By: Blonde Two
I have learnt to recognise Tresco from a distance, it is the island with the most trees.
I have long wanted to visit Tresco’s gardens, so was thrilled when I discovered that a trip over to this particular ‘off-island’ was amongst the delights on our Walk Scilly Blonde agenda.
Tresco has more trees than her sister islands because so many were planted there by Augustus Smith in the 1830s (henceforth fondly known by the Two Blondes as ‘You Know Who’). The initial shelter belt trees helped to maximise the special gulf-stream warmed environment that later welcomed sub-tropical specimens.
I will admit to becoming more than a little excited by this cornucopia of green plentitude. Blonde One showed an impressive level of patience as I spouted Latin plant names at her (my knowledge was paltry compared to that of ‘Gorgeous George’ our guide who had an impressive arsenal of plant names at the tip of his tongue.)
Some of you may not be garden fans so I won’t risk too much plant naming but please permit me to whisper protea, aeonium, aloe and amaryllis under my breath. You might think that visiting Tresco in autumn would be a lesser experience than a colourful summer visit. You would be wrong, there was plenty of colour, different to the summer maybe, but still stunning and still to be marvelled at.
For those of you who don’t enjoy plants (you must be crazy), the Abbey Garden on Tresco has other delights to offer. First must be the views, the gardens are terraced so as you climb and turn back you will be delighted by peeps of bright blue sea through the majestic trees. These are enhanced by interesting modern sculptures including lady Gaia pictured below, and by the odd glimpse of a red squirrel. I challenge you to visit and not marvel (from the many benches if you so desire) at what you see.
Even if you didn’t visit the Abbey Garden, Tresco is a beautiful destination in its own right. With sweeping white beaches and intriguing old buildings, it is a delight to explore. You will need a day… at least!
To discover more about the Isles of Scilly, go to www.visitislesofscilly.com. There are Skybus flights to St. Mary’s all year round from Land’s End and Newquay Airports, and between March and October from Exeter Airport. From spring to late-autumn, the Scillonian lll passenger ship sails up to seven days a week between Penzance and St. Mary’s. For travel information, visit www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk. Accommodation: www.carntop.co.uk, www.star-castle.co.uk.