Like its neighbour, Glendurgan, Trebah is a valley garden on the Helston River. Trebah is a plantsman’s garden with various steep walks either side of the stream down to the valley bottom.
Glendurgan has its maze but Trebah has Tarzan’s Camp, The Paraglide and Fort Stuart. Visitors are encouraged to walk along manicured paths whose names include High Harry, Lizzie’s Lane and Badger’s Walk with different areas of the garden called Zig–Zag, a Stumpery and a Vinery while part of the stream is dammed to create Dinky’s Puddle, Azolla Pool and an emerging Loch Ness monster.
Today, Trebah is managed by the Trebah Garden Trust.
Charles Fox, another member of the Fox Quaker family, bought Trebah from the Nicholls family in 1838. He planted pine and oak trees as a shelter belt and developed the 26 acres into a garden. There are no temples at Trebah as Quakers believe that god is in all of us, nor are there elaborate vistas down to the sea or grand entrances as pride was seen by George Fox, the founder of the Quakers in 1831 as a sin: ‘Wo to the crown of pride, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower.’
In 1907, Charles Hawkins and Alice Hext bought Trebah. Alice continued to develop the gardens after her partner’s death and created the Mallard Pond at the bottom of the valley. The property changed hands several times during the 20th century until the Hibberts bought the property in 1981. Bought as a retirement home, they began restoring the gardens.