CORNWALL'S FAVOURITE SECRET GARDEN WINS EURO AWARD

PUBLISHED: 14:43 12 September 2014 | UPDATED: 13:16 30 August 2017

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The Lost Gardens of Heligan were rediscovered in 1990 by Tim Smit and have become one of Cornwall's most popular day's out.

Congratulations go to Cornwall Life's favourite day out, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, which has won the European Garden Award in the prestigious European Garden Heritage Network awards of 2014. Nominations for the awards were based on innovative implementation and management; urban development aspects; sustainability; good visitor services and on the high quality of restoration afforded to the site.

The Jury of the EGHN Garden Award was deeply impressed by the story of The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the great achievement of the people.

George Elworthy, Managing Director, Lost Gardens of Heligan picked up the award at the ceremony in Dusseldorf. 'It is an honour to have been nominated and recognised by the European horticultural industry,' he says. 'We accepted the award in memory of John Nelson to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication he showed during the early years of the garden restoration. A restoration that is ongoing, keeping alive the skills of horticulture both past and present.'

Heligan was up against the Prussian Versailles’, Sanssouci in Potsdam (Brandenburg, Germany) and Hedge House/Schloss Wijlre (Heuvelland, The Netherlands) as the other finalists for the award.

Roswitha Arnold, Vice-Chairman of the European Garden Heritage Network, commented, 'The Jury of the EGHN Garden Award was deeply impressed by the story of The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the great achievement of the people.'

Life is often about great moments and Heligan has provided them for those of us fortunate to have worked here over the last twenty years and, most importantly, those who have visited and made this special place their touchstone.

Tim Smit, who discovered the gardens in 1990, was thrilled with the European recognition. 'Heligan is not just a garden, it is a place in the heart. We have wonderful plant collections and intimate gardens within gardens,' he says. 'The interplay between the wild gardens and the fabulous mathematically exacting productive gardens is, in my view, a powerful metaphor for ourselves-balancing the wild and the controlled to make sense of the world. I believe that is why so many people have given their love and labour to this place and why now we have the privilege of being the stewards of somewhere that belongs to thousands of people. Life is often about great moments and Heligan has provided them for those of us fortunate to have worked here over the last twenty years and, most importantly, those who have visited and made this special place their touchstone.'

Heligan made the news recently when its popular Piglet-Cam’, streaming the antics of ten rare Tamworth Piglets, became a worldwide web hit on its www.heliganwild.com site. Throughout September the Gardens remain open until the later time of 7:30pm Tuesday to Sunday whilst Kneehigh Theatre present their new production Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) within the grounds.

Visitors can also experience the taste of Heligan as the Heligan kitchens serve up locally sourced meat and vegetables in a special two course evening meal. The European Garden Heritage Network EGHN has partners in 10 European countries (France, UK, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Austria) and began the European Garden Award in 2010. heligan.com

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