Winter Blues.. Pink, Yellow and White

Cotehele 010 Wm


Cotehele, Cornwall


This is the sort of place that, once you’ve discovered it, you want to keep going back to time and time again. And in December there’s a special reason to go.


Cotehele 006 Wm


The absolutely stunning Christmas garland in the Great Hall


Cotehele 005 Wm


90 feet in length


Cotehele 007 Wm


40,000 blooms


Cotehele 008 Wm


Each and every one of them grown, picked and dried on the Cotehele estate.


Cotehele 009 Wm


 Ten varieties in all.


Cotehele 002 Wm


 Cotehele is a beautiful place, now in the care of the National Trust.

It is claimed to be one of the least altered Tudor houses in the United Kingdom. Possibly dating as far back as 1300, the main building work was likely carried out between 1485 and 1520. It sits in glorious gardens perched high on a hill above the River Tamar.


Check opening times if you are down this way and plan to visit. Some parts of the house are closed until March.


Cotehele 004 Wm


Could be Spring already..?


Cotehele 003 Wm


Mike said he’d like to have lived there.

I’d have to agree. Provided I could travel back through time and take with me a decent central heating boiler, an induction hob and Wi-Fi.


Cotehele 011 Wm


 We wandered down to the Quay for lunch..


Cotehele 012 Wm


 And then took a stroll along the river.

If only every winter’s day could be like this.


2018-02-17T09:58:33+00:00December 12th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. snowbird December 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Wow….that’s what I call a garland!!! I’d like to have lived there too, xxx

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      It is pretty impressive. Maybe I’ll try one next year… just one or two fewer blooms!

  2. justjilluk December 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Wow. Thanks for taking us with you.

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      It was a pleasure Jill.

  3. wherefivevalleysmeet December 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    What a stunning garland – I love it – thank you for showing it to us.
    I agree that winter would be so much better if every day was sunny and calm, but because they aren’t, I think that we appreciate a good day even more.

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      It was really lovely yesterday. There was even someone sitting outside at the tea shop. That might have been a bit brave, but walking around the garden in the sunshine it felt almost warm.

  4. Linda December 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    No wonder I am in love with the English Countryside♥
    This is truly a magical place….
    One can only imagine the goings on within these walls…for all these years…
    I don’t think I have ever seen such a beautiful garland as this….
    What a splendid outing for you and Mike….
    What…pray tell….did you have for lunch???
    Thanks for the tour♥
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      It was a great day.
      I almost always eat vegetarian when out and about (because I can), so opted for a cheese and caramelised onion tart. And then indulged in Garland Pudding, a spicy sponge cake, with oodles of toffee sauce…

      • Linda December 13, 2013 at 12:21 am - Reply

        Be still my beating heart♥

        • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:35 am - Reply

          I’m sure my trousers are tighter today..

  5. Denise December 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Absolutely fantastic Jessica – is this a wedding venue? I’d fancy a December date there!

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      Having done a bit more research, it seems that they do host wedding ceremonies at Cotehele but in the separate restaurant not in the main house. It would still make a lovely backdrop for photographs though.

  6. Jenny December 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Wow, that is a stunning piece of flower arrangement. I love your list of time travelling essentials too 🙂

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Time travelling essentials must be destination specific, of course, but I could imagine that old house would be a bit draughty!

  7. Wendy December 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    The garland is fabulous. I really enjoyed visiting Cotehele a few years ago, seeing the house and the mill and the quay. And it’s in such a beautiful place on the river. I went in spring, but from your lovely photos it definitely looks worth a visit at this time of year.

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      It is definitely worth visiting if you are down this way and, as you can see from one of the photos, we were far from alone. Difficult to take photographs with so many people around. The gardens in Spring must have been wonderful, we will return!

  8. Sue@GLAllotments December 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Has this been on TV where they featured the garland as it seems to ring a bell – definitely a cut above the average Christmas garland.

