Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

England's Lost Gardens of Heligan have a storied history of prosperity, neglect and rejuvenation. The once glorious Heligan estate fell into disrepair as World War I creeped into England and priorities shifted. Nature took its course in the decades that followed, swallowing the gardens and obscuring the walkways. It wasn't until 1990 that two descendants of the Tremayne family—the owning family of the estate dating back to 1200—discovered a small garden and decided to revamp the site.

Before there were Chia Pets, there were the much larger Mud Maid and Giant's Head of Heligan. Callaway says there is a fine line between kitsch and art, but these two sculptures are wonderful additions to the garden. "It could be that those mud sculptures are much better now than they were in the beginning," Callaway says. "Because now they have the patina of age." In addition to these impressive sculptures, Heligan also boasts an Italian Garden, an extensive jungle section and an alpine-inspired ravine.

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