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The Lost Gardens of Heligan

February 16th 1990 was a fateful day for Tim Smit. That was the day he and John Willis first explored the decades of tangled overgrowth and melancholic ruins that was then Heligan Gardens. As he says in his enthralling book "In Retrospect it was a day that was to change our lives". There were rumours that half of the village of Mevagissey, Cornwall had been conceived amongst the palms and bamboos of an overgrown tropical valley which connected the fishing village with Heligan House and it's grounds. Tales of temples and mosaic floors found by poachers abounded.

That discription of their first exploration; crawling on hands and knees through massive, overgrown laurel hedges and the "ship wreck" ruins of glasshouses, is our first introduction to this marvolous tale of rebirth against all the odds. A story to touch the hearts of all gardeners and those who dream of finding hidden treasure, adventure and lost worlds.

It is also a delicious serving of several hundred years of the Tremayne family's history and the history of gardening in England and the world, encompassing the golden age of botanical exploration and discovery of the 18th and 19th centuries. Best of all it is a darn good read that takes you from those first, faltering steps back in 1990 to Heligan Gardens' present day success.


Official Lost Gardens of Heligan site

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Cornwall Online - Lost Gardens of Heligan

Max Ule's Heligan Home Page

Cornwall Calling - The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Peter Hawley - The Lost Gardens of Heligan