National Trust staff, volunteers and for the first time, members of the public at Cotehele in Cornwall, are just starting the painstaking process of creating the longest Christmas garland at any Trust property in the country.
30,000 flowers have been grown, picked and dried in the garden at Cotehele and will now be added one by one to create a stunning 60ft garland – which forms an integral part of the Christmas display at the property.
Every 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. It takes the team at Cotehele over 600 hours to pick all 30,000 flowers required.
Constructed during November by a team of staff and volunteers, the spectacular result can be seen daily through December, except 25 and 26 December.
Dave Bouch, Head Gardener at Cotehele, says, ‘Each year the Garland is different, depending on which of the specially grown flowers have done well during our summer. What will also be different this year is that we will be encouraging members of the public to help us create this magnificent garland. This year, as always has been a very difficult growing year growing but for different reasons, with a cold dry start to the year we did not start picking our flowers until late June and in previous year we have started to pick on the 1st April. So as you can imagine a small amount of worry from the garden team.
‘I am very pleased with this year’s crop and really excited to start work on this project, if you have not seen the Garland at Cotehele you must. It should be on every ones ‘Christmas list for a visit’, he added.
Elsewhere in the hall, traditional decorations include conifer and Mahonia around the door ways perhaps highlighted with some native berries from the garden. We also hang Beech and hazel branches from the wall.