200 acres of garden history, mystery and romance.
Twenty-five years ago, Heligan’s historic gardens were unknown and unseen; lost under a tangle of weeds. It was only the chance discovery of a door in the ruins that led to the restoration of this once great estate. Today, the Lost Gardens have been put back where they belong: in pride of place among the finest gardens in Cornwall.
In 2008 The Lost Gardens of Heligan was granted National Collection Holder status by Plant Heritage for its historic and unique National Collection: Camellias and Rhododendrons Introduced to Heligan pre-1920.
There are more than 70 veteran camellias and 350 ancient rhododendrons included in the collection, which are found throughout Heligan. The earliest plantings date from around 1850.
During the period of decline in the gardens and estate, many plants, both wild and cultivated, flourished unrestrained. The specimens of Heligan’s National Collection were given both time and the protection of surrounding overgrowth to mature into the magnificent specimens, which can be marvelled at today.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
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