About the garden
Trewithen means 'house of the trees', and the name truly describes this early Georgian house in its wood and parkland setting. The 30-acre garden is an International Camellia Society Garden of Excellence (one of only five in the UK) and is also renowned for its rhododendrons, magnolias and champion trees.
Originally in the Hawkins family, it was when George Johnstone (a nephew) inherited Trewithen in 1904 that the gardens were mainly developed into those we find today with the serpentine South Lawn especially being accredited to him.
Many of Trewithen's trees and shrubs were raised from seed collected in the wild. Johnstone helped finance some of the plant hunters' expeditions to China and specimens were also introduced into the Garden from Asia, North and South America and Australasia – of which many of these have been found to grow taller and wider than in the wild.
In particular is Camellia x williamsii 'Donation', a cutting of which was given to Johnstone and now all 'Donations' worldwide stem from the plant at Trewithen as the original plant at Borde Hill in Sussex died before being further propagated.