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Low 60 F
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Heligan is a 200 acre garden which is just a portion of the original thousand acres which were productive in the nineteenth century. It was abandoned and restoration began in the early 1990's after the big hurricane of that same year. This garden features woodlands, wetlands, and farmland in addition to manicured pleasure gardens but the hold it has on me is the walled vegetable garden which included fruit, flowers, vegetables and all manner of garden tools and accessories. The espaliered fruit trees lining the main walk were thick with fruit and I spoke with the Garden Supervisor, Nicola, concerning her pruning methods. She shared her knowledge with enthusiasm. I have espaliered apple trees but my pruning technique is reduced to whenever time allows so fruit production has been sacrificed. I will have no excuses in the future. The vegetable garden was quite large and I spotted these rhubarb forcing jars which another gardener told me were found and reclaimed when this garden was restored in the early 90's. The cold frames are also to die for. Check these out with the 'Beaver pane' glass and the way the glass just slides up and out of the way. Time to pick these greens don't you think? Full time gardeners ensure neat and tidy trellising and staking systems which create visual unity and functional beauty. Seeding is an ongoing task in this little glass house and the outbuildings are neat, tidy and right out of history with the cisterns and cold frames and the tool shed. I spent a great deal of time in the vegetable garden area so I missed the woodland trail but this sundial garden is traditional and charming. I sat on the bench at the top of the garden and watched the comings and goings of the visitors. I enjoyed watching the guests and their individual approach to viewing this garden. Some approached the sundial in the middle and others wandered the perimeter of the garden checking out plants and labels. A bench in one's own garden is just an unused accessory but in the garden of someone else it becomes a useful perch, as it was intended, for viewing the garden and its' inhabitants.
Is there a Victorian garden without a water feature? This little garden sat adjacent to the upper fields providing a separate room to view and perhaps a reason to walk a bit of a distance from the main gardens. I can only imagine how many gardeners were required to keep this estate running smoothly and looking pristine. Heligan is purported to be one of England's favorite gardens. I was privileged to have visited and am happy to share it with you.