192 pages, 240 colour photos
Having fallen into decay after World War 1, the gardens are now the site of the largest garden restoration in Europe. The award winning Lost Gardens of Heligan extend to some 80 acres of superb pleasure grounds together with a magnificent complex of walled gardens and a huge, productive vegetable garden, all fast returning to their former glory. This definitive book is produced by Tom Petherick, the former horticultural director, who was also involved in the original phase of restoration.
"When Tim 'Eden Project' Smit and his team discovered the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, their scramble to restore them to their pre-Second World War beauty captured the nation's imagination [...] It's an irresistibly romantic tale, gloriously updated here. The book's husband-and-wife creators (the photographs are hers, the words his) live nearby where the Petherick family goes back generations, and together they lead the reader through Heligan's ever-changing aspects and seasons."
- You Magazine, Mail On Sunday
"[...] what makes this account so special is the sense of teamwork that Petherick evokes, the hours spent digging, clearing, propagating in all weathers, side by side. Eclare's naturalisting shots of the gardeners reinforce this. Her photographs of the garden itself, superbly reproduced in this well-designed hardback, are suffused with light, and are a testament to why Heligan has become the most visited private garden in Britain."
– Anne Gatti, The Times
"The magnificent gardens of Heligan, the former seat of the Tremayne family, is the site of the largest garden restoration in Europe [...] this incredible story is related by Tom Petherick with stunning photographs by Melanie Eclare."
- The Lady
"Tom Petherick gives an insider's account of the Cornish Garden's Restoration. Petherick, who has worked on the garden and was brought up nearby, has the affetion for Heligan that seems to imbue all those who have been involved with it. The wonderful photographs by Melanie Eclare, his wife, help the reader to share this enthusiasm"
– Caroline Donald, The Sunday Times
"Be enchanted by the story of this celebrated Cornish garden, a renowned Victorian beauty that fell into ruin before being rediscovered and painstakingly restored in the 1990s"
- Ideal Home
"If you like fairy tales, you will love the story of the Lost Gardens of Heligan [...] The pictures by Melanie Eclare evoke all the magic of a garden and estate which for all its popularity, remains strangely other-worldly and mysterious."
- Grand Designs magazine
"What immediately makes this book different from others which have gone before is the author's own family connection with the property [...] He writes about the gardens with the intimate and impassioned experience of someone who has tilled its soil, nurtured its young plants and wielded a saw to rejuvenate the old ones [...] This beautiful book [...] bewitching pictures capture the essence of a garden brought back to pulsating life. You can almost smell the sweet carrots plucked from the loose ground [...]"
- Country Life
"The fascinating story of the gardens is brought up to date with this beautiful book chronicling the recent developments at Heligan."
- Gardens Monthly
"[...] a gorgeous mix of the exotic, the cottagey and the wild. Simply stunning."
- The Independent
"Ten years on, the romance of Heligan hasn't faded, and the story has grown. Beyond the garden lies an estate with farm animals, orchards, rare breeds and wildlife. With plenty to talk about, and magnificent colour photography revealing Heligan's gardens in their prime, this book takes us on a beautiful and fascinating journey of discovery."
"Tom Petherick's writing is a delight, and Melanie Eclare's photographs are superb [...] Those for whom Heligan is merely another amazing garden will enjoy this book for its wealth of horticultural and historical detail and its glorious photography. Those for whom Heligan in a uniquely special place will be captivated by it."
- Organic Gardening
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Melanie Eclare is one of Britain's leading garden photographers. She has photographed three previous books and has contributed illustrated features to all the major home interest magazines. She cooperated with her husband Tom Petherick on Heligan: A Portrait of the Lost Gardens.
Tim Smit was born in 1954 in Scheveningen, Holland, and educated in the UK. After graduating from Durham University he worked as a county archaeologist before spending ten years as a record producer and composer, successful in Europe, the USA and Japan. In 1987 he and his family moved to Cornwall where, with John Nelson, he was to discover Heligan.