The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall are perhaps the most feted of all the classical gardens in Cornwall. From their "discovery" in 1990 through to Exotic plants in the Lost Gardens of Heligancompletion of the Sundial Garden in 1996 the Lost Gardens of Heligan received more publicity than perhaps any other garden in Britain, in the press, on television and on the bookshelf. The Times called it "the garden restoration of the century". When you visit and explore the Lost Gardens of Heligan yourself you can enjoy your own personal adventure.

There is a diversity in the many gardens at Heligan, but the Jungle Garden is perhaps the most exotic landscape on mainland Britain. It is a steep sided, sub tropical valley garden incorporating 4 interconnected ponds. The vegetation is rampant, lush an luxuriant. There are bamboos, palms and fern trees, plus the tallest Podocarpus totara, New Zealand Totara Tree, in Britain. Boardwalks cross both sides of the jungle, and it is the only real way to get around. On a hot humid day with great clouds of vapour hanging around the gigantic leaves of the Gunnera manicata the whole landscape is almost surreal.

Another favourite place in the Lost Gardens of Heligan is the Melon Yard. Melons, pineapples and cucumbers all grow beneath white, wooden framed glass-houses. The pineapple pit is reported to be the only one working and actually growing pineapples in Britain. The first pineapple grown was shared amongst the staff and another was sent to Prince Charles, the Duke of Cornwall.

The rest of the garden is a joy to behold, a fantastic, productive vegetable garden, Flora's Green, where it is reputed that Cornish floral dancing took place, the Italian garden, the Ravine and the Grotto; and everywhere rhododendrons, magnolia and exotic palms. Don't miss it.