It’s all go at Trevoole as the team prepare for tomorrow’s opening. The gardens are full of camellias, primulas and early tulips, intermingled with slowly unfurling fern fronds and the emerging foliage of artichokes and summer perennials. There’s an Easter egg hunt for visitors that arrive early, which the kids on the farm have been preparing since the weekend. What’s more, the birds are in fine voice, rehearsing the soundtrack to what promises to be a lovely day.
Work on the new library and cart house is nearing an end. Fine work has been done on the library, now crowned by an immaculate Cornish Scantle roof. This vernacular style of roofing is one where slates are laid in diminishing courses on a lime mortar bed, hung from battens with an oak peg or copper nail. The original idea was to use up smaller, inexpensive slates from the quarry. They are sorted according to length, and laid on the roof with the longest slate first, diminishing towards the shortest at the ridge. The term ‘Scantle’ actually belongs to the stick which would once have been used to gauge the size of the different slates. The new roof is nothing short of a work of art and is sure to be much admired.
The interior of the cart house is being decorated with fabrics designed by Duncan Grant (1885-1979), a member of the Bloomsbury Group of artists, writers and philosophers. The prints include ‘West Winds’, which features nubile ladies and puffing cherubs; ‘Grapes’, a lovely combination of stylised fruits, leaves and flowers; and ‘Queen Mary’, which resembles conch shells interspersed with wheat and flowers. As fabric designs they’re an aquired taste but, as always at Trevoole, they play a part in an artful decorative scheme, inspired by the mid 20th century. From early summer, textile artist Sue Dove will use the cart house as a studio during Trevoole’s charity open days; already some of her lovely works are installed, ready to inspire visitors.
There’s plenty to delight keen gardeners, from fizzing clumps of pulmonaria (above) to dancing tufts of summer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum (below). Occasionally but incorrectly confused with the snowdrop, leucojum is a terrific bulbous plant for heavier, wetter soils in which it will multiply quickly. The camellias in the farmhouse garden are nearing their end, but still look wonderful underplanted with primroses.
Trevoole Farm flings open its gates tomorrow at 10am and welcomes well-behaved adults, children and dogs. There will be scones and home-made cakes aplenty, lunches and lashings of tea. Gary will be on hand with lots of lovely country furniture and irresistible vintage garden tools and pots. If you search really hard you might also spot The Frustrated Gardener planting up the Primrose Border at the back of Primrose Cottage. Do stop by and say hello, and feel free to ply me with tea and cake in return for gardening advice!