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Thursday, July 26, 2012

An Unexpected Gem - Minack Theatre, Cornwall

On our recent trip to England to visit my family, my husband and I also took the train down to the "West Country" to visit two friends I have known since childhood and with whom I have kept in touch over the years.

One of them now lives near Penzance in Cornwall, and as she was showing us around the area she loves so much now, she took us to Minack Theatre near Porthcurno, Cornwall.

As she drove us on the winding country roads through villages and farmland, my friend explained that Minack Theatre is a world famous outdoor theatre, built right into the side of the cliffs.  

Audiences watch daytime performances with a beautiful backdrop of the sea and nighttime performances under a canopy of stars in the night sky.  

It's literally a Theater Under the Stars.

What she didn't mention was that it is also very well known for its sub-tropical gardens. As you walk from the car park down to the theatre, you walk through the most incredible rock garden, right on the side of the cliffs, filled with a stunning array of succulents and other sub-tropicals.

I wouldn't have thought they would do well on the southern coast of England, but they were definitely thriving.

There were quite a few people visiting and just strolling around the gardens. They probably get just as many people coming to see the gardens as they do to see performances.

Lots of the plants were labelled, such as the Euphorbia resinifera in the photo above.  

But many weren't and I have no idea what this lovely white flower with deep red marks in the center is -- can anyone help? The bloom is reminiscent of my Rose of Sharon, but the actual plant was completely different.

This beautful pink flower with dark centers and veining is another one I don't know.  It had a low creeping habit and certainly seemed to like its spot there.

If you plan to visit Minack Theatre (and I recommend it if you are ever in that area of the country), you do need to be fairly mobile.  

After you've spent a pleasant afternoon strolling down through the gardens to the theatre, and possibly even acted goofy on the stage for the benefit of the webcams that operate during the day, don't forget you have to go back UP again!!

That's a LOT of stairs!!

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Lancashire rose said...

What a great visit. It reminded me of something you might find on the Mediterranean coast long after the Romans had left. And the gardens were a bonus. Such depth of color on those flowers. Cornwall is on my list of places to visit in the future. Haven't been there in nearly 50 years. Far too long.

Carol said...

What a wonderful experience seeing that must have been. Hope you are doing well! Carol

Jayne said...

Thanks Carol -- yes it was a lovely day, and very unexpected. If you ever get a chance to visit Cornwall, you must add it to your itinerary.

Jayne said...

I hope you can get back to Cornwall again, Jenny. We were blessed with perfect weather and a good guide :-)