Surreals Succulents! ...Shiver Me Timbers

 Hello m' shivering timbers,

My ideal birthday treat ? Forget the champagne, diamonds and posh restaurant. Boring! But a wee road trip to a weird plant nursery and reclamation yard full of rusty junk.... now that's my cuppa!!! It is not often I head out west across the Cornish Peninsula, Penzance way. There are pirates in these parts after all. 

Back in the early 2000s, whenever I visited my brother, we'd visit a fantastic reclamation yard in Longrock. It was by an old railway line that overlooked the glittering deep blue of Mount's Bay. I'd mostly leave empty handed, but would dream of having my own truck and place to fill with plants and wonderful junk. I remember there was an old long haired hippy that ran it. It was rumoured he liked to visit India. The sound of world music would drift through the rickety building and out-structures. Somewhere I have some dusty photographs that I took of it back then. One day, when I drove past, it had gone. Longrock never drew the same appeal for me again.

Onto my first scheduled road trip stop: Tremenheere Nursery, on the outskirts of Penzance- the home of Surreal Succulents. This has been on my radar for some time. It is in the grounds of Tremenheere Sculpture Garden but you don't have to pay for garden entrance to visit the nursery (though I will be returning with the kids at some point).

An airplant and succulent theatre greets you (above)

Instantly I was drawn to the Aeoniums. 

You may be familiar with the 'Zwarktop' type, but just look at these beautiful alternatives  -

Above, top clockwise -

  • Aeonium 'Back Magic'
  • Aeonium 'Voodoo'
  • Aeonium 'Cornish Rose'
  • Aenoium ' Medusa' 

The nursery cabin's living roof displays how drought resistant succulents can be (above).

The wall shows how happy some are to grow vertically too (below).

As I purchased my birthday plants (selections revealed at the end) I got chatting with the lovely nursery lady. I said I was off next to 'Shiver Me Timbers' - a reclamation yard in Crowlas, that I had spotted on the internet, and that I remembered a great one being down at Longrock. She told me it was the son of the old Longrock yard chap that now owned the business on the Truthwall Industrial Estate. As I took the short 10 minute drive across, I knew I was in for a treat...

Here it is in its full quirky glory!

 With ingeniously partitioned spaces and interest at every turn, it really brought a smile to my face.

Better than any art gallery installation I have ever seen.

A list of items that I am always on the lookout for :

  • Giant fairground swan
  • Fibreglass werewolf or bear
  • Antlers
  • Mannequins
  • Oversized Medussa head
  • Weeping Angels
  • Weird musical instruments (e.g. Glass Armonica, Pump Organ, Phono Fiddle) 

Now I really could spend all day in a place like this!

Leaping man (below) reminds me a bit of Monsieur emerging from the bathroom.

Token toilet shot (still does not beat the toilets in Hull's legendary Adelphi Club) -

Roman centurian, brass bazoukas and a ship's figurehead -

I did actually purchase something (revealed at end - and sadly, not at all freaky).

I thought this boat shack especially wonderful -

Driving back down to Marazion, I stopped to take a picture of St Michael's Mount, which I had been catching glimpes of between the hedgerows all morning. There is a fabulous garden on this mount, where the gardeners have to abseil up and down the rocks to maintain it. I haven't visited for a few years, but when I do, I'll be sure to share it with you here on this blog.

After a quick slug from my flask of coffee, and obligatory dunking biscuit, I headed back home to my creekside garden at Longmizzle. My existing succulents were excited to meet their new family members...

This is what I brought back  (below, clockwise) - 

  • Sedum 'Silver Roses' 
  • Aeonium tabuliforme
  • Delosperma Jewel of Desert 'Ruby'
  • Semperviren 'Superdome'

From Shiver Me Timbers reclamation yard, I picked up a sturdy aluminum tray and ten terracotta pots.

The Aeonium 'Voodoo' will join the Aeonium ' Zwarktop' and look over my newly erected swampy Louisiana, voodoo like garden arch.

Jobs for the weekend include potting all the succulents up in the terracotta pots 

....and enjoying the sunshine. 

What are you up to ? Please send gossip,

Lulu xXx

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  1. What a fabulous nursery AND reclamation yard. You could spend hours looking around somewhere like this and still not see everything. You were incredibly restrained with your purchases m' dear. X

    1. I think I need to return with a truck at some point and go crazy Jules! It was nice sheltering inside from the midday sun and I could have easily stayed longer :) Lulu xXx

  2. I am flying home, just waiting to board now, quite sad really but really missing my kids. Hubby flies back in two weeks. Just 6 days self isolation in a hotel and then my feet are back in Tokyo.
    I love my junk man who is close by, he sells Some cool things small but cool things that people in shinjuku no one wants .
    There are reck yards but they are way out of the city. But nice to visit. I love quirky places like this I could spend all day in there and the kids could do, seeing things I don’t see. It’s 35 degrees back home 87 percent humidity. Bring it on!!! Love and huggs

    1. Hello Allie jane, hope the flight was ok and the hotel isolation's not too tiresome. You must be so excited to see the kids, I can only imagine how much you've missed them. Not long before the Tokyo Olympics now eh! Are you entering? .. synchronized swimming or pole vault maybe? We keep seeing the protestors on the news :0

      Reck yards... they sound fun. I think if I'd taken the kids to the yard, I 'd never be able to find them again... until that is, they wanted to purchase something. Sounds like even more of a scorcher than the UK over there ! Enjoy m' luvelie :) Lulu xXx

  3. Hello little treasure hunter, you have saved me a lot of trouble as if I need a giant fairground swan the hunt is over, thanks - would look very good if I ever dig my lawn into a pond - also the ship figurehead - superb - I may need it to create a replica of Eastenders Queen Vic style bar in my lounge. What an interesting place - I bet the owner is fun! The succulent roof is nice, I want one of those - my friend brought me succulent plugs last week to go in cracks in the path but I am now thinking succulent roof.

