t overwhelm the trees it’s growing on.

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Cotehele reveals its 60ft garland.

Pictures By Steven Haywood - Cotehele Christmas Garland 2014 -Head Gardener Dave Bouch & Senior Gardener Aimee Kingdom

Pictures By Steven Haywood – Cotehele Christmas Garland 2014 -Head Gardener Dave Bouch & Senior Gardener Aimee Kingdom

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.

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Behind the scenes at Cotehele

With only 56 sleeps to Christmas, the team at Cotehele are gearing themselves up for the annual creation of the Christmas Garland, a must see in your seasonal calendar.  We thought we would share with you a behind the scenes visit to see all 32,000 flowers drying in the attic ready for adding to the 60 foot garland, one by one!

The garland will be constructed over two weeks from 7th November by a team of staff and volunteers, the completed garland can be seen daily through December, except 25 and 26 December.