Posted by: gardner310 | September 13, 2013

Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

The Giant, Heligan Gardens

The Giant, Heligan Gardens

Cornwall has a treasure trove of sightseeing opportunities and we did the best we could to cover a wide variety of them.  The Lost Gardens are quite near St Austell where we were living and since both couples are gardeners it was a no brainer.

At this point there are over 81 hectares or 200 acres that fall within the garden.  The Tremayne family has owned the estate and gardens for over 400 years.  They now lease the gardens to the Heligan House and the house, unfortunately, is private.  You can still get a nice view of the estate from one of the pathways.  The glory days of the gardens were in 1890 and they went into gradual decline until in 1990, they were rediscovered and recovered.

There are three distinct areas at Heligan, the Jungle, the Northern Gardens and the Horsemoor Hide.  All of course concentrate on separate species  conducive to the different climates.  Cornwall is surprisingly able to foster tropical plants with amazing success.

Three highlights of Heligan are the Mud Maid,  the Giant’s Head and the Gray Lady all done by the same

The Mud Maiden

The Mud Maiden

sculptress.  They are a wonderful combination of imagination, whimsy and talent.

It would take a couple of days to do the property thoroughly and if you were really paying attention to the many varieties of plants.  They have a retail store for plants and gardening material so you can come to “borrow” ideas and put them into play with the materials available for sale.  There are some steep areas that have warnings so some areas may not be available to those who have trouble walking so you may want to check ahead on that.

It’s an amazing property that should be on your to-do list for Cornwall, if you have any interest in gardens.

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