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garden_inthe

Cornwall: Lost Gardens of Heligan

The process of discovering and reconstructing the Lost Gardens of Heligan were made into a TV series. It was the most successful gardening series ever. Having watched the DVD, I can say that the sense of discovery and suspense was in a class of its own for a show about gardening. Even Kieron was fascinated and he's not really into gardening.


We went to Heligan on 4 January on our Cornwall holiday. This is the Grey Lady, a sculpture inspired by a ghost that is rumoured to be seen in the gardens sometimes. I liked her pose.
Grey Lady sculpture
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In the outer parts of the gardens, lovely views can be had of the surrounding countryside. The village in the distance is Megavissey. Heligan are very active in wildlife conservation. They were one of the locations for BBC's Springwatch and Autumnwatch shows. On the Heligan wildlife website there are live feeds of cameras in nesting boxes, in front of a badger set etc.
View toward Megavissey
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A canyon with a series of artificial lakes is called the Jungle. You can see why. Those tree ferns are some of the very first ones that arrived in the UK. They were used as ballast in ships.
Tree ferns in the Jungle
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Heligan House is not part of the gardens, it's private apartments. Here is just a glimpse of it as seen from the upper parts of the Jungle.
View toward the Big House from the top of the Jungle
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This early in January, there weren't many flowers in the gardens. A few camellias and this protea, was all.
Pink protea flower close-up
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This handsome fellow was trying to intimidate by, hence the motion blur on his foot. Part of what the Heligan project is trying to do is recreate the ferocious productivity of the Victorian gardens. Back in its heyday Heligan was self-sufficient. That was the way manor houses were supposed to be. Naturally keeping hens, geese and ducks were part of that.
Rooster
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Forcing rhubarb was all the rage in Victorian times. It produces earlier, sweeter shoots. That's what these pots are for. The straw on the soil is acting as insulation.
Rhubarb forcing pots
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Some parts of the garden were there just to be enjoyed by the family that owned Heligan. This Italian garden is an example. It includes a little house, where we sheltered from the rain.
Italian garden in the rain
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Comments

I saw your post on the garden/flower group. I fell in love with the mudmaid years ago. Did you get any photos of her?

These are lovely, I had not seen the gray lady!