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Bodwannick Manor Farm

1½-acre plantsman’s garden with fern-rich rockery, water and kitchen gardens, daffodils, roses and shrubs. It is remarkable for its aura of peace and tranquillity, but its air of antiquity is deceptive as it was the lifetime creation of Martin Appleton and his family. Now in the care of the Gaia Trust, it has particular features of note and yr-round interest.

Saturday 14 April, Sunday 3 June (10.30am - 3.30pm). Admission by donation. Home-made teas in old farmhouse conservatory and on terrace.

Visitors also welcome by arrangement March to October for groups of up to 20. Admission by donation.

Gaia Trust

Wheelchair access possible to much but not all of the garden.

How to find us

Bodwannick Manor Farm, Nanstallon, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5LN

From A30, take A389 signed to Lanivet and Bodmin. 1m after Lanivet turn L (signed to Nanstallon). From Bodmin, take A389 signed for A30. After 1½m turn R at Jim's hardware store.

More about Bodwannick Manor Farm

Bodwannick was described on the Gardens in Cornwall website as 'a plantsman’s garden with rockery, water, roses, kitchen garden & shrubs and a Cornish cross spread over 1½ acres”. It is remarkable for its aura of peace and tranquillity, but it's air of antiquity is deceptive as it was the lifetime creation of Martin Appleton and his family. During that time, opportunities to view the garden were rare, although it has been open in the past under the National Gardens Scheme.

Martin created the garden from scratch, dragging stones back from a local quarry to create the rock garden and other features, initially with a donkey and later with a vintage bulldozer. However, towards the end of his life, the garden into which he had poured so much love and care began to fall into disrepair. That was the situation when the Gaia Trust conservation charity took it over in 2014. We are looking to bring it back to its former glory.

Bodwannick Manor Farm itself dates back to the 12th century and parts of it were mentioned in the Domesday Book, though the current farm house was built on the original site in the early 17th century. The house is drawn into the gardens created around it through its wisteria-covered veranda, and there is a natural flow from the flower gardens, pond and fern-rich rockery, through the kitchen gardens to woodland and meadows.

Bodwannick has been loved for its traditional features, including fine showings of snowdrops, daffodils, rhododendrons and wisteria. The extensive lilac wisteria around the house sets the atmosphere for the garden, and the tunnel of white wisteria and white roses separating the kitchen garden from what was once the rose garden is particularly beautiful. More broadly, the sympathetic management of the surrounding farmland over the years means the gardens are embedded in a backdrop of exceptional landscape quality, beauty and peace.

There are several points of note special to the garden. One of these is the ‘Bodwannick Cross’, dedicated to St Augustine, which dates from 350AD. The garden also contains an specimen of Wollemia nobilis, the Wollemi Pine, a rare and exceptional tree, thought to have been extinct for two million years until discovered in 1994 in an Australian ravine.

Narcissus ‘Bodwannick’ was bred for the garden by Ron Scamp, Cornwall’s leading grower. He has become one of the world’s foremost breeders, internationally recognised for the quality of the hybrids he has introduced. The Bodwannick Daffodil first flowered in 1983 and was registered by Mr Scamp in 1993. A large-cupped daffodil, it is described as “clear white, with margins sometimes wavy, smooth, deeply overlapping; corona smooth, bright apricot orange, with a narrow band of yellow at rim” on the RHS database, The International Daffodil Register & Classified List. There now appear to be only a couple of specimens of the daffodil at Bodwannick, and one of the Trust's aims is to rectify this and feature it more strongly.

Its owner and creator, Martin Appleton, was a well-known local character, featuring frequently on Radio Cornwall’s phone-in gardening programme. As well as being the subject of ITV’s Westcountry Garden of the Year programme in 2005 (a tape is available), it was named runner-up in Granada Television’s Secret Garden Competition in 2003.