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      I did hear someone in the throng talking about a TV programme, and remarking on the number of people there. I’m sure you’re right.

  9. Pauline December 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Stunning garland, we have been there a couple of times, but not at this time of year, you certainly made the most of a super December day. I spy lots of Iris unguicularis under the windoe, they look fantastic!

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks for letting me know the name of the Iris Pauline, they are a must have, my garden is somewhat bereft of colour right now.

  10. 1gus1 December 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    That garland is glorious:-)

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      It certainly is. The depth of colour retained in the dried flowers was amazing.

  11. frayed at the edge December 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful house, and what a stunning garland! Another place to put on my to-visit list. Lovely to see a light, bright day …… we have needed lights on all day here!

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Same here, it was getting dark by 3.30. Yesterday though, when the pictures were taken, was a different day entirely.

  12. Crafty Gardener December 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Oh wow, what an undertaking to make a garland that huge. That looks like a fantastic place to visit.

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      It must have taken ages. I notice from a leaflet we were given that you can go and watch them building it. One for next year I think.

  13. Cumbrian December 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Fantastic old building, they built them to last in those days. I often wonder how they got some of the big stones up there without all the modern machinery we have now.

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      It looks in a lot better nick than buildings we have visited that are much younger. Ropes, pulleys and a lot of local muscle may be?

  14. countrysidetales December 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Yes please. I’d like to live there too 🙂

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      I was going to say I could imagine myself swishing about all day in a long frock. But then when I came to think about it further, it didn’t seem to work!

  15. Marian December 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Such wonderful place in a magnificent setting and WOW! That wreath!!!! Never seen anything like it! That is worth a visit!

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      I had read about the garland and seen pictures of it before. But nothing is like the experience of seeing it. It is quite spectacular.

  16. rabbitquilter December 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Cotehele is my favourite place!! I could quite happily live there too!! I saw a similar amazing Christmas garland some years ago, it was stunning. Was the fire alight in the hall? You have quite made my day! Thank you!!

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Of all the NT places we have visited, quite a few now, Cotehele is my favourite. The intimate scale of it makes it a place you can imagine living in and the gardens are just so lovely. We’ll be back in Spring.
      The fire was alight! I’m glad I brought back good memories x

  17. Simone December 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    The garland is truly impressive! x

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      The flowers looked like they were still blooming on the plants Simone, so vibrant!

  18. Pats. December 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Ohhh, that’s just beautiful. I’ve seen that on tv too, some years ago. A work of art and a labour of love I think.


    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      I’ve been meaning to see it for several years. Now that it’s no distance away it had to be done.
      Imagine finding the right place for 40,000 blooms. Not sure I’d have the patience..

  19. Rosie December 12, 2013 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    How wonderful! We visited Cotehele house, mill and quay a couple of years ago, the day after we’d visited Morwellham quay across the Tamar, and I just loved the whole place, in fact the whole area around there. The garland is magnificent and such a good idea to use all the dried flowers, it must have look amazing:)

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      It’s difficult to capture the scale of it in a photograph, but as you’ve been there you’ll know how big the Great Hall is. It is truly spectacular.

  20. Sol December 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    I love these pictures. I think you have just managed to get me to add this to my bucket list! cant wait to go

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sol. I love buildings of this era and this is a great example. I hope you enjoy it!

  21. SeagullSuzie December 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Wow that garland is amazing-I would love to have been part of the team making it. Beautiful images from a beautiful place. Many thanks for sharing.

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      It’s a pleasure Suzie. We are lucky to live in a very beautiful part of the world. The garland is on show until the end of the month if you want to go.

  22. knitsofacto December 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Oh my stars, that garland … and I am too far away too come and see it for myself 🙁

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm - Reply

      Stunning isn’t it. I couldn’t help noticing that the wisteria pruner may have come from Wales..

  23. CJ December 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    It looks absolutely beautiful. Such fantastic photos. I’d quite like to live there now, it would be wonderful. I love the ancient stone with the greenery against it.

