Cotehele’s annual tradition of building a 60ft Christmas garland made up of thousands of flowers grown on the estate is as colourful as ever, despite the incredibly wet season.

The garland in the Great Hall contains 32,000 flowers, plus a 40ft extension around the east doorway with another 7,920 flowers, all grown and dried on the estate.

The weather in 2017 proved challenging for seasoned head gardener Dave Bouch, who said: "It’s been a really challenging year for both the gardeners and flowers.

"The gardeners struggled to keep on top of the weeds, which at times seem to grow quicker than the garland plants. The plants struggled because they didn’t get enough sun and got too much rain. There were many days I wanted to go stand over the flowers with an umbrella just to give them a break."

"We’re actually very lucky. One year it rained so much we only had 20,000 flowers and we made it work, so we’re pleased to have 32,000 despite the really wet season and I have no doubt this year’s garland will be cracking."

This year white helipterum, pink acroclinium and ornamental grasses have grown really well and Dave and his team are looking forward to seeing how they will all come together, as they put in the finishing touches on Saturday, November 11.

The staff and volunteers have been working on the piece, the longest Christmas garland at any National Trust place in the country, for 12 days. All of the flowers are picked and dried in the garden at Cotehele; seeds were sown in early spring, flower picking began in May and each flower has been added one by one.

Every year at the beginning of November, the hall in the historic house opens to the public so visitors can watch staff and volunteers putting the garland together from flowers such as ornamental grasses, everlasting sand flower, straw flower, paper daisy, paper rose and statice.

Dave said: "The garden team here at Cotehele is terrific. I’m so impressed with their huge time commitment, both staff and volunteers, to create yet another amazing and memorable display, now a firm part of families’ annual Christmas tradition. We’re just so pleased that the flowers survived the difficult season."

Elsewhere in the Great Hall, traditional decorations include conifer and mahonia around the doorways highlighted with some native berries from the garden and mistletoe in case anyone wanted to steal a kiss, with beech and hazel branches hanging from the wall.

From Saturday, November 11, the completed garland can be seen daily until January 6, - except December 25 and 26, and booking is essential between November 25 and December 24.