We had one day. One day to visit Heligan and the summer heatwave came to an end on the same day! I’d so wanted to go to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and a little summer rain wasn’t going to stop me! We decided to go anyway and took Dottie dog who was welcome to come with us as long as she was kept on a short lead.
The Gardens were lost for many generations due to the changing nature of society. Before the First World War, the Gardens had many employed men to garden at Heligan. These men signed their names on a wall in part of the garden never to return as they went off to war. The owner didn’t have any children, the house became a Military hospital and the garden was largely forgotten. In 1990, John Willis, a descendent of the family who once lived and gardened at Heligan, inherited the grounds and stumbled upon a garden of National importance. It was overgrown and derelict but the names of the men who had once tended this beautiful place were still to be seen on the wall. Over the past 25 years, The Lost Gardens of Heligan have been lovingly restored to the gardens you can now visit and enjoy.
Heligan favourites -The Flower Garden
Heligan is huge. There are over 200 acres to explore. There is something here for families, wildlife lovers, flower enthusiasts and tree huggers. Honestly, I will have to come back as there were areas I would like to see again in the sunshine or during a different season. In this post, I have decided to share my favourite parts from this visit however, I sure that there are other parts I have missed completely!
The Kitchen Garden
The kitchen garden was huge! I mean huge! Once, it serviced the entire estate so it needed to be huge! Today, it produces over 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, salads and herbs. There is a greenhouse, melon house and cold frames. They have even grown pineapples here.
The sun dial garden
I can imagine the herbaceous borders in the sundial garden would be absolutely stunning in early summer or on a sunny day. They are perfectly straight and wide.
The Jungle is like walking into a hidden tropical paradise! The reason it was ‘lost’ was because it is in a secluded valley. It was planted in the early 1900’s and contains a series of ponds surrounded by plants and trees from around the world. It was started as a Japanese garden but the locals called it ‘the jungle’ and the name stuck. Here you can see banana plantations, palms, tree ferns and giant rhubarbs. They have the largest New Zealand Yew in the U.K. here. We had the whole area to ourselves apart from one other family so it felt like we had fallen into the set of Lord of the Rings!
There was so much to see and do here but I have only shared my favourite parts. Have you been to the Lost gardens of Heligan? What were your favourite parts?
A blog about my life in The Old House, a mum to teenagers, a primary school teacher and my passion for gardening.