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The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Updated on November 8, 2014
Source

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...

Italian Garden
Italian Garden | Source

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

The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan

From one of the men who rediscovered these lost gardens.

 

The Gardens

From the Northern Gardens
From the Northern Gardens | Source

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 Gardens

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A water pump.Inside a glasshouse in the Productive Gardens.Dried flowers through a window.Old rubarb pots.From the Sundial Garden.Storing squash to harden the skins.An old bee skep in the apiary area.The Flower Garden.Keeping in touch with the old times.The Sundial Garden.Soft fruit growing under glass.Recreation of one of the old worker's rooms.That water pump again.Rubarb pots.
A water pump.
A water pump. | Source
Inside a glasshouse in the Productive Gardens.
Inside a glasshouse in the Productive Gardens. | Source
Dried flowers through a window.
Dried flowers through a window. | Source
Old rubarb pots.
Old rubarb pots. | Source
From the Sundial Garden.
From the Sundial Garden. | Source
Storing squash to harden the skins.
Storing squash to harden the skins. | Source
An old bee skep in the apiary area.
An old bee skep in the apiary area. | Source
The Flower Garden.
The Flower Garden. | Source
Keeping in touch with the old times.
Keeping in touch with the old times. | Source
The Sundial Garden.
The Sundial Garden. | Source
Soft fruit growing under glass.
Soft fruit growing under glass. | Source
Recreation of one of the old worker's rooms.
Recreation of one of the old worker's rooms. | Source
That water pump again.
That water pump again. | Source
Rubarb pots.
Rubarb pots. | Source

Garden visits or not?

Do you like to visit gardens?

Victorian Productive Gardens

Glasshouse in the Productive Gardens
Glasshouse in the Productive Gardens | Source

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 Jungle

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Giant's Head on the Woodland Walk.Deep in the Jungle.Woodworking workshop.Tree specimens.In the Italian Garden area.Jungle foliage.Mud Maid on the Woodland Walk.Formal pond.In the Crystal Grotto.Feeding time at the Poultry Orchard.Part of the Whole Tree Policy - to use every last bit.A friendly welcome on the way the the Horsemoor Hide.In the Italian Garden.From the Jungle.
Giant's Head on the Woodland Walk.
Giant's Head on the Woodland Walk. | Source
Deep in the Jungle.
Deep in the Jungle. | Source
Woodworking workshop.
Woodworking workshop. | Source
Tree specimens.
Tree specimens. | Source
In the Italian Garden area.
In the Italian Garden area. | Source
Jungle foliage.
Jungle foliage. | Source
Mud Maid on the Woodland Walk.
Mud Maid on the Woodland Walk. | Source
Formal pond.
Formal pond. | Source
In the Crystal Grotto.
In the Crystal Grotto. | Source
Feeding time at the Poultry Orchard.
Feeding time at the Poultry Orchard. | Source
Part of the Whole Tree Policy - to use every last bit.
Part of the Whole Tree Policy - to use every last bit. | Source
A friendly welcome on the way the the Horsemoor Hide.
A friendly welcome on the way the the Horsemoor Hide. | Source
In the Italian Garden.
In the Italian Garden. | Source
From the Jungle.
From the Jungle. | Source

Take a Tour - Direct from the producers of Heligan.

Heligan Wild: A Year of Nature in the Lost Gardens
Heligan Wild: A Year of Nature in the Lost Gardens

From the Heligan Wild project. A diary of a nature lover.

 

For those veggie gardeners amongst you...

© 2013 DreyaB

What special gardens have you visited? Have you been lucky enough to visit Heligan? - Or did you like these photos? Which did you like best?

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    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 2 years ago from France

      It was truly wonderful Virginia. If I ever get back to Cornwall I can't wait to visit again to see what's changed and what's developed - with my camera in tow of course! If you get the chance I would certainly recommend a visit. I'm so glad you enjoyed the page and the photos of course. Thanks so much for taking the time to look. :0)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm so glad you've shared your photos here for all of us to enjoy. Don't know if I'll every make it to Cornwall again, but if I do, I'll be sure to visit this wonderful place.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @Sylvestermouse: Thank you! I'm so glad you like them. I'm pleased you felt like you were there. It was what I was hoping for! :0) Thank you so much for joining in and stopping by...

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      What beautiful photos! I felt like I was right there with you exploring the lost gardens of Heligan! Awesome!

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @Wednesday-Elf: Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the 'tour'. I kind of imagine that that wall really has been there for that long - it's not one of the most obvious places in Heligan. Thank you for taking the time to have a look and joining in with your feedback. :0)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      How fascinating that these gardens of 'yore' were rediscovered. Your photos are wonderful and take me on a delightful virtual tour. I especially like the picture immediately under your title 'The Gardens' of the old brick wall, wooden door and wooden barrels. It looks like it's been there for 100 years and makes you feel as if you'd 'stepped back in time'. Very nice.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @Arachnea: It is a wonderful place to visit if you get the chance. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit me here... :0)

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      I may have to add this to my list of places to visit.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @Charito1962: Thanks so much, I'm glad you liked the pictures. Appreciate you stopping by too... :0)

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      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Looking at the photos, I must say the gardens are lovely!

