Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Lost Gardens of Heligan I

Did you guess it? 

Yes, I found them, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, and I am very glad I did!

Having long admired a photo in a friend's house of this fair lady, I was more than a little excited to finally get to meet her in person. On purchasing the tickets at the entrance, I was eager to find out immediately where to find her and asked the lady selling the tickets where I could find... 'eh, that woman who's lying down... you know... covered in green stuff... eh'. Yes, that was a memorable display of my eloquence... 

However, this particular ticket selling lady happened to also be a particularly kind and service-minded ticket selling lady, who seemed to be able to ignore the stuttering Swede's complete linguistic train wreck, smiled and said "Oh, you mean the Mud Maid!" and pointed her out on the map. 

"Mud Maid"?!?!? Not quite the pretty, dream-like name I had envisioned, but undeterred, I ushered my family in the direction of her restful spot.

Please click on the image if you want to see the whole image, without the top of her head missing...

And there she was.

As soon as I met this sleeping green beauty, I realised that names matter very little when you are as striking a  señorita as this. When I have seen pictures of her in the past, her arm has also been covered in moss or ivy, so I guess that perhaps she had had a small injury that had recently been seen to, and that the moss has yet to grow back. Which I do hope it does, as it now looks like she has gone for a rest, forgetting to take her dishwashing gloves off...

Rubber glove images aside, this is one of those views that is somehow not done justice on a two-dimensional screen. In real life, there is something very special about this wonderful lady, something so peaceful, so tranquil. Something that speaks to my love of unexpected and fun creations in and of nature itself. And the fact that she is in the wilder woodland part of this large and multidimensional garden makes it ten times more interesting than had she been a more "formal" green statue in the formal parts of the garden.

Oh dear, here am I rambling on. We have a lot more grounds to cover, so here we go!

Flowers. FLOWERS. 
How starved we are of some colourful growing power after a long winter, 
and how soul-nurturing they are!

Terrific tulips ready to explode into full tulip mood any day? Check. Symmetrical lines of terracotta pots creating a feature in itself? Check. Oh, and an old brick wall to offset the whole display in the best possible way, making the squeaky green leaves squeak in perfect harmony against the brownish red bricks. Yep, check that too.


Yes, and then there was that "small" greenhouse in the same walled garden. The kind of greenhouse that makes me want to hold a photo of it up to our tiny, tiny, decrepit old greenhouse in our garden and whisper "grow, grow, please will you grow into this?"...

Magnificent mini greenhouse, flowering (!) rhododendron, more tulip squeakiness and lots and lots of dovecotes - love them all!

I am not sure, but I think these are balls of box, and I am quite certain that this is the story of mummy box, daddy box and the three little box babies, all lined up to salute the clock tower of Heligan House (private) in the morning...

SO wonderful to see so many flowers out! 

I felt like I was drinking them all up with my eyes, eager to try to store them in my imaginary box of visual candy, ready to be brought out and enjoyed whenever a grey day comes along....

In the distance, you can see the sea - not exactly a painful view to put up with as you are strolling around the grounds...

Peek-a-boo to you too, Mr Giant's Head!
Did I mention how much I love a fun and creative garden?
This rather 'nosey' gentleman may be no Richard Gere,
 but he still won my heart and made me smile!

I am afraid it does not end here... 
so if you are up for another stroll around The Lost Gardens of Heligan
join me again in a few days...

Until then, to all of you mud maids and giants out there,
have a lovely day!


  1. We camped at the side of the Lost Gardens last June and had a little gate that we could wander through. We all loved the gardens, especially the mud maid. You brought back lovely memories - thank you xx

  2. Åh, jag ser redan fram emot nästa besök i denna ljuvliga trädgård! Så underbart med dessa figurer som smälter samman med växtligheten!
    Underbara blommor och så vackert detta Greenhouse är! Ett sånt som jag bara drömmer om varje vår!

    Det enda jag har i den här vägen är ett ansikte i betong - en väninna har avgjutit sitt ansikte och ur hennes mun sprutar ibland vatten i mitt lilla fågelbad...och jag älskar det! Detta är ju att gå ett steg till! Åh, så vackert!

  3. Just love the sleeping woman, lovely photographs of a beautiful garden to cheer up a grey wet day.

    Thank you

  4. Just love the sleeping woman, lovely photographs of a beautiful garden to cheer up a grey wet day.

    Thank you

  5. Hi,

    we have been there in summer 2011 and loved it!!!! Like to go again :o)
    Best regards, Angela

  6. Åh, jag skulle hemskt gärna vilja besöka The Lost Gardens någon gång. Vad vacker hon är, the Mud Maid.

  7. Ciao, Helena complimenti per le foto e naturalmente per i luoghi,sono meravigliosi,spesso passo dal tuo blog e mi piace tutti i post che pubblichi, fortunata te, che vivi in zone così belle.
    By Nadia

  8. Hi Helena
    Oh yes, of course I will join you again. I just love this garden and especially the Mud Maid. I had it like you when I visited this garden I nearly run to this sleeping Beauty. Hehe, love the story of family box :o).
    I hope to be able to return someday to this magical garden.
    Take care

  9. Hej finaste Helena!

    Åh wow vilket ställe!!! Och den där Mud Maid-damen är ju helt magnifik, alldeles förtrollande!

    Underbart inlägg som alltid, så jag sitter som vanligt här med ett stort leende på läpparna efter att ha läst ditt inlägg :))

    Kraaaam vännen!

  10. Tack för underbara bilder och intressant inlägg från The Lost Gardens. Bilden med tulpankrukorna på rad framför muren fastnade jag för. Vilket lugn, men vilken kraft!
    Har hört talas om trädgården, men det här fick mig verkligen att längta dit!

  11. Hi Helena, I am a regular visitor of your blog and enjoy it! The first time we visited Heligan was in July 2000 and have come back several more times. The last time must have been in 2006. We love Cornwall but my best preferred garden there was Trevarno. Unfortunately it is no more open to the public as it has been sold. Thanks for sharing those pictures, looking forward to more.

  12. Hi Helena

    I have only recently found your blog, but as someone who lives in the UK it is nice to find that there are others here who enjoy a bit of DIY and home making. I was also a keen gardener before hurting my back 12 years ago, and would love to see the lost gardens, so as well as enjoying your pictures I wonder if I could ask you if in your opinion the gardens are suitable for a wheelchair user?

    Thanks for sharing your visit with us.


  13. Vilken fantastisk trädgård, har aldrig hört
    talas om den gröna damen. Hon är mycket
    vacker där hon ligger klädd i grönska.
    Trollet och det vita fågelbordet var så fina
    också. Så härliga ställen du hittar.
    Kramar från ett ganska vårlikt Värmland

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