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  1. ITV Report

Why does it take 35,000 dried flowers to make the perfect Cornish Christmas?

It's never too early to start getting into the festive spirit - and Christmas wouldn't be the same without a popular tradition at one of Cornwall's best-loved National Trust properties.

On Saturday the grand hall at Cotehele near Saltash opens its doors to show off this year's spectacular floral display - and it has taken a team effort to create the 60ft-long garland.

The garland is made up of more than 35,000 dried flowers. Credit: ITV News

The gardeners at Cotehele have totted up 35,770 dried flowers, making the longest Christmas garland at any National Trust property.

A new exhibition in the breakfast room of the house tells the story of the tradition, now in its 63rd year, through images of past garlands.

It's a twelve month project. So we'll be looking at colour themes and ordering seeds in January, we'll start the sowing and planting process in kind of February March, the harvesting will start in April or May, continuous work right the way through the summer and we start the build in the early part of November. So it's pretty much a ten or eleven month process.

– Dave Bouch, Cotehele head gardener
There are four full-time gardeners and 32 volunteers at Cotehele. Credit: ITV News

We hope it's going to be nice all year but it doesn't always work like that down here in Cornwall. It's just nice to have the challenge of growing as many flowers as we can throughout the year to get it looking as fantastic as we can.

– Victoria Dillon, gardener
Volunteers and apprentice gardeners have been working on the project for the last year. Credit: ITV News

Everyone's been walking around saying how Christmassy it feels, and it's such a traditional kind of Christmas, bringing it indoors, it's really lovely.

– Elinor Willcocks, gardening apprentice

The completed garland can be seen daily from Saturday November 16 until January 5, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Choirs will be performing under the garland most days from November 29.