The Jungle, Lost Gardens of Heligan

Photo by Melanie Nakisa

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey in Cornwall, are one of the most popular botanical gardens in England. Originally the gardens were part of the estate owned by the Cornish Tremayne family. After the First World War the gardens fell into a state of neglect until Tim Smit and a group of fellow enthusiasts decided to restore the garden to its former glory. Their attempt proved to be an outstanding success, not only revitalising the gardens, but also the local economy around Heligan by providing employment. The gardens now boast a fabulous collection of aged and colossal Rhododendrons and Camellias, a series of lakes fed by a ram pump over a century in age, highly productive flower and vegetable gardens, and a stunning wild area filled with primaeval-looking sub-tropical ferns called "the Jungle". The gardens also have Europe's only remaining pineapple pit, warmed by rotting manure.