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Visitors add a personal touch to the Christmas garland at grand house

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

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The longest Christmas garland of any National Trust property is being carefully constructed, one flower at a time.

Some 20,000 flowers – a third less than usual because of the poor weather this year – have been picked and dried in the garden at Cotehele, the historic house on the River Tamar near Saltash, South East Cornwall.

Staff and volunteers are now meticulously adding flowers one by one to build the 60ft-long garland which forms an integral part of the house's Christmas display.

Visitors can watch the team at work and climb the scaffold themselves to add their own floral touches.

Dave Bouch, head gardener at Cotehele, said: "Each year the garland is different, depending on which of the specially grown flowers have done well. It's been a really tough growing year and this has affected the quantity of flowers to pick and the time it's taken us. However I'm confident it will still be a stunning display and we're once again encouraging members of the public to help us create this magnificent garland."

The hall at Cotehele is open from 11am-4pm. Entrance £5 per person. Trust members go free.

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