Spring Gardens at Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are among Cornwall’s finest spring gardens. Over 200 acres awaken each spring in a floral celebration of nature. The season starts in early spring, usually in late March with the celebration of the arrival of our magnolia blooms. These magnolia campbellii are the palest pink tea cup and saucer flowers, and herald of the start of spring as the southwest becomes the first part of the country awash with blossom and blooms.

The best time to see magnolias bloom in Cornwall

Heligan’s unique temperate Jungle creates a garden of elegant mystery – in Spring the full lush greenery of the high season has yet to establish, making it all the better to catch the early Magnolia stellata rosea flowers which stretch to the blue skies above in the valley leading down towards Mevagissey on the South Coast.

A Cornish spring is often a mild one, and the best time to see the magnolias will be in mid – late March depending on the weather. Heligan is one of the most famous Spring Gardens in Cornwall because of the variety and scale of our horticultural collection.

The Great Gardens of Cornwall

A mild climate means Cornwall’s spring gardens are unique in flowering so early and consistently in the horticultural calendar. From Tresco Abbey Gardens, to Trebah spring gardens, to Caerhays Castle Gardens, this collective of horticultural gems is known as ‘The Great Gardens of Cornwall’ – a handful of the best gardens across the county. Each garden has their own charm, and we celebrate the plethora of horticultural elegance within our Cornwall.

National Collection of Camellias and Rhododendrons

For Heligan our celebrations often start at Flora’s Green as our National Collection of historic camellias and rhododendrons reawaken. The sight of an exquisite ornamental garden, elegant grass lawns surrounded by towering clouds of mauve, fuschia, scarlet, and pink is simply not to be missed. This visual feast is dependent on the weather but is usually best experienced from late March through to April.   

That’s not to say that early spring is without colour. Like many botanical gardens in Cornwall we have a joyful and colourful potted and planted bulb collection, with woodland floors covered in daffodils from February, then wild garlic from April and bluebells in May.

The best spring family day out

Heligan is a garden which has captured the imagination and hearts of all generations for over 30 years. Each spring we offer engaging family events and trails celebrating the season. February Half term in Cornwall at Heligan means nature trails, crafts and adventures in the Giants Head woodland play area as the garden slowly awakens from her winter slumber. You’ll find the earliest daffodils blooming across the woodland, and hearty home-cooked meals to enjoy by roaring log fires. Heligan’s famous Sunday Roasts showcase our home-reared heritage meats and the freshest produce and preserves from the estate and productive kitchen garden.

Heligan’s ornamental ponds are bursting with life and echoing to the sounds of frogs, as nature awakens from the winter’s slumber.

Mother’s Day in Cornwall

Mother’s Day at the Lost Gardens of Cornwall is a joyful celebration of Mother Nature, with visitors offered complimentary daffodil stems upon entry and the early blossom of fruit trees frequented by the first queen bees.  Heligan Kitchen, and the recently restored Stewards House offer nourishing, home-cooked meals to enjoy together.

Easter at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

As the season turns we celebrate the newest arrivals on Home Farm, including lambs from our Kerry Hill and Devon and Cornwall Longwool sheep. Our rare breed poultry orchard may welcome chicks and ducklings as the weather warms, and Easter at The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall is a family affair with nature trails, home-made crafts and a garden alive with stunning floral displays.

Explore the outdoors and welcome spring

Hopefully the weather is kind to us so we can welcome visitors to Heligan Play Meadow, the largest outdoor play area in the southwest. Activities include a zipline, Jungle Castle play house, climbing walls, swings and Heligan’s Jumping Pillow, the only permanent outdoor inflatable pillow in Cornwall.

Bank holiday events in Cornwall

May’s sunshine and gentle temperament is welcomed each year at Heligan. The gardens respond in a riot of colour and life, and Bank Holiday events at Heligan include live music, face-painting and children’s entertainment in our Heligan Play Meadow.

Please note, all events are subject to change – this guide is to illustrate the seasonal experiences you can expect during your visit to The Lost Gardens of Heligan in spring.

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