Tresco Abbey Gardens enjoy an international reputation and are particularly noted for the collection of subtropical plants and trees. There are 20000 plants and it is claimed that more than 300 will be in flower on any day in the year. There are plants from South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and S E Asia. Many of the plants could not survive in Cornwall, just 30 miles away.
The garden was initially created by Augustus Smith. In 1834 Smith was granted a long term lease for the Isles of Scilly by the Duchy of Cornwall and became Lord Proprietor. He built his home amid the ruins of a priory – hence Tresco Abbey.
Smith was an enthusiastic gardener and recognised the possibilities offered by the mild climate of the Scilly Isles. He maximised this potential by constructing walls and terraces and by planting trees to protect his plants from the excesses of any Atlantic gales.
Augustus was a bachelor and when he died his estate was inherited by his nephew, Thomas Algernon Dorrien-Smith. Successive generations of Dorrien-Smiths have, to this day, each made a significant contribution to the development of the Gardens.
With so much to choose from, I hope the following selection will suffice as an appetizer!