Great Gardens: Trematon Castle

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Meet the husband and wife team restoring the grounds of a twelfth-century stone keep

Julian and Isabel Bannerman have been designing gardens together since the early 1980s, collecting an impressive coterie of aristocratic and royal regulars along the way. The British horticulturalists, however, saved their finest project for themselves: the gardens at Trematon Castle, Cornwall.

Built shortly after the Norman Conquest, the ruined castle grounds contain a Regency-era house where the couple now live, designed by a follower of architect John Soane. After moving in, the grounds’ topological irregularities and archaeological status provided a rare challenge for the veteran gardeners. The pair spent their first year at Trematon clearing and poisoning to make way for the striking pre-Raphaelite-inspired designs that have now transformed this distinctive site.