    • Jessica December 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm - Reply

      It’s the stone mullioned windows that I love. I’ve always wanted to have one!

  24. CherryPie December 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    That looks like a really interesting property and that is an impressive garland.

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:22 am - Reply

      The house tour (main NT opening season) is quite fascinating too, you really could imagine what it must have been like all those years ago.

  25. Amy at love made my home December 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    It is beautiful Jessica and you photographed it really well. Do they keep it up into the new year, or is it just for Christmas do you know? I would love to see this one day. Thank you for showing it to us. xx

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:27 am - Reply

      I believe it’s on display until the end of the month, then the whole house closes up until March. Mike’s photographs, and they took some persistence given the crowds!

  26. Josephine December 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    Simply breathtaking.
    What a spectacular garland, fitting for a house of it’s stature
    My parents’ friends were caretakers of a Tudor manor house built in the sixteenth century, I spent my summer holidays there, and will never forget the stepping back in time feeling inside that grand home.

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:32 am - Reply

      It really does give you that feeling, and how wonderful to have free run of such a special building. Our previous home was very old, built of oak and wattle and daub. It had a wonderful atmosphere that I miss.

  27. nataliescarberry December 13, 2013 at 3:27 am - Reply

    Wow, what a beautiful place. Thanks so much for taking me there on your lovely winter’s day! Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:36 am - Reply

      We were so lucky with the weather. The last two days we’ve been back to typical English winter gloom!

  28. islandthreads December 13, 2013 at 7:51 am - Reply

    looks and sounds lovely Jessica, I agree re taking the 21st century gadgets back in time and I’d add my vacuum cleaner and washing machine, though those castle type places could be very drafty! I also agree re every winter day be so nice, looks almost idyllic, Frances

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:42 am - Reply

      Not so many people ventured down to the Quay and it did feel quite idyllic down by the river. Not as idyllic as the western isles though.. on a good day!

      • islandthreads December 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm - Reply

        and dare I say at the moment it’s a good day, the clouds even parted for the sun for just over an hour, darkness is starting to wrap her cloak across us now, 😉

        I had meant to say in my reply to your comment on my blog, I remember you had mice in your tatties, I don’t know how that can be dealt with, I have had them in the side porch for over a month as it’s built on the outside of the house I thought the house was safe ….. wrong! last week I heard them between the walls, glad they didn’t find my veggies but want them out of the house, Frances

        • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

          There is something in the roof space above my study. I thought it was mice. But either they are very well fed mice or something else, lately the footfalls have been getting heavier. Maybe a squirrel? Just as long as it isn’t rats.. Rodents are the price we pay for living out in the wilds I suppose.

  29. Bilbowaggins December 13, 2013 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I remember seeing this on (something like) Gardeners World one year. That garland is quite stupendous :}

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

      It’s difficult to capture quite how stupendous in a photograph. The flowers didn’t look dried at all. A brief glimpse of summer past.

  30. colleen December 13, 2013 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Now then, there’s an idea for decorating the halls, no? Might have to be made of paper though, I fear.

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Yes, indeed! I am inspired though.. grow the right sort of flowers next year and get the knack of drying them to preserve the colours. My garland may be somewhat smaller.

  31. elaine December 13, 2013 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Lovely, lovely, lovely – I seem to remember seeing a t.v. programme about this place and the decorations – the dedication needed to create that garland is mind-blowing.

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 11:07 am - Reply

      Just growing that number of flowers in the first place is enough of a task. They apparently dry them in bunches of 20, which makes counting easier!

  32. Em December 13, 2013 at 11:03 am - Reply

    That garland is staggering. I wonder how long it took to make. I’d like to have lived there but agree about your caveats!

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 11:22 am - Reply

      It takes about two weeks apparently. They put up a great swag of greenery then poke all the flowers into it in situ. Next year I thought I’d go along and see..

  33. Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots December 13, 2013 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Isnt that garland fabulous? It makes our six feet long plain fir garlands looks soooo boring. I wonder if I can scale this idea down to something more manageable. Better start looking at the seed catalogue.

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      I had the same thought. Especially as I have lots of gaps to fill up on the bank that could be producing flowers suitable for drying. The trouble with our cottage is the ceilings are so low. Perhaps a garland along the inglenook beam, if I can find a way to support it.

  34. Jo December 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    The garland is absolutely stunning. It must take ages to put it all together. It looks like a beautiful place to visit.

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      About two weeks apparently, but a whole season of growing to get the raw materials!

  35. Chloris December 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Cotehele is a wonderful place.I love the Iris unguicularis all in flower. What a wonderful sight. That garland is quite impressive. I wouldn’t have liked the job of making it though.

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      It would test my patience too, on that scale, but what a result. Must plant some of that Iris, great splash of colour for this time of year.

  36. Alison Collins December 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous house and gorgeous flowers…I could so live here:-)

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      You and me both! It’s a lovely place.

  37. Sarah December 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    The garland is stunning and it must be wonderful to see it for real. Cotehele is on our list of places to visit we must.make it happen next year! Thank you for taking us with you.
    Sarah x

    • Jessica December 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Sarah, if you get a chance do go. The gardens are so lovely too.

  38. Natalie December 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Oh my God, that is just SPECTACULAR!!!! I love Cornwall but haven’t been since 1988. Time to go back. I live near a considerably less attractive Cornwall, here in Ontario. It does have waterfront, though. But no amazing garlands!!!

    • Jessica December 14, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Definitely time to come back!

  39. Janet/Plantaliscious December 14, 2013 at 10:05 am - Reply

    What a stunning place, I hope you are going to do more posts about it at other times of year?! The garland is jaw-droppingly wonderful, it must take hours to make, and many, many people. I wonder if they sometimes wish they could take a year off, just put some tinsel up? Lovely idea though, if I ever get a cutting gardenette up and running and atually allow myself to, well, cut, I might just have to try drying some flowers and doing a very mini garland.

    • Jessica December 14, 2013 at 11:58 am - Reply

      If it were my project I think I’d be tempted to take a photo of the Great Hall, with a string of tinsel tied up, just to pull someone’s leg.. But the garland is glorious and well worth seeing. We first went to Cotehele on a very rainy summer’s day a couple of years ago and will definitely be back again in Spring.

  40. Caro December 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    This post makes me realise that it’s too long since I was in Cornwall, a county that I love. That really does look like a perfect winter’s day! Extraordinary garland – is it made to celebrate Christmas? It looks almost like a huge (but very beautiful) Chinese serpent! I think I’ll stick to making little wreaths for my front door!!

    • Jessica December 14, 2013 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      It is put up for December every year, so I guess so. We were so lucky with the weather that day, it is blowing a gale outside now!

  41. BadPenny December 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Totally delightful.

    • Jessica December 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      It was good to have a day out too. Don’t do it enough.

  42. Cathy December 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Jaw-dropping indeed, Jessica 🙂

    • Jessica December 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Quite spectacular.

  43. Philippa December 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    My granny used to take me to Cotehele, when they were still farming near Liskeard. (Although by the time I knew them there were other farmers’ cows grazing their fields, and my grandparents grew fruits and vegetables for themselves only, and foliage for florists).

    You’re right about wanting to go back again and again. Thank you for letting me visit vicariously!

    • Jessica December 15, 2013 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      I wonder how much it’s changed in the intervening years. The house probably not at all. It feels timeless.

  44. Anna December 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Wow! Now I wonder how long that took to make and put up. Must be a military operation to hang. We visited Cothele a few years ago Jessica and your photos have bought back some happy memories:)

    • Jessica December 15, 2013 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      About two weeks apparently, but much more than that in the run up no doubt. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I will take more of the gardens next year.

I'd love to hear from you..