Menu Close
Book now Close
  • Choose your booking
  • Stay
  • Zacry's
  • The Beach Hut
  • The Living Space
  • Swim & Dine
  • Treatments
  • Surf | Yoga | HIIT
  • Gift cards

Book a room

Book a table in Zacry's

Book a table in The Beach Hut

Book a table in The Living Space

Includes use of Swim Club before dinner in Zacry's

Book a treatment

Book a surf, yoga or HIIT lesson

Buy a gift card

Gift cards

Nurturing nature: Emily Talling

A long-awaited ladybird sighting, a hand to the warming soil, and seeds sewn on a waxing moon: Emily Talling of Three Acre is tuning into the elements to bring sustainable, seasonal flowers to the North Cornish coast. 

Each week she fills The Living Space with colour, scent and spirit along the way…

Emily Talling Three Acre Plot (1)

“10 years ago I quit my corporate job where I was working 10-12 hour days. I couldn’t get the balance right with the children, and it wasn’t what I wanted to do. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Then we found this house, a little cottage with three acres of land...”

“Coming into The Living Space with an armful of flowers on a Monday morning is one of my highlights of the week. Almost all the flowers that I use are grown within ten minutes of the hotel.”

“Seasonal flowers always echo what’s going on outside. Daffodils and narcissi are popping up in my Watergate Bay arrangements now because that’s what you see in nature. Guests flow in and out of the hotel to the beach and around the local area, and that flow follows the flowers too.”

“Because my flowers aren’t flown halfway across the world, we retain their beauty, and we can include really interesting ingredients – things like ranunculus and Icelandic poppies that grow here in the most incredible sherbert shades.”

Emily Talling

Windy nights scare me because I worry my two polytunnels might blow away

Grounded in Cornwall

“My flower field is just outside of Newquay, and it’s very windy and exposed. Windy nights scare me because I worry my two polytunnels might blow away.”

“Everything’s grown organically; we don’t use any chemicals on the land. The field is part of our home, and we have chickens at our smallholding. This means we do things like using eggshells mixed with apple cider vinegar to make a potent calcium solution. We spray our seedlings with it because it gives them the best start possible.”

Poly tunnel

“We planted 1000 trees in our back field in 2020 in collaboration with St Ives Liquor Co. In 10 to 15 years’ time a small woodland should appear. We use no dig methods in our growing, and the land around it we don’t cultivate. We don’t use any machinery – it’s very much wild and left alone. It can look a bit untidy but it’s the best for pollinators.

Rolling with the rhythms

“Gardening is all about rhythms. Because I don’t use imported flowers, and I don’t heat my polytunnels, I’m very much led by what can grow in the field. We work with nature and that very much dictates what you can do when.”

Flowers in the polytunnel

“When you see the first ladybirds of the year, everything starts warming up. You put your hand over the soil and feel the warmth coming off it at the end of March, and that’s when you know your ground is ready to accept all the things you’ve been growing in the polytunnel since last year.”

Lunar sowing

“The head gardener at Tresillian House, John Harris, has written books and books about moon gardening. He’s generously taught me a bit about moon gardening too, and how it links into the cycle of the zodiac constellations and the elements.’’


“Earth is associated with roots, so on an earth day you’d sow carrots. Water is associated with leaves, so you’d sow lettuce and salads. Fire is associated with fruits, so you’d do strawberries or apples or beans. Then air is flower growing day… It’s ancient wisdom, going back years and years.

Beauty in dirt

“In the evenings, when the big jobs have been done, pottering around the polytunnels doesn’t feel like work. The younger kids are playing outside, normally with the hose. It’s magical when it’s sunny, light and the field glows in the evening sun. I feel so much hope and joy, and a lot of gratitude, for the life that we have.”

Photo credit: Ross Talling

Photo credit: Ross Talling

“I’m really lucky to get to do what I do and call it ‘work’. There’s nothing I love more than being out there growing flowers. Every time a seed germinates, I still get excited! It’s so hopeful, to be part of that natural process – starting out as a seed and ending up in these arrangements of flowers – it all feels pretty lucky.”

Three Acre Photo Credit Ross Talling

Photo credit: Ross Talling

At Watergate Bay

Each Monday morning Emily refreshes our floral displays in The Living Space, front desk Zacry’s, ocean wing of Swim Club and The Beach.

We wanted to work with Emily at Three Acre because, as well as her displays being beautiful, she focuses on seasonality and sustainability while making sure the flowers are as nature intended. Being in the flower field, growing flowers is where Emily is happiest, sowing and nurturing seeds and working with the environment.

Sustainability is at the heart of her business and where possible she uses flowers grown on her doorstep grown spray free. If she needs to supplement her flowers she will always use British flowers, grown either by a local grower, who grows in the way or another British supplier and grower who cares about the provenance of the flowers they sell. Her arrangements are created foam free and using sustainable and low waste methods.

Emily Talling Flowers

Discover more

Discover Watergate rhythms 

Be the first to know

We'd love to keep in touch and send you the latest news, events, competitions and offers from the Bay. Sign up to receive our e-newsletter.