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Heligan Garden Update October

As autumn continues to roll in across the Gardens and Estate, we say goodbye to what has been another successful harvest season at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. The Barn was full to the brim with a rainbow of pumpkins and roots of all shapes and sizes, with our Harvest Goddess stood proudly by the Heligan Kitchen as she watched over our guests enjoying the fresh delights from our Kitchen Garden. Our Harvest display was truly beautiful this year and epitomised the diversity and calibre of heritage produce that we lovingly grow here at Heligan.

The Autumn season is also a call to action for our Gardening Team: start your engines, preparation for the next year must begin!

The Gardens undergo a major transition, as our summer plants battle against the high winds and ever changing temperatures of October. As the citrus trees seek the shelter and warmth of the Citrus House, it's the likes of our chrysanthemums, who are equipped with the stamina to withstand such conditions and are in full bloom during this time of year, providing us with gorgeous autumnal colour in the Productive Gardens.

When walking through the Productive Garden, you notice this real turning point in the year. Seed supports from the summer are cleared away and the restoration of the Apple Store has begun, whilst winter roots such as beetroots and parsnips, thrive and gift us some tasty produce – making our traditional Heligan Roast Lunches very popular.

The Gardening Teams work hard to mow the lawns, transport the wall flowers into the Apple Arch beds, encouraging them to flower next spring. Restoration of the cold frames and soil preparation all ensures the Gardens productivity for another year.

The team spend hours raking the leaves from the paths, and what may seem a standard task in the upkeep of any garden, is actually imperative for creating our very own Mulch, a type of compost that we can produce ourselves from the leaf litter, that we pour over the plant beds to kill weeds and enrich the soil. Nicola Bradley, Head of Gardens, perfectly summed up the ethos behind the idea and for our Heligan estate as a whole: “What nature gives us, we can use”.

As well as our Gardens, the Jungle undergoes a huge change during the shift in seasons too, as protection is key for this tropical display that is not so used to the Cornish winter temperatures. The Gunnera must be cut back and the gigantic leaves placed strategically to cover the crown of the plant to act as a coat of armor to defend and shield against the plummeting temperatures.

It is not just The Gardens that require defence systems during the colder months, but our team, too, must battle the elements as we teeter on the edge of winter. Our Gardening team amaze us every season, but our adoration for their talent, passion and determination during these difficult months only grows as we see The Garden and Estate continue to blossom year after year.

Over on the farm, tupping time is upon us and with the arrival of our Ryeland Ram, we can prepare ourselves for some new-borns in the Spring. Similarly, our Cows are soon to be scanned to indicate whether they are pregnant!

Wildlife wise, we have had several sightings of the Kingfisher on the Second Pond, have you managed to spot it yet?

We are also beginning preparations for mammal trapping and in due course will be inviting you to come and discover the creatures that explore Heligan during the peace and quiet of night time.

And finally, after a successful Sausage Saturday last year, the 2nd November sees the event return for another year, so pop into Heligan to try our award winning sausages.

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