Antony House in Cornwall is almost hidden away, a National Trust garden tucked into a peninsula corner of Cornwall, near the Torpoint ferry across the river Tamar into Devon.
The gardens were used as a set for the Tim Burton ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film – but we didn’t see any white rabbits or red queens on our visit.
However, we did see some beautiful daylilies (Hemerocallis) as Antony House holds a National Collection. Although each bloom only lasts a day, each stem has many flowers so it is a delightful plant to have in the border. Daylilies are fairly tolerant of most soil types although prefer slightly acidic (a pH of less than 7) and can be grown on Britain, New Zealand and most of United States.
Hemerocallis do like their fair share of sun; about half a day’s worth but as hardy perennials will repay you with a long flowering season year on year with little effort on your part. In New Zealand they may flower for six months from October to April; in Britain you can expect more like three months of flowers from May through to late July.
The grounds were landscaped by Humphrey Repton (1752-1818) round about 1800. Repton liked a soft transition of house to garden and designed lush woodland planting at Antony House and a parterrre. The gardens appear in one of his Red Books of garden designs.