The Lost Gardens of Heligan

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At the end of the nineteenth century its thousand acres were at their zenith, but only a few years later bramble and ivy were already drawing a green veil over this “Sleeping Beauty”. After decades of neglect, the devastating hurricane of 1990 should have consigned the Lost Gardens of Heligan to a footnote in history. Instead, events conspired to bring us here and the romance of their decay took a hold on our imaginations. Our discovery of a tiny room, buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens, was to unlock the secret of their demise. A motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil still reads “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. We were fired by a magnificent obsession to bring these once glorious gardens back to life in every sense and to tell, for the first time, not tales of lords and ladies but of those “ordinary” people who had made these gardens great.

We have now established a large working team with its own vision for our third decade. The award-winning garden restoration is already internationally acclaimed; but our lease now extends into well over 300 acres of the Wider Estate, leaving the project far from complete. We intend Heligan to remain a living and working example of the best of past practice, offering public access into the heart of what we do.

Our contemporary focus is to work with nature, accepting and respecting it and protecting and enhancing the variety of habitats with which our project is endowed.

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Comments (10)

poludziber on July 8, 2013

molto bella, like.......ciao, Flavio

Rosalyn Hilborne on July 8, 2013


Thank you very much for like 1 Flavio.

Best wishes, Rosa.

Klaus Hoyer on July 9, 2013

Beautiful greenhouse, like me, many greetings to you Like

Rosalyn Hilborne on July 9, 2013


I liked the more natural planting. Thanks for your like.

Best wishes, Rosa.

Andy Rodker on July 9, 2013

Thank you Rosa - Heligan - one of my all-time favourite places anywhere!


Best wishes, Andy

Rosalyn Hilborne on July 10, 2013

Andy Rodker

I didn't know what to expect, but I will definitely visit again. Thanks for your YSL.

Best wishes, Rosa.

Leif Fielstrup Guldb… on July 10, 2013

Interesting garden series, lovely shot. Like10.

Greetings, Leif.

Rosalyn Hilborne on July 10, 2013

Leif Fielstrup Guldb…, many thanks for your lovely comments. It was an interesting place to look around. All the best, Rosa.

gianluigi bonomini on August 29, 2013

Bellissima foto di fiori di campagna, inclusi i papaveri che io amo tanto, starebbero bene nel mio gruppo. Like3++++ per te Rosa, contesto e colori della tua foto molto belli. Complimenti per la tua galleria bellissima, da Italia, Johnny Poole, per gli amici, Gian. Felice giornata a te nuova amica.

Rosalyn Hilborne on August 29, 2013

Johnny Poole

Thank you so much for your very kind words Johnny. Always good to meet new friends. Best wishes, Rosa.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 8, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Rosalyn Hilborne
    • Taken on 2013/06/30 12:55:13
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/160)
    • Focal Length: 18.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/6.300
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV
    • No flash