3rd - 6th September
Salcombe to Fowey
We were leaving our mooring at 10:00, but not before birthday celebratory coffee and cake for Tabby! The crew from Distant Dream came aboard and we had a very damp birthday song and chat before we both headed out.
It was a great sail! The weather improved, the wind and tide were with us. It was fun chasing Distant Dream. She looks a picture on the water.
The week was turning out to be spectacular for me! How could I be this close to The Eden Project and the Lost gardens of Heligan and not visit both? I could hardly contain myself.
Iain and Dugald agreed they would prefer to visit just one garden. Having checked the list, and the weather, it was decided that Friday 6th September was the group outing (gaining yet more brownie points). I chose The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
As luck would have it, our dear friends Clare and David were in Cornwall at the same time visiting family and having a planned day out at the Eden Project! How could I resist? So, Wednesday, I jumped ship (ha ha) and headed to meet Clare and David in Bodelva.
The Eden Project was so much more than I expected and it was especially poignant to be experiencing it for the first time with Clare as we had both spent many years struggling through our RHS Horticulture exams in the hope of becoming experts in all things green. I am very proud to say, Clare has widened her knowledge and expertise to such an extent that her spectacular garden is part of the Open Gardens scheme in North Norfolk.
David was very supportive and patient allowing us to ponder and discuss each new plant which drew us in. We enjoyed the themed biomes and especially the explanations and diagrams. All the labels were very informative The planting was in keeping with their native habitats. An educational day without any effort! I could go again. So much to learn.
I am very grateful to Clare and David for sharing their day with me and also for kindly driving me all the way back to the boat where I met the boys in the yacht club supping on light refreshments, and watching the evening racing on the river.
I must apologise for not taking photographs. I was so excited and engrossed, I completely forgot! Except for one in the Tropical Biodome of the near threatened crested partridges (Rollulus rouloul) which were introduced to the tropical Biodome as a natural form of pest control. They are so tame. Always in pairs and very gentle.
On Thursday evening we meet up with Mark, Joanne and sons on their Hanse 575. We shared a meal and stories of boating together. The summer holidays were drawing to a close and all preparations were being made for the next academic year ahead for their children.
Friday 6th September
As the week progressed, the weather became ever more damp and grey. The consensus was Friday would still be the perfect time to experience Heligan as the garden wouldn’t be too busy and the plants would be fresh. Right on both accounts resulting in not really loitering over every leaf and bud.
For me, Heligan is a garden full of intrigue and mystery as a consequence of being
“found”. It is steeped in the sad history of its
demise due to the outbreak of the first world war when all the gardeners were sent away. There is evidence at every turn of these brave men who mostly did not return. Perhaps I am being unfair, it probably was a little late in the season to visit and the weather really didn’t help. Personally I felt the planting could be a little more inspiring. As both Heligan and the Eden Project are under the same ownership, many of the plants were repeated at Heligan and I’m not sure they were always shown in their best environment or location. However, the pineapple beds were impressive as was the heating system and the garden is a great achievement of regeneration at such a spectacular site. I feel Heligan will be an ongoing project for some time to come and I look forward to visiting again.