I’ve never seen so many shades of green in my life. Dark, glossy leaves that hang like emerald jewels, clearings of fuzzy fiddlehead ferns, splashes of lilac from the last of the rhododendrons. The air is heavy and humid, thick with the musk of damp earth. The sun sends down shafts of light that flitter through the trees like searchlights. To call this place a ‘garden’ doesn’t feel right. The Lost Gardens of Heligan have been hidden for decades and restored only 20 years ago. They have a subtle mix of wilderness and curation; an abandonment that is still cared for.
My old friend Kate came to visit last summer, and we spent the day exploring here. We walked along stony paths in the Walled Garden and then disappeared for a while in the Lost Valley. We admired the Northern Summer House before crossing a rope bridge in The Jungle. Hunted for stone sculptures in the woods and felt pretty amazed that this wild, tropical landscape is tucked away in a little corner of England.
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