Heligan offers over 200 acres for exploration, including Victorian Productive Gardens and Pleasure Grounds, a sub-tropical Jungle, walks through ancient woodland and beautiful Cornish countryside, and the Wildlife Project allowing visitors an intimate view of native wildlife. The Lost Gardens of Heligan are open daily all year round from 10am. Visit www.heligan.com for further information.
Saturday, 16 November 2013
So as the rain began to pour last week, one of the first jobs on the 'indoor to-do list' was to prepare the peach trees for a good pampering. First things first is to defoliate the trees. There isn't a specific scientific or horticultural importance to this activity, the method in our madness is entirely down to aesthetics and time. The glass house stays at a temperature that pursued the trees to hold on the their leaves a little longer with no real benefit, therefore we strip the trees so we can get to the real deep cleaning!! The humidity and moistness of the glasshouse unfortunately results in black sooty mould on the trees, therefore once the leaves are gone we can crack on with the toothbrush, clearing as much of the mould as we can to let the trees breath again, we also re-tie and guide new branches on to the canes which are fanned against the wall. Although, your probably thinking what a horrid job, when its cold and wet outside, having your hands in warm water all day doesn't seem so bad after all. They are now all sparkly clean ready for winter, both our hands and the trees :-)
The Productive Gardens at Heligan have been restored to reflect the workings of a Victorian garden before the First World War. We remain true to this period in our cropping plan, growing only heritage varieties and cultivating the soil by hand. The garden is fully productive throughout the year and there is a constant supply of produce ready for harvest. This is taken to our restaurant on a daily basis in much the same way that it would have been given to the cook at Heligan House a hundred years ago.
Each week we will be posting an update from the heart of the Productive Gardens at Heligan. Find out what crops are being sown, planted and harvested, discover how to bring traditional practices into your own gardens and follow the growing season as it unfolds.