    1. Maybe that is the solution to the arsenic lawn Betty? A full out fairground style water feature ;) You should definitely turn your living room into the Queen Vic too :0 :) I just love succulents! I look forward to seeing what you do with them.

      Here's a funny story about the owner, Joe, rolling a washed up sea mine all the way back to the yard, having it confiscated by the navy, then finding a SECOND mine. He looks like a right brilliant nutter. Lulu xXx

  4. Ooh, Lulu, I wish I could have come with you! That is a fascinating place. I have always wanted a fairground horse - I loved the gallopers (and still have a sneaky go when I can!). That looks like the kind of place I might have just found one. I have some sempervivums, but haven't yet investigated further into the wonderful world of succulents. I like the look of the aeoniums...
    Oh, and Happy Birthday!
    Best wishes

    1. Oooh yes, I 'll look out for a fairground horse for you Ellie! Then it could take center position in your living room :) I love the old creepy circus signs and have always wanted Zoltar (from the movie Big) to greet people at the front door. I fear I am getting a bit nerdy with my succulent collection now :0 Thank you for the birthday wishes... I am counting backwards. Lulu xXx

  5. Hi Lulu, Be still my beating heart! It's as though you have written this post especially for me and my husband. We love reclamation yards. It would be fantastic to have one some day. Only the other day, I was saying I quite fancy a ship's figurehead to top our old treehouse. Also love the Freak Show sign. Your swampy Voodoo arch is right up our street and we share a love of mannequins. I can't recall whether I have ever introduced our illustrated man (Dr Jones, the spookily lifelike mannequin) in any of my blog posts. If not, I'll have to include him next time. xxx Claire

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Claire :) It's such a brilliantly mad space. Ships' figureheads are just wonderful aren't they. One would be a fantastic addition to a tree house. I greatly look forward to meeting your 'illustrated man' Dr Jones ! ( Does he move around the garden by his own accord? :0 ) Lulu xXx

  6. the succulents are magnificent! the ones in the nursery and yours too!!
    the junk yard would be a fab playground for the BW - he loves old and strange things.... me is allergic to house dust and mildew - can´t stay not for long in such environment. :-(
    but i enjoy your photos - thank you for the service!!
    <3 xxxx

    1. You're welcome Beate :) I was very fond of the Aeonium 'Medusa' - but at £50 that was the most expensive one :0 (it is generally unlike me to have expensive tastes!), so I went for some Voodoo Magic instead. It was a baking hot day and not a sniff of mildew! I know what you mean though, I used to go to an antiques basement shop and in winter I could only manage 5 mins max in there. I wonder what the BW would come back with ? Lulu xXx

  7. That lovely reclamation yard is right up my alley. I could spend a pleasant couple of hours wandering around somewhere like that. Next time your hubby leaps from the bathroom like that I want a photo :-)

    1. Haha, Monsieur hasn't read this post yet Cherie. Every now and then he randomly checks up on my online behaviour and usually berates me for mis-quoting him. He won't be impressed by my leaping man comment :0 :) Lulu xXx

  8. Oh, that was such a lovely read! We came to Cornwall every year to spend the summer holidays with my parents (I grew up here but left to go to college) and the reclamation yard at Longrock was always a highlight of our trip. Like you, we were heartbroken to drive along to discover some modern monstrosity built on the land! We found Shiver me Timbers too and like you were utterly blown away! I would love to fill our garden with quirky things - and we do have some - but am reigned in a little! Thank you for your lovely pictures and the memories that you invoked. :)

    1. So glad you fondly remember the Longrock yard too Sally! I did drive through Longrock and couldn't quite work out where it had been, as it all looks very tarmacked and commercial now. I shall have to dig out the old photos. I remember totem poles and a wonderful installation of old doors. I think the owner at Crowlas has done the memory of his dad's yard proud, as it has the same mischief, fun and intrigue. Lulu xXx

  9. What a magical post and you opened my eyes to the wonders of a reclamation yard. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face. Enjoy the sunshine and have great week ahead.

  10. Thank you Mike :) Have you never been on a reclamation yard crawl? It is a high form of entertainment :) You have a great week too. Lulu xXX

  11. Happy Birthday to you, dear Lulu! That sounds like my kind of day, a rummage and some plant shopping. I wouldn't mind a giant Medusa head or a ship's figurehead and any old fairground sign (I'd probably have to fight Drew Pritchford for it!)
    I never know what those plants are called - we call them "those weird things in Monty's garden!" I'm not sure how to promounce Aeonium but I'd love a few in our garden. xxx

    1. Thank you Vix :) Yes, you'd definitely have to David Dickson style triple slam-dunk Drew Pritchford for such a thing! I say Ai-oh-nee-um, but I could be wrong. One particular Gardeners World presenter says Clay-mar-tis for Clematis, which I think makes it sound like some kind of gynaelogical disease! It is apparently the right way to pronounce it though :0 Lulu xXx

  12. What a delightful find, just the sort of place I love to poke about in.

    1. Oh, thank you for stopping by and leaving a lovely message. I will be coming over soon to catch up on you garden adventures.... Lulu xXx

  13. What a wonderful way to spend your birthday! Happy happy birthday! How interesting is that ship head!

    In my latest blog post, I wrote about this cafe with the most beautiful garden area and vintage trinkets at every corner. You would have looooved it. X

    1. Thank you Jess :) Reet, I'm coming over right now to have look .... Lulu xXx

  14. Happy birthday. I love succulents.


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