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Whereas most people’s minds will jump straight to the Eden project when thinking of gardens on their cottage break in Cornwall, there are a fair few who’ll remember the precursor to it, possibly having seen the television series, and will travel to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

The Gardens themselves aren’t situated particularly far from the Eden project, but the atmosphere is completely different. Rather than the large-scale creation that the Eden project involved, the gardens were a project of restoration.

During the 1990s, the gardens were part of an immense program to restore them to their former glory, and the project was documented both in books and in the Channel 4 television series.

Following the deaths of sixteen of the twenty two gardeners during the First World War, and the emigration of the owner to Italy, followed by his death with no heir to the estate, the gardens had no real owners and consisted as part of a trust to look after extended family members.

When record producer Tim Smit (or Smitty T as he is known in the industry) was shown around the garden, he realised the potential they had, and organised a group of people to get to work bringing back their former glory.

The gardens are now an international attraction, and have provided valuable employment opportunities and tourism to the region. It’s unsurprising, given how popular they are with people staying in Cornwall at hotels or taking cottage holidays.

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