Hell eee gan, not misspelled, but more an attempt to phonetically write how our charming garden docent Graham told us it was pronounced. The emphasis, to correctly say it, is on the middle syllable. I shall always remember him politely chiding us, but I will probably forever say it wrong.
A field of Flanders poppies (Papaver rhoeas) on the West Lawn framing a breathtaking view to the Cornish countryside in the distance.
Welcome to the Lost Gardens of Heligan
. It is another garden
in restoration that makes you wonder; how could an estate of that magnitude disappear into rubble? Money, time, loss of family traditions, a world war and a hurricane-in this case, it was all of the above.
Then a machete wielding man started hacking away at the tangled mess. His brain started thinking restoration. So began the adventure of Sir Tim Smit. Reading stories you will find most thinking him part visionary, part insane, and actually part rock and roll. He is as much a marketer and PR master as a passionate garden creator: “If you truly believe in something and you can get three others to believe in it too, it will happen. If you love something, provided you’re not a freak, they’ll be millions of others that love it too. Then, the only remaining issue is a marketing one”. He has added billions to the Cornwall tourist economy by creating two gardens that visitors flock to by the thousands. Heligan was one of the first projects that brought him into the gardening limelight. Eden was the other.
Glimpses of old stone throughout the gardens reveal its past
The true gardens of Heligan were the productive ones. The Kitchen Garden, The Melon Yard and the Flower Garden.
A private retreat in the Italian garden built in 1906
An iconic shot of one of the features of Heligan. The Mud Maiden along the path of the Woodland walk
A turn towards New Zealand (the portion of the garden, not the country!)
If these walls could talk: Castles in ruins and beloved restoration
I was told I should watch Doc Martin before I traveled to Cornwall. I don’t typically watch much TV (except for my Downton Abbey fix), so it didn’t happen.
Ok fine…what is all the fuss connecting this TV show with this seaside village? I logged into Netflix and ummm; is this what they call binge watching? I am hooked and I love seeing all the places I walked during our visit to Port Isaac aka Portwenn. For now, I am trying to stay away from the spoilers because season 7 is on. I am still in the episodes where Doc and Louisa barely know each other in season 1.
Along the Rugged Cornish coastline
What a charming village tucked in the side of the Cornish coast. All the buildings stacked into the hillside to face the deep blue sea.
The main part of town is hidden until you round the corner down the walking path. A respite from garden touring, it was a beautiful spot to soak up the sun, and grab a Cornish pastie from the cute little bakery (which I suspect will show up in a future episode of the TV show). We behaved very much like American tourists, almost getting plowed by cars zipping through the narrow streets as we breezed in and out of little shops that I now see on the TV show. Every turn was a photo opportunity. Now I wish I had watched a few episodes and met the grumpy ol’ Doc so I could be like others and have my picture taken knocking on the door of “his” house.
Next travelogue: A visit to the mud maiden