The wealthy incumbency of the Kempe family resulted in the creation of the magnificent French Garden in the late 1600's. Designed as a quartered box parterre in the Versailles style, it sports a beehive-thatched, shell-encrusted summer house (1800's). This remarkable garden seems to echo the fashionable eras of garden style but still remains a peaceful haven silenced from the coastal breeze and soft rain of South Cornwall by an invincible wall of granite and cob.
In Spring, the beds are filled with camellias, bluebells, primroses and tulips and in Summer, roses, hardy geraniums, poppies and aquiliegia. A new interpretation of the four parts has led the current owners to fashion the planting following the colours of the four seasons.
At one corner of the French Garden the cob wall incorporates a rustic-thatched summer house, the walls adorned with cockle and mussel shells and fir cones and the floor patterned with black and white pebbles. It is here that couples are drawn to for the purposes of solemnising their marriage vows, whilst outside the high walls of the French Garden the croquet lawn which faces the sea is a dramatic setting for a marquee reception or event.
“For Rosteague, sheltered behind a slate-roofed wall of granite rubble and cob, has preserved that holiest of horticultural relics, possibly unique in England, its original box parterre, arthritic with age, even senile, but still solid enough almost to be sat upon”.
Timothy Mowl, Historic Gardens of Cornwall.