The climate of West Penwith owes everything to the sea, Surrounded by it on three sides, bisecting the warm Gulf Stream, the whole peninsula enjoys blessedly mild seasonal round temperatures. The annual range of temperature here is smaller than in the east of the UK, meaning that summers only occasionally get hot, and winters rarely cold. Scilly, for example, averages only two frosty days per year.
This means mild winters and early springs, and so crops can be grown here which would die in the colder winters further east. In February fields of golden daffodils are already blooming, and driving slowly behind tractors towing trailers of early vegetables is a common local grumble!
This Atlantic influence can be seen most dramatically in the autumn and winter when a deep low-pressure system sweeps in from the southwest. Watching the swells booming in from the Atlantic and the foam flying at Sennen or Porthcurno is an awe-inspiring experience.
These salt laden winds are probably the Cornish gardener’s greatest enemy, but once protection from these winds is established, an amazing variety of plants can be grown. Unique microclimates of West Penwith and Scilly have enabled important collections of camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias to be developed.