Peachick Diaries: Lost Gardens Of Heligan Review
This is The Giant. He is a very special giant. He lives in one of the Peachicks’ favourite places in the world to visit, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and his story is quite sweet really. He sits and waits for the day that the beautiful Mud Maid wakes up. Read all about our annual day out in the Peachick Diaries: Lost Gardens Of Heligan Review!
Every year The Giant is visited by 3 little Peachicks who sit on the fence and talk to him. They like to compliment him on his hair and how many flowers and plants he has managed to grow. It doesn’t matter to them that he doesn’t reply they just love talking to him!
Once they have had their annual conversation with The Giant, the Peachicks love exploring the rest of the gardens but not before they visit the Mud Maid to see if she has woken up yet. They each tell her The Giant is waiting for her and that they hope she is having lovely dreams before saying goodbye for another year!
The stories of the Mud Maid & The Giant have been made into children’s books, available in the gardens shop, both of which are popular bedtime stories with the Peachicks!
Visiting the Gardens:
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, sit on the South coast of Cornwall near Mevagissey*, the history of the house and gardens itself are long. I really can’t do them justice in a short post, you REALLY need to read the book, there are a few books and next on my list the Heligan Harvest, I completely forgot to pick it up this year The Peachicks were too busy picking seeds for our veg garden!
*Mevagissey is gorgeous, park in the car park outside village and walk in… trust me. If you don’t then don’t be surprised to find a man halfway up a ladder in the middle of the narrowest road in the world the otherside of a blind bend! We had an amazing fish dinner in a pub on the harbour side when Millie was a baby – I say it was fabulous I didn’t get any the two Peachicks ate the lot – well it was that mornings’ catch so we’ll let them off!*
The car park is tarmac for disabled visitors but the rest of it/overflow disabled parking is on a steep hill field. The day we went the grass was mud and the car park attendant was less than useless and it was carnage. Half the field was completely unusable and even my little car (that drove off the field after a weekend camping at Donnington for the Moto GP in the worst weather in living history) struggled with it! So, go early if you go on what will be a busy day! Also in the car park is a Lobb’s Farm shop, we often get our picnic from inside, they do amazing pies, pasties and the veggies are amazing!
There are around 200 acres of gardens to explore, not all accessible for wheelchairs though. On our first visit to Heligan we did the jungle and it is amazing, the lost valley has since been opened and next year we really want to take the Peachicks back to explore these bits!
The entrance is very shiny and new, there is a proper ticket office, which while lovely just isn’t the same as the shed in the trees at the end of the path. There has obviously been some work done as just inside is now a large clearing where the Giant sits. The Peachicks were a bit disappointed that it wasn’t so ‘secret garden’ as it used to be but managed to console themselves by clambering over the these tree trunks that had been left behind. (Just after Grumps moved out of this picture Alys decided falling backwards would be a great start to her day! Def takes after Daddy!)
The Easter Egg Hunt…
There is loads to see and this year we managed to catch the Easter Activities, cue 3 very excited Peachicks rampaging around the gardens counting eggs. I say rampaging, they are actually very polite with their charging around! The girls absolutely loved this and found a lot of the eggs hidden.
Standard Peachick picture: one looking at the camera, one having a strop about something very important (the wind was blowing) and one totally distracted by something else!
The Peachicks, actually feeding chickens! I don’t always let the girls feed animals it depends how they are, where we are in relation to piriton etc just in case of reaction, but this was awesome. Big brownie points Heligan, feeding the chickens over the fence doesn’t eradicate all allergens I realise but it makes animal feeds more accessible for more itchy-scratchies!
At the end of the Easter Egg hunt was Egg HQ with lots of games and activities for the children to do. All free! The only downside was the lack of allergy suitable prizes, everyone got a small chocolate bunny. I let the Peachicks have it as they aren’t too bad with dairy in things like chocolate these days, mind you with all the craft activities in the tent, things to make and bring home including very cute cress head Giants, there were a lot of things to distract them! Here is a small gallery of the rest of the Easter Egg Activities!
Photos of the Gardens:
The Gardens themselves are absolutely stunning and I have to admit to spending a lot of the day taking photos of them. My Grandparents visited Heligan one of the first years it was open and every year I show them all the photos I take so they can see how much has changed!
Floras Green is particularly beautiful with the impressive rhododendron trees that border it. We were a bit early this year and not all of them were out, trust me its worth a drive just to see it.
I love Fritillaries, they are gorgeous little flowers, not least because I actually know what they are called and because they are some of the first flowers around in Spring. The pattern on them is gorgeous, the Peachicks love them because they are purple and make good fairy umbrellas… obviously!
Everytime you go there is something different to see, this year for the first time ever we found the bee boles hidden in the garden wall!
And this gorgeous rhododendron and greenhouse filled with beautiful geraniums. After such a grey winter it was so nice to see some colour!
Loads of lovely places to sit and enjoy the sun (and probably peace & quiet now the Peachicks are back in Hampshire!)
This is what the Peachicks love the most about Heligan, spaces like this, where their imagination can just run wild. The stories they tell about who lives in this old tree and how many pirates, fairies & princesses have been here is just amazing!
My Peachicks are getting so grown up. Gorgeous girlies!
The productive gardens are stunning by June but early in the season there are still things to see like this rhubarb. And don’t forget to say hi to the resident scarecrow – another rest stop for Peachick conversation! There is a beautiful tunnel of fruit trees that runs up the middle of the gardens which is another Peachick favourite – they like it later in the season when the leaves are out! We are hoping to make a trip to Devon for Hubby’s birthday and I’m trying to persuade him that the extra hour drive to visit Heligan at the end of summer would be well worth it but it all depends on money and how much of it we lose again this year with my lungs!
And after all the running around obviously we were in need of refreshments, the coffee bar & kitchen sell lovely Cornish ice cream as well as these little lovelies… Actual Dairy/soya/gluten free icecream! Made from coconuts, this mint choc chip icecream went down a treat with Elodie. It was so nice to be able to get her an icecream just like everyone else!
I am linking this post up to #whatevertheweather Wednesdays over at Monkey & Mouse, picknmix Fridays at a Cornish Mum and #Countrykids at Coombe Mill!