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Guernsey Floral Island

honesty-boxFor those that know me, I am not usually a flowery person and I have been known to kill a cactus but my friend persuaded me to go to Guernsey with her last month as she wanted to see the Floral Guernsey daffodil which had bloomed for the very first time! Oh well, I thought it will be a lovely time to go to Guernsey and I was quite happy to cycle round the gardens, castles and homes as long as the sun was shining.

We flew from Stansted and part of the deal with my friend was that we’d hire bikes on Guernsey.  This way we were both happy as she got to explore the gardens and I got to do some cycling.  

That afternoon we set off to visit the award-winning Candie Gardens which has the oldest known heated glass house in the British Isles.  They are set in the heart of St Peter Port, free to enter and date back to Victorian times.  The Guernsey museum is also there so we visited and read about the Guernsey Lilies which legend has it, were first washed ashore from a Dutch ship wrecked while en route from Japan.  Note to self – come back in the autumn to admire the flowers!

Guernsey enjoys warmer weather than the mainland and they certainly make the most of it with flowers absolutely everywhere.  We so admired the shops, houses and hotels in St Peter Port with their beautiful hanging baskets. 

The next day we cycled to Sausmarez Manor which boasts exotic species in the sub-tropical woodland garden and Victorian Walled garden and lake.  Even I was impressed by the well-cared for gardens which had apparently been nurtured by a Guernsey ambassador to Japan.  Apparently 449 flowering plants have been recorded in January alone!  

Well, I had plenty of time to read all about the gardens while my friend was admiring the plants and the Floral Guernsey daffodil which was specially bred to mark the 20th anniversary and was flowering for the first time.  It was lovely with white petals and an orangey/red trumpet.

We whizzed around the nature trail and had lunch in the tea rooms before setting off to visit the restored gardens at Victor Hugo’s exile home, then to Castle Cornet.  Now this was really lovely and we were sorry that we had missed the ceremony of the noon day gun (we like uniformed men!)  The castle dates back to the 13th century so the different gardens have been created for kitchen and medicinal use as well as to grow food for animals and more recently for pleasure.  

On our last morning we had time to explore some of the country lanes or, as they are known in Guernsey, Ruette Tranquille so we learnt a bit of French too!

It was a lovely few days away to see the Spring flowers and we promised ourselves to come back in a few weeks for the Summer Floral Festival Week which runs from the 6th July when we also hope to hop over to Herm, ideally on a Tuesday so we can take advantage of the Herm Island Garden Tour.  I must say I’m already looking forward to it. 

Guest blogger: Lynda George

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About the author

Posted by Tracy

Tracy has worked in travel and tourism marketing for over 30 years. She joined Travelsmith in 1987 and enjoys her role as Sales & Marketing Manager for the group. Having moved from Essex to Cornwall in 2001, Tracy loves life in the southwest. She is married with two children, one lively Cocker Spaniel and a lazy cat. Tracy can be contacted via email: