Friday, 12 April 2013

The Lost Gardens of Heligan II

Welcome to the Jungle...

...or the Lost Valley, the Melon Yard, the Sundial Garden, the Italian Garden, the Wishing Well...
or one of the other many, many lovely areas of The Lost Gardens of Heligan that bear names that speak to every pore of my green-curious being...!

The Jungle is a delightful oasis with several interconnected ponds over which small bridges and stepping stones allow you to explore the different views and see the sunlight filter through some stunning green ferns.

As for the rest of the gardens, yellow seemed to be the flavour of the month. Wherever we walked, we were greeted by sunny daffodils, and this particular little grouping of mossy pots caught my eye. So simple, yet the effect of many put together is so striking, I think.

OK, go on then, throw in a pond too, I can handle giving up "simple" for this...

In the woodland part of the gardens, there was more yellow happiness to enjoy and in fact, our whole Cornwall weekend was wrapped in yellow, as daffodils are cultivated - it seems - all over Cornwall. Wherever we drove, we came across rolling fields of these cheerful yellow faces and the rest of the family soon seemed a little fed up with my excitement about this - in their eyes - trivial fact...

Perhaps I am spoiled with too much of the beautiful sand-coloured Bath stone around where I live, but I can't help but  having a secret crush on old brownish red brick walls... 

When it comes to gardens, I sometimes think 'more is more', i e bring on flowers en masse! However, sometimes 'less is indeed more', and this simple trio of pots together with a metal bench, a yummy (and yes, slightly mossy!) brick wall with a few plants trying to grow out of the actual wall, well, it does it for me! 

OK then, perhaps just add one cushion. Or two. Ehm.

Cup of tea in the sun outside the greenhouse, anyone?

So, what about the name then, why The Lost Gardens of Heligan?

There is some interesting history to be found on their website, but I have here copied some facts from Wikipedia, as a shorter version for those of you who may not have the time to explore further right now.

"The gardens were created by members of the Cornish Tremayne family, over a period from the mid-18th century up to the beginning of the 20th century, and still form part of the family's Heligan estate. The gardens were neglected after the First World War, and restored only in the 1990s."

"Before the First World War  the garden required the services of 22 gardeners to maintain it, but that war lead to the deaths of no fewer than 16 of those gardners, and by 1916 the garden was being looked after by only 8 men. In the 1920s Jack Tremayne's love of Italy, which had earlier inspired the Italian Garden, led him to set up permanent home there, and lease out Heligan. The house was tenanted for most of the 20th century, used by the US Army during the Second World War, and then converted into flats and sold, without the gardens, in the 1970s. Against this background, the gardens fell into a serious state of neglect, and were lost to sight."

On their own website, The Lost Gardens of Heligan describe how they 'rediscovered' the gardens...

"Our discovery of a tiny room, buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens, was to unlock the secret of their demise. A motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil still reads “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. We were fired by a magnificent obsession to bring these once glorious gardens back to life in every sense and to tell, for the first time, not tales of lords and ladies but of those “ordinary” people who had made these gardens great, before departing for the Great War."

Call me an old romantic fool, but this tickles the - well - the old romantic fool in me!

Think bee hives are great but do not find them so pleasing on the eye? Try 'bee boles'! Before the development of modern bee hives, they were a practical way of keeping bees in many parts of Britain. You can read more about them here

Hm. Not so keen on keeping bees myself, but I would not mind a wall like this!

There we are. It is time to say goodbye to these lovely gardens for now, but I do hope I will be able to go back one day in summertime, when I hope to see the flower garden in full bloom, see if the melon yard is indeed bursting with juicy melons and explore all the bits we did not have time to see this time. And if I do, I will certainly bring my camera again!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend and 
thank you for visiting and leaving such lovely comments. 
You brighten my days!



  1. Very interesting. Thank you :)

  2. Thank you!
    Enjoyed the visit through your story and photos, so much.

  3. Jag njuter så av dina underbara bilder från denna trädgård! Intressant historia också och så fantastiskt att man lyckats restaurera en sån vacker plats.
    Vilket bra tips att någon gång besöka denna ljuvliga trädgård, det tackar jag för.

    Här hemma hoppas vi att sista striden är kommen mellan vinter och vår. Nollgradigt, disigt och REGN! Kanske den myckna snön äntligen försvinner!
    Önskar dej en härlig helg i vårens tecken!

  4. Buon giorno Helena, mostri ancora posti meravigliosi e che bella la gardenia ancora di più il ranuncolo bianco.
    Buona giornata Nadia

  5. I enjoyed your posts on Heligan, Helen - thanks for sharing. I love Heligan - we've been a couple of times, but not for a few years now. It's beautiful, isn't it? Cornwall is a great area for gardens, esp in the Spring. Abby x

  6. Just so wonderful to see this king of garden ! All must bee so quite. Thank you for the visit. Christine

  7. Skulle vara underbart att se Heligan "på riktigt", men tack för att jag fick följa med på en fototur. Trädgårdshälsningar Kristina

  8. Å tack Helena för att du lyser upp min (svinkalla snöregnsblaskiga) dag med en rundtur i denna fantastiska trädgård! Vilken historia den bär på, mycket intressant! Med så många intryck förstår jag att man inte går över den på en dag precis. Hoppas du har möjlighet att åka tillbaka i sommar och njuta av färgexplosioner och blomsterprakt.

    Ha en alldeles underbar helg! :))
    Många kramar Sanna

  9. Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures Helena.....a reminder of a happy holiday in Cornwall when my children were younger and we visited these wonderful gardens. I would love to revisit them......they were quite magical!

    Wishing you a happy weekend.....

    Sophia x

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  11. Hi Helena
    Thanks for showing me The Lost Garden in Sunshine :o). But it is a garden which looks even awesome in rain... I felt like in a fairy tale.
    I love that wall too and it would be nice to just beam it up into my garden *lol*... they wouldn't mind, would they?!
    Have a lovely Sunday

  12. Jag tar gärna en kopp thé där utanför
    växthuset, så fina bänkar. Och så fina
    blommor och dammen skulle jag gärna ha
    i min djungel.
    Ha en skön vårsöndag vännen


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