Cotehele's traditional Christmas garland is cancelled due to coronavirus

There is no 60 foot garland this year at Cotehele due to the pandemic but gardeners have created a floral tribute. Credit: Rich Burrow

For the first time since 1956, the traditional Christmas Garland at Cotehele in Cornwall has had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

People usually come from miles around to see the 60 foot long floral spectacle in the run up to Christmas but this year the pandemic has meant it could not happen.

The team at Cotehele has, however, put around 2,000 dried flowers that were meant to be used in this year’s garland in a tribute display.

The 2017 Cotehele Christmas garland on display in the Great Hall. Credit: National Trust

Each year, staff at the National Trust property at St Dominick spend 11 months planning and growing the garland, which goes on show in the Great Hall.

It needs 30,000 flowers to look its best but Covid-19 - and subsequent Government restrictions - meant there was not enough time in 2020 for planting and growing.

The team came up with the idea of having a small display inspired by the garland inside an archway.

This close-up on the 2018 garland shows just how many flowers - and how much hard work - are needed. Credit: National Trust

Dave Bouch, National Trust Head Gardener for Cotehele says, "A garland has always featured at Cotehele since the first was created in 1956. However, this will be the first time the Christmas tradition has moved outside into the open space of Hall Court. 

 "The safety of staff, volunteers and visitors is always our priority.

"Although we are disappointed that we are unable to create the usual 60 foot garland within the Great Hall, we are pleased to be able to allow the yearly tradition to continue with a smaller creation celebrating the garland’s past."

The garden and wider estate are open over the winter, with some additional festive touches for visitors to enjoy.

People can find out more about Cotehele and book their visit here.

Staff at Cotehele have been able to create this beautiful floral tribute, despite coronavirus restrictions. Credit: Rich Burrow