The winter garden at Pine Lodge
The winter garden at Pine Lodge

Pine Lodge Garden and Pinetum is a fabulous 30-acre Oriental garden in the heart of Cornwall. A real horticultural delight, with over 6000 species of plants carefully labelled and presented with an eye to the unusual. Included among many other delights are a woodland garden, arboretum, pinetum, and a Japanese garden.


The history of Pine Lodge goes back to the 19th century when the area was heavily mined for tin and copper. The mine area was then planted with trees, and these provide a historical canvas for the main gardens, which were developed from 1976.

A statue in the Slave Garden
The Slave Garden

The woodland garden is at its most colourful in Spring, when snowdrops arrive, followed by bluebells, primulae, and crocus. There is an acer glade for Autumn colours, and a new plantation with over 2000 native trees. The Top Garden features a pond with koi carp and goldfish, and a stream feeding small cascades. Woodland trails lead through a landscape lush with colour in early spring, when azaleas bloom.

The sunken garden offers a peaceful refuge on warm summer days, with scented gladiolus and New Zealand dianella, with a carpet of blue sweet peas for ground cover. The arboretum offers over 80 varieties of conifers, and there is a colourful wildflower meadow.

Other major garden areas include a winter garden, water garden, a peaceful Japanese Garden, and a lake where black swans swim. This is very much a horticulturalists garden; species are carefully labelled, and there are many examples of unusual plants from abroad to offer inspiration for your own garden projects.

Pine Lodge Gardens is a past winner of a Bronze Medal as Best Small Visitor Attraction in Cornwall.


Pine Lodge is extremely easy to find; the entrance is on the south side of the A390 just east of St Austell, and it is well signposted. We visited in April, when the spring colours were emerging, yet the garden was not crowded with visitors. It was an absolute delight to explore the different areas of the garden.

The Winter Garden is a delight, with a wonderful mix of colours and textures, but my favourite area of Pine Lodge was the Japanese Garden, with a tea hut standing beside a small pool. After visiting all the major gardens near St Austell and Truro, including some of the best-known and most-publicized gardens, I'd have to say that Pine Lodge was my favourite.