In October 2001 a patch of land covered in brambles was bought by a pair of ambitious gardeners who visualised a ten year project of clearing and replanting. After visiting this remarkable place, I was struck by the similarities to that of the late Rowena Cade at the Minack Theatre– tirelessly and somewhat obsessively passionate about their land and transforming it for others to share and appreciate.
I took my 2 year old and dog for a morning out, unsure of what to expect but knowing there were no frills – litter must be taken home, toilets are compostable and no café. We packed a picnic, had the right change (£5 for adults £2 for kids over 5yrs) and left the pram at home. At the first sighting of a tiny door in a tree my daughter was in love with the place, eager to ring the fairy bell and continue down through the woods to see what else we could find.
Tanglewood is a place shared equally by humans and wildlife. Brambles, nettles and thistles are not looked on as weeds, but essential habitat and food source for birds, animals and insects. The grass – where mowed – is left at 4 inches and the carvings, topiary, statues and games are discovered as you walk about, rather than presented to you. It’s a wild garden, with 4 ponds full of waterlilies and geese when we visited. Numerous birds and insects and even the occasional badger are sighted here. Picnic tables are available in various shapes and forms. We sat down under a shady tree on a bench made from an old free standing bath – while my daughter lazed in a hammock/climbing net slung between the lowest branches of a large oak tree.
A trip through Tanglewood is a wonderful day out. I am thankful that such passionate gardeners took on this project and that we are able to experience their beautiful, wild garden.
Fourways, Townsend, sleeps 8
St.Petry, Goldsithney, sleeps 6
Cherry Trees, St.Ives, sleeps 2
Thyme Cottage, St.Ives, sleeps 4