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @TanoCalvenoa: If you do ever get the chance to visit the UK you must grab it - there are so many places that are beautiful in the UK and Europe. I bet the gardens in California are amazing! Thanks for taking the time to read and share. :0)

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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @smine27: There's nothing better than finding some kind of 'sacred' outdoor space to enjoy and feel at peace with, it's magical however old you are... So glad you are able to enjoy somewhere like this and thanks so much for taking the time to share. :0)

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      This is my introduction to Heligan, and what lovely photographs! I think I would most like to visit the jungle and wider estate, but it all looks marvelous. Gratitude to the kind souls who worked so hard to restore the gardens and who continue to maintain them today.

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      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I wish I could visit the UK sometime. I've been to some fantastic botanical gardens in California, USA.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I've been learning to enjoy gardens more and more as I get older. I love how it has the power to calm my nerves.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @ecogranny: Thanks so much. I'm so glad you liked it, especially the photos. It is beautiful and people have worked so hard to bring the gardens back to life and keep them that way. I get the newsletter from them and was sad to learn over the weekend that one of the originators of the restoration had passed away, but his legacy in Heligan will live on forever... Thank you so much for stopping by. :0)

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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @AlleyCatLane: Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. I must see if I can find a lens about those, as I've never been to that part of the US. Thanks so much for reading and sharing. :0)

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      AlleyCatLane 3 years ago

      Loved your walk through the gardens. Thanks for sharing. We have beautiful gardens here in Tallahassee called Maclay Gardens.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @GrammieOlivia: Isn't it so beautiful! I'm so glad you liked it and enjoyed the journey. Thanks so much for dropping by, it's much appreciated. :0)

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      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      No but it is beautiful, the work of the hands has brought it back to life.......fantastic!

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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @Ibidii: So glad you liked it! Thanks so much for taking a look and commenting. :0)

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      Ibidii 3 years ago

      So much to look at I will come back and post then which I loved best! Awesome lens!

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      Cheryl Paton 3 years ago from West Virginia

      I have visited a couple of different gardens before, but so far not Heligan.

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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @David Stone1: Wow that sounds very impressive! Were they specialist gardens or just a mix of things suitable for the region. I'm sure a palace gardens would be very expansive - sounds very interesting. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and share. :0)

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      David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

      My favorite was the garden surround Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @Merrci: If you ever get the chance to visit Merrci you must - it's a wonderful place with a great atmosphere. Thanks for taking the trouble to stop by and I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :0)

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      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      @Adventuretravels: You should go - hopefully you're not too far away! I'm sure by now there's so much more to see as well. I'm glad you liked the photos, I love taking them when I can. Thanks for taking a look. :0)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I haven't been there, but enjoyed visiting through your lens. Nice! Thanks for sharing.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      No I haven't but I'd love to so much. I love your photos and the video too.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 4 years ago from France

      @Colin323: Thanks Colin. It really is a wonderful place isn't it. :0) So appreciate you stopping by to take a look.

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      Colin323 4 years ago

      Yes, a beautiful place. Good lens Dreya. If you haven't been, folks, do visit. It's a joy.

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      DreyaB 4 years ago from France

      @flycatcherrr: I'm so glad flycatcher! It's certainly worth a visit if you ever get the chance. Thanks so much for stopping by, very much appreciated. :0)

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      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      I've never been to Heligan but it's certainly going on my travel wishlist now!

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 4 years ago from France

      @golfspice: I'm sure you will enjoy Heligan if you liked the Eden project. You must update me on what's changed at Heligan since I was there last. Not been to Blenheim, though I hear it's lovely. Enjoy your visit to Cornwall and thanks for your visit here.

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      golfspice 4 years ago

      As it happens will be visiting Cornwall the week after next, and Heligan is on the to do list. I have been to the Eden project when it first opened. My favourite gardens are at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire less than two miles from where I live.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 4 years ago from France

      @CASHGURU: We went to Eden too and it was great, (though the weather wasn't) but I have to say I enjoyed Heligan even more. I'd really recommend it if you visit Cornwall again. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. :0)

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      CASHGURU 4 years ago

      I have been to the Eden project but Heligan looks amazing i feel im missing out after seeing your lens i will defiantly visit on my next trip to Cornwall.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 4 years ago from France

      @darciefrench lm: It's funny you should say that Heligan has the UK National Collection of Camellias and Rhododendrons introduced pre-1920. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and feedback. So appreciated. :0)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 4 years ago

      I've had the pleasure of visiting Minter Gardens and Butchart Gardens of BC. Used to have the most wonderful garden when we lived out in the country - there were 8 ancient, huge rhododendrons.

    • DreyaB profile image
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      DreyaB 4 years ago from France

      @Nancy Hardin: Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked it. It was a wonderful place to visit. If you ever get the chance you must go, if you like gardens you'd love this. :)

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      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've never visited Heligan, but it sure seems like somewhere I'd love to go. I love your photos, and this vicarious trip through Heligan. Thanks for sharing.