In the striking Cornish countryside, with picturesque views across the English Channel, sits Caerhays Castle and Gardens, winner of the 2016 Garden of the Year Award, awarded by the Historic Houses Association and sponsored by Christie’s.
Many generations of the Williams family, who still own and reside at Caerhays, have contributed to making the garden as impressive as it is today. Famously, an extensive programme of flower hybridisation continues to shape the ever expanding landscape.
One the garden’s greatest treasures is the free-flowering and easy to grow x williamsii strain of camellias from 1923. This originates from Williams’s cross between the single red Camellia japonica, which arrived at Caerhays in 1902, and two pink forms of Camellia saluenensis which were discovered by George Forrest in March 1918.
A traditional Cornish flowering garden, Caerhays is also one of only four gardens in Britain to hold the NCCPG National Magnolia Collection boasting an incredible 72 species of magnolia. In addition,
Richard Compton, President of the Historic Houses Association, commented: “I am delighted that Caerhays Castle has won the prestigious Garden of the Year Award for 2016. The Castle has been owned and lived in by the Williams family for many generations and there has always been a strong tradition of collecting rare species of plants. The beautiful gardens and their striking views are enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year and continue to thrive under the direction of the current owners and their team. I hope this national recognition means many more people will visit this special place.”
Charles Williams of Caerhays Castle Gardens commented: “It is a great honour for the work of four generations of the Williams family and the four talented head gardeners at Caerhays since 1897 to be recognised with such a prestigious award from the HHA and Christie’s. A woodland garden like Caerhays never stands still and is never ‘complete’ but this is certainly a key moment in the history and development of the plant collections here.”