The Fowey Hotel offered a trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan - with guide David Hogg whose wife was head gardener there for a number of years. [It is a tradition here in Cornwall to visit the Gardens of Heligan on Boxing Day. It is know as a charity day - and donations are taken to help local charities.. however being so wet, there were not many visitors]
He picked us up at 10am and drove us to the gardens.. giving us an umbrella [incase we needed it - ha!].... and off we went.. he gave a talk on the history of the gardens before we ventured outside.. and down the rain came. This time, pelting down.
My first reaction was to head for the tea room while the tour went on without me.. but I was here, had heard alot about the garden and didn't want to miss out.
[cornish red rhododendrons in Flora's garden - must be beautiful in flower]
our group moved out into the garden and followed David around as we listened to small snippets of history or interest about each part of the garden. the rain poured as we sloshed through mud and water. It was such a shame, because being a gardener, I would have liked to have been able to explore alot more.. especially the green houses, the vegetable gardens, the compost bins.
But it was not meant to be.
[all plants grown here are heirloom.. plants and seeds only grown in Victorian times.. and because they are not approved by the EEC or something like that, these vegetables cannot be sold on to the public but are used in the kitchen or given away to staff...they grow purple potatoes. They are not organic but near to it.. in Victorian times, they used all manner of manures, including that of the 'night chamber pot' [something, I might add that my grandparents did].... which as you can imagine created a smell that would assault the senses.. so, to protect the delicate noses of the gentry, an avenue of apples was planted down the middle of the vegetable garden and on each side were planted perfumed herbs and vegies... sweet peas, peas, lavender... [maybe that is where the saying 'they think their poo doesn't stink' came from]
in parts the garden reminded me of myself.. the way I garden... old pots and stakes & birdhouses.. we took some photos of birdhouses and Joe is going to make me some when we get home
we then went to the wildlife house and were given a talk on owls - which i must say was a highlight. They are such beautiful birds - and I learned alot about them.. the shape of their faces are actually shaped like that for radar.. to be able to pick up the slightest sound below of small field mice and voles. That their feathers are not waterproof and that they lay a clutch of eggs of about 5, two to three days apart.
we then had about half an hour to spend in the shop... a cup of hot chocolate to warm my hands first, then a browse in the shop.
back to the Fowey Hotel.. for a light lunch, then Joe went off to clay shoot... not before we both had a Cornish tea.. then I went for a nap. Still not sleeping... it is like my body is on Australian time.. maybe getting ready for the trip home.
so that is our Christmas at Fowey. tomorrow we leave for the last cottage - Ingledene - near Bodmin Moor - the weather is forecast for more rain and flood - roads are closed and some washed away. train lines are closed.. I am now counting down the days until I leave to go home. Keeping the homesickness at bay by keeping busy..