Explore A Garden in a Castle – an inaugural event curated by the St Michael’s Mount Garden team and local florists, the Cornish Bunch – brings the glories of the Mount’s subtropical planting into the castle itself.
Taking inspiration from the garden’s design and using the texture and colour of plants, foliage and flowers, this event will show off the Mount’s garden using Sir John’s Room, the Smoking Room, Chevy Chase and the church, as well as other areas. Many of the unique displays take inspiration from a particular part of the garden as well as using the difference in texture and colour of foliage to create patterns that can be enjoyed from above as well as from within the garden. The event is set to enhance your visit to the castle without compromising your enjoyment of the collection and beauty of the castle’s architecture.
Sir John’s Room
Fireplaces and mantelpieces have long since been used to display cut flowers and indoor plants but here, in Sir John’s Room, we wanted to try something different. On almost any other week of the year visitors would be able to see a collection of Encyclopaedia Britannica filling the bookshelf above the portrait of Edward St Aubyn as a young boy. Today you will see a ‘window box’ with trailing pink Lampranthus and Pelargonium ‘Spitfire’ and ‘Mini Check’ punctuated with bunches of fresh cut flowers. The fine, pale leaves of the Lampranthus against the large, mid green and bronze leaves of the pelargoniums emulate the use of texture and colour throughout the garden and this is particularly evident in the Top Walled Garden as seen from the Castle’s South Terrace.
Look to your right and you will see a display full of succulents akin to the Hot Bed in the West Terraces of the gardens. Each and every granite stone within this display was transported by the Castle’s underground tram, the Dreckly Express, to the Coal door where it was then hoisted by the garden team to the terrace and then barrowed to the Chevy Chase – quite an undertaking and that was before the plants were transported in a similar way. Many of the plants have been grown by the Garden team however we are grateful for the loan of some specimen plants from Surreal Succulents, a local nursery growing succulents from around the world. The display also uses environmentally friendly sphagnum moss (harvested from a re-generating source and farmed on rotation) to conceal the tops of pots.
Once used by the gentlemen of the castle as they adjourned from dining, the display in this room echoes the long narrow vista of the Bottom Walled Garden – an often overlooked part of the garden which we felt deserved some recognition. The planting is inspired by the colours and rhythm of the Bottom Walled Garden rather than the specific plants and the ‘acorn’ has been hand carved by Mimi Rousell, a stone and wood carver from South Somerset. The ‘acorn’ is a replica of the two stones at either end of the Bottom Walled Garden which used to be at the entrance to the St Aubyn Estates Office.
White and yellow flowers have been used here to accentuate the light streaming from the windows. The flower arrangements use Aster, Lily, Alstroemeria and Ranunculus against the cool ‘mint’ green of Eucalyptus leaves. The garden team also tend a Cut Flower Garden behind the scenes, where we grow some of these flowers to be used in arrangements in the Castle throughout the growing season.
Restios, Camassia and Convolvulus have been used to bring life to the Garrison using plants found in the East Terraces and the herbaceous borders of the village’s Green Splatts. Restios are used in the East Terraces to create movement as the plant’s willowy nature moves in the breeze although hopefully there won’t be much breeze in the Garrison today!
The gardens are open Monday to Friday until the end of June and then on Thursday and Fridays until the end of September.