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The Lost Gardens Of Heligan
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The Lost Gardens Of Heligan

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Until the First World War, the estate gardens at Heligan were one of the glories of Cornwall. Thereafter, through growing neglect, they slipped gradually to sleep. This is the amazing story of their rediscovery and restoration, or the Victorian vision and ingenuity which first created that subtropical paradise, and of the modern obsession and improvisation which recreated ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 2nd 2000 by Orion (first published 1997)
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Aug 10, 2011 Abby rated it really liked it
The Heligan Gardens in England were a grand estate made a jungle by the World Wars. Two men decide to restore it back to their former glory and this book tells of their attempts, the hardships, hoops, and hurdles they faced.

If you like herculean efforts or want a lesson on how to struggle to complete a project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a good read. It made me want to tackle the kudzu jungle in my back yard again. The chapter of family history was boring so I skipped over it - which is pro
Dec 22, 2015 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Catalyzed by having just given a copy of this book to a friend, I ordered a copy for myself and re-read it, nearly 20 years after I discovered it in a bookshop in the late '90's. I gave my first copy away long ago, and re-reading now, I fell in love with it all over again. This time I knew a lot more about gardening, and I knew a lot about the story, so I wasn't reading sweaty-palmed, to see what would happen next, as I did the first time. This time I could appreciate the drama, the expert pacin ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Ali rated it liked it
Until World War I, the estate gardens of Heligan were one of the glories of Cornwall. This book tells the story of the restoration of these gardens after 70 years of neglect, against the backdrop of local opposition and a lack of funding.

This book tells the fascinating story of how the Heligan gardens were rediscovered and restored. Tim Smit and his team are really quite inspirational - I am not a garden expert, I have a small sad garden I sometimes feel overwhelmed by - and so the scale of wha
Mar 08, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
In Britain, the story of the lost gardens of Heligan is a pretty big deal, I only know this from reading the books of other famous British gardeners. Its notoriety is well-deserved and I think the book even downplays the herculean effort a bit. In short, the gardens of Heligan once surrounded the grand country manor Heligan House (think Downton Abbey) in its prime between the 18th and 19th centuries, though it dates back much further. The house was last occupied as a grand residence in the 1950s ...more
Sep 02, 2011 ^ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gardeners, geneticists, historians, project managers.
Tim Smit is a ‘people-person’ and commercial genius. I bought this book at Heligan not long after it opened to the public, and well before the first of the exhausted clay was turned-over at the Eden Project.

Sight alone enabled me to arrogantly imagine a similar restoration of my own garden. This book, ostensibly about renovating a long lost garden, should not be overlooked as a valuable guide to sourcing funding and project managing such a major project, and acquiring sound and transferable pro
Dec 13, 2013 Jo rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
My aunt lent me this book after we visited Heligan in the summer and although I loved the garden, I wasn't entirely sure a book about its restoration would interest me; happily I was wrong.

Right from the start the book reads like a novel as Tim Smit writes of the discovery piece by piece of this amazing place. He writes of the adversity they faced right from the start from local naysayers to reluctant trustees and the Cornish weather, yet gradually a collective imagination takes hold and a visio
Jenny Housley
Mar 03, 2012 Jenny Housley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
A darn good read and fascinating. I was planning on a trip to Cornwell at the time that sadly didn't take place. It is a history of a large estate that suffered from World War 1 and the total change in world view and lifestyle that resulted. I loved the stories about the people who worked to put it all back together and also the history of the family that used to live there. Growing pineapple was such a feat with tons of compost to heat the green house. Tescos would never be able to afford them! ...more
Sandy Weir
Sep 06, 2012 Sandy Weir rated it it was amazing
Read this book several years ago and found it again through Amazon used! This time I will be sure to hang on to it! A non-fiction that is in some ways more magical than fiction... the story of the revival of one of Cornwall fabulous old 19th century gardens. The book makes me certain I need to put Heligan on my Bucket List!
Apr 18, 2014 Claire rated it really liked it
A lovely book about the early stages of recovering Heligan from the wilderness. It's full of details and incredible feats of engineering, hard work, and dedication to the restoration of the amazing gardens, as well as beautiful photographs. It's well-written too, with a good balance between the personal stories of the volunteers and the hard facts of the tasks. A really enjoyable read.
Jodie rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2011
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Oct 12, 2012 Adeline rated it it was amazing
Really enjoying reading this and simply can't wait to visit these wonderful gardens.
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