magical beauty of Cornwall's Lost Gardens of Heligan can be enjoyed
all year round.
season throws up new colours, sights and inspiration for visitors
of all ages.
Dial Garden at Heligan
story of the gardens also has its own magic.
was a team of enthusiasts lead by Tim Smit who unearthed the beauty
which had been lost for several decades.
gardens as they are today virtually mirror the original designs
drawn up for Henry Hawkins Tremayne, the owner of the grounds in
the late 18th Century.
of the staff who tended the original gardens at Heligan were called
up to fight in the 1st World War. Over half never returned from
the battle fields.
house itself at Heligan was taken over by the War Department in
1916. It was used as an officer convalescence home.
produced at Heligan
years passed and eventually the house was sold as flats during the
1970s. The gardens which received such special attention from its
dedicated gardeners before the 1st World War started to fall into
became heavily overgrown and the rare plants that were once the
envy of many gardeners were hidden by the immense overgrowth.
was in February 1990 when Tim Smit first hacked his way around Heligan.
Despite the short days and low temperatures typical to that time
of the year his enthusiasm was certainly not dampened.
with John Willis (who had recently inherited the gardens) Tim Smit
was 'tantalised' by the chance to find out what had gone on at Heligan
a few generations before.
artefacts were discovered in the overgrowth and these were lovingly
pieced together enabling the team to unearth the clues to the magic
physical labour and accumulated experience associated with managing
the soil and the seasons secured the previous glories of Heligan.
Farm Shop at Heligan
gardens may now no longer be 'lost' but the team at Heligan thrive
themselves on reviving the 'lost' traditions which were associated
with working them in their original glory days.
initial worldwide interest in the gardens may have been as a result
of the romantic appeal of the mystery surrounding Heligan. But the
ongoing vast public interest in the estate proves the magic continues
alongside the tireless work of the team at the gardens.
is well over a decade since the restoration of The Lost Gardens
of Heligan started. As the seasons come and go the team review their
progress and endeavour to continue the processes of discovery, reconstruction
it comes from, how it was produced and how it got to the plate
are all key questions when looking at our food chain for which
we are all accountable by nothing if not by choice alone."
projects continue while new ones are created. The Heligan Home Farm
Project endeavours to resurrect the old Cornish farming traditions
once practised at Heligan.
Outer Estate', recently opened to allow the public a chance to witness
the herds grazing in their natural Cornish environment.
important farming project also aims to educate and provide visitors
with information about how the industry works today in Cornwall.
Heligan Home Farm project is still in its infancy. Already it is
attracting great interest from locals and holiday makers who tour
the grounds and then sample the delights in Lobbs Farm Shop which
aims to connect the consumer with the countryside.
are keen to preserve, conserve and enhance our farming environment
and maintain this historic landscape for future generations,"
says Ian Lobb from the Farm Shop.
will also illustrate and describe to our customers the wealth of
wildlife that thrives in our traditional Cornish countryside alongside
the production of local food."
Winter months bring cool sunshine and dark shadows together to enhance
Heligan's mysterious and magical atmosphere.
team use the time to feed and nurture the Cornish soil. They prepare
and clear out for the coming Spring. Whatever the time of year -
Heligan never sleeps.
you visit the gardens over the winter months there will be plenty
a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark
upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour."
Gardens will be the place for seaweed laying, double digging,
planting of perennial herbs (sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, chives),
manure heating of pineapple pits, planting of spring bulbs, weeding,
clearing and garden maintenance.
Estate - bramble clearance, tree surgery and re-planting
- Boardwalk maintenance and repair, pond dredging and clearing.
bare branches around, winter provides the perfect opportunity to
observe Heligan's diveristy of bird life. Woodpeckers, nuthatches
and the elusive kingfisher can be enjoyed in the woodlands. Winter
migrants such as fieldfares and redwings can be viewed over the
Hide provides the perfect viewing point for grey wagtails, black
caps, bramblings, greenfinches and much more.
5th December & Friday 12th December sees Heligan host its
popular Christmas Feast Nights. Prior booking is essential for this
experience. Tel: 01726 845100
Boxing Day and New Year's Day sees Heligan offering free
admission to the gardens, with donations invited for Cornwall's
First Air Ambulance.