285 different species in bloom in the Abbey Garden on the island of Tresco in the Isles of Scilly
- The New Year count is an annual tradition which has been taking place for more than 150 years
- The Abbey Garden is the one of the few gardens in the country that is able to grow a number of exotic species outside
- Sub-tropical plants from as far afield as South Africa and Australia flourish on Tresco all year round
Whilst most other gardens in Britain are looking bare in January, Abbey Garden on Tresco Island in the Isles of Scilly is a rare exception. Compared to last year, 30 additional flowers have been counted including Tibouchina semidecandra and Aloe arborescens – a flowering spectacle unseen anywhere else in the country at this time of year.
The New Year flower count, which was completed by Abbey Garden’s Head Gardener, Andrew Lawson, Curator Mike Nelhams and gardenstudents, is an annual island tradition that has been taking place for more than 150 years.
Tresco, situated less than 30 miles off the Cornish coast, is blessed by the Gulf stream that means snow, ice and frost are infrequent visitors and helps protect the garden’s sub-tropical plants – most of which are unfamiliar to the British gardener.
Described by some as a ‘Kew with the lid off’, this botanical wonderland brings together a global gathering of plants from over 80 countries. Proteas from South Africa, Acacia from Australia and Passion Flowers (Passiflora)from Peru are just some of the exotic flora that adorn the garden at this time of year, thanks to the island’s mild climate.
Mike Nelhams, Curator, Abbey Garden, said: “Whilst the annual flower count is a tradition that dates back many years it’s an occasion everyone on the island never tires of. With most other gardens in Britain looking less colourful it’s always a wonderful time of year to tally up just how many plants we have flowering in the garden and this year is no exception.”
Abbey Garden has recently bolstered its plant collection after recently acquiring more than 30 new species from Kew Garden. The collection, which was sourced in November 2014, included plants from five of the world’s continents including the Bismarck Palm from Madagascar.
For more information about the Abbey Garden visit www.tresco.co.uk