The Lost Gardens of Heligan
A Photographic Record of a Day Trip in Cornwall
In summer 2009 we went on holiday to Cornwall, an area I hadn't really explored before. We visited several different places, the Eden Project, Newquay Zoo, Tintagel Castle, but we saved the best till last; a trip to the 'Lost Gardens of Heligan'.
I'd seen programmes on Heligan about the gardens and the wildlife, but nothing really prepared me for the beauty and extent of the place. Though I love taking photographs and I can 'see' the composition I want to capture, I don't really have all the technical skill to produce wonderful photos - it's just luck if they come out as I want them.
It was a beautiful sunny day and these are the 'lucky' photos I haven't managed to do anything with previously. It's time to share them with you all...
'Lost gardens' you ask? - I'll explain more...
Up to the Great War the gardens and Heligan estate were developed and well cared for, from the first house being built in the 1200s, through the building of others houses on the site, a pineapple pit, developing a farm, plant collections, to several specific gardens being built and established; Heligan was thriving.
When the First World War started, things began to go wrong for the house and particularly the gardens; ending with the house being converted and sold off as flats in 1974. The gardens continued to fall into decline and it was only in 1990 when the derelict gardens were rediscovered that these 'lost' gardens commenced a programme of restoration.
Only a few years later and the beginnings of a rejuvenated garden was opened to the public at Easter 1992. Since then more of the gardens have been unearthed and revived, restored and replanted. Heligan is thriving once again and receiving accolades along the way. Let me show you more...
The Lost Gardens of Heligan on Amazon
From one of the men who rediscovered these lost gardens.
Produced by the staff of the Heligan gardens.
The gardens in the Lost Gardens of Heligan are split into three main areas; the Northern Gardens, the Jungle and the Wider Estate. These 200 acres or more are split into smaller areas though and include a Vegetable Garden, the Pleasure Grounds, Lost Valley, the Poultry Orchard, Woodland Walk, a walled Flower Garden, national collections, Melon Yard and much more besides.
The Jungle is set in a deep valley with a raised boardwalk and four ponds to see, along with lots of tree specimens and exotic plants collected from around the globe by Victorian plant hunters and other avid collectors. Heligan is also known for its wildlife and they manage the estate to encourage creatures; birds, insects and all types of animals into the areas. There is an observation hide and video recordings to help bring these closer to the visitors.
The Wider Estate also includes ancient woodlands, pastures and farming, all sustainably and sensitively managed, working in harmony with nature. While the Northern Gardens, as well as using ancient and traditional growing techniques, offer interesting sights, structures and features amongst the historic plantings.
See more of my discoveries...
The Northern GardensClick thumbnail to view full-size
Garden visits or not?
Do you like to visit gardens?
Yes, I love the inspiration
Victorian Productive Gardens
The Productive Gardens in the Northern Gardens have been fully restored to not only provide produce to be used all year round in the tearoom, but to give visitors an insight into the gardening techniques of the past. Mainly heritage crops are grown and maintained using traditional methods, in amongst lovingly restored period buildings that add to the historic atmosphere of the place.
I have to say we really enjoyed our day at Heligan; it was wonderful. The variety of plants and things to see was astounding and even with my limited photography skills the picture opportunities were amazing. (You should see the number of photos that weren't worth sharing!) I can heartily recommend a trip to the gardens, it's a lovely day out - and the tearoom was brilliant too.
Here's to many more successful years of a revitalised and ever developing Heligan.
The Wider Estate and JungleClick thumbnail to view full-size
Discover more about Heligan
- The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The link to the official website. Read more about the story of the gardens, discover news and events, find out how to get there, explore more of the gardens and much, much more...
- Heligan Wild on YouTube
If you like the clips below take a look at more on the Heligan Wild YouTube channel.
Take a Tour - Direct from the producers of Heligan.
From the Heligan Wild project. A diary of a nature lover.
For those veggie gardeners amongst you...
© 2013 DreyaB