Devon I'm now entering
17/5 A relatively
early start to reach
The Eden Project early enough to avoid the
crowds. On the way, I get to enjoy even more narrow roads, cut into
the landscape, and lined with colourful flowers and hedges.
The Eden area use to be
a china-clay dig, but a huge garden and two biomes have been
build. They are called the biggest greenhouses of the world, and if
you count air volume in a single room, I guess they are. The entrance is a
steep 25 pound, but then I can return within a year. I guess that
will be cooler, if you live around here... It is a greyish
day, and I skip the outside garden at first.
I had hoped for a bit more of a botanical garden, but it is either
crop or just easy-to-grow plants in huge amounts. That said, the
sheer size of the bobble constructions is amassing. One half is for
Mediterranean plants, meaning that climate, but from around the
world. A few cacti, a lot of crops like vine and olive. Some areas
are nicely laid out, others seem to be dominated by the toughest
plants: Controlled by Darwinism...
The Rainforest Biome is warmer and larger. I
still have it almost to my self, and do some loops. It is a dense
vegetation with huge trees and quite a good impression of a clearing
in the rainforest. Their collection of Amorphophallus titanum is
impressive: Except from a plant flowering today, they have all
stages from small buds to fruits on a plant. Again, it is mainly
crops like rubber, yam and alike.
After I have seen most, I talk with a gardener for more than an hour.
It is really a joke: They are only five gardeners in this huge
tropical biomer, while the administration, guides, cafe staff and
others must count hundreds. Despite their entrance fee, they relay
on funding, and several area are neglected. Others are, after years
of neglecting, tried to be saved.
They have other issues. The biome should be a perfect controlled
environment, but they suffer a lot from fungus, when they have cold
or wet periods. My guess it the total lack of wind, and I'm told
that they are only able open the top-windows. Those
along the button have
never been opened, due to computer problems. Controlled environment
my foot. No wonder the older leaves all are black from fungus.
I would have thought their pest-control would have been easy in a
huge area like this, but apparently, they keep it a bit too cold
during the winter for the good insects. And the administration
rather spray than use organic control. A few years ago, they rather
have a theme-park than the garden. Even today, a real loud balloon
artist entertains in the Mediterranean section starts, after I left it, and
can be heard everywhere. All these things sounds way too familiar.
Then I talk with his boss, who is eager to show me some of their
more interesting plants. Along them the Fruit de Meer, which have
the world's largest fruits - in 35 years time or so.
I end the tour up in the viewing platform, way up under the roof. It
is an astonishing construction, and it could be used for some
Like a botanical garden...
It is still a sunless day, but I do some loops
in the rather large garden. More crops from around the world and
areas that lack attention from the absent gardeners. Their fern
areas are scattered with treeferns, and some areas are well kept,
but with a rather strange mix. Never the less, I'm sure most will
find the garden beautiful. I finish up with a mug of tea and a
sandwich, and just as I'm about to leave, the sun finds a crack in
the clouds. Never the less, I head on to the Lost Garden of Heligan.
I take the narrow costal road, leading me through a few small
villages and a lot of narrow roads, winding their way through
farmland and hedges and overgrown stonewalls. The amount of
flowering plants are astonishing, but I keep failing to capture it
on a photo.
From time to time, I get a short glimpse of the the coast or some
huge green hills with sheep and cows through the hedges. The sun find small holes, but
refuses to play along all the time.
I do a stop in one village with a tiny harbour and a perfect beach.
Strangely enough without any tourists.
I reach the
Lost Garden of Heligan a bit
before three, and go straight in. It covers 81 hectares, and is the
remain of a estates garden, which were keep pristine for 400 years.
Then neglected in 100, and now restored in the last 25 years.
This means here are an abundance of enormous Rhododendrons and other
flowering trees. Some over fifteen metres high and with a stem over
half a meter in diameter. The garden consist of many areas, some
with crops outside, some in glasshouses. One area is called the
jungle, and it truly is. Here are also a small Italian garden, melon
garden, a New Zealand area
with even more tree ferns, and a Sikkim enclosure, some emus!,
pigeons, a Himalayan hanging bridge, a cave and much more. The outer
areas are more or less undisturbed forest with lakes and pathways.
I do most of the paths, and try to capture the impressions. I
can't put a name on this type of garden. Some are romantic, some
kitchen garden, some collections, some just there, but everything is
well kept. And restoration continues, and new features are
installed. Impressive, considering the entrance is only 13,50 pound.
I guess the owners just love the place, and pay quite some them
self. Thanks to John Nelson and Tim Smit!
At five, I have
seen plants enough for one day.
I recon that if I have had company, it would have taken considerably
longer time in both places. I head further down the coast, but this
time a bit into the huge hills. Despite the lack of sun, it is so
beautiful. I do a few stops, one to make a photo of the ancient road
signs. Some in cast iron, some are wooden plates. All nicely
The first campsite I find, want nineteen pound. A bit too steep for a
parking lot and a hot shower, I think. The next can do with 13,50.
Alternately, I could park next to the Falmouth castle for free, like
many other campers. Exactly why I didn't, remains a mystery. I get
the most remote lot, real uneven and right next to the road. Around
a mile to the toilets, and no common room or
To add to the insult, it start to drizzle, when I prepare my dinner
at a bench in the open.
I make the gadget for the stow, but due to the wind, the shelter I
provided for it tilts it twice, and the third time, it is fare from
warm. Back to the drawing board: A tube in metal, small holes in the
button, reaching half way up the mug ought to do it. Just for
excitement, I try it within the car, and in four minutes, I have a
nice mug of hot tea. The Dutch UHT milk remains fresh, although
soon used up. Then again, it is keeps cold as recommended after
opening, during most of the night.
It seems like the rain might continue the coming days, but weather
forecast here is questionable at best. With a bit of luck, it should
be good at one side of the peninsula. I try to plan it in a way,
that I avoid the Islands of Scilly in the weekend.
I work on the diary and photos the entire evening, sitting in the
car with the steering wheel off. Works perfect, but a bit cold. The
rain stopped, but the sun alludes me. I hope for a heat wave in
Wales, when I get there!
early in the morning, a harsh shower hit the car. I close the
window, role over and sleep some more. When I finally give up on the
sun, the lead-grey clouds look like all-day rain, when I hit my
shower. On my way back to the car, it is a glorious sunshine, with
only a few clouds in the horizon. And my shower was not that long.
Glendurgan Garden is close bye, and I reach it a hour before it
opens. Twice on the way here, I got showers, and that is
apparently how the day is going to be. And the next days, they say.
I grab the umbrella, and walk to the nearby
Trebah Garden. They are
already open, and I hurry into it, before the rain reach it. The
private owned garden dates back to
1838, and many of the giant
Rhododendrons are 140 years old. It
is laid out in a giant ravine, leading all the way out to the sea.
Both gardens are subtropical, and many plants have found their way
here, through the years. The numerous tree-ferns was brought to
England as ballast in the old days, and I guess England have more,
than New Zealand these days. At least this tall.
Despite the sun refuses to play along, the garden is a magnificent
sight. Small lawns surrounded by palms, tree-ferns, flowering
bushes like Rhododendrons and Magnolias along with trees and bushes
with different colours of their leaves. Along the creek, numerous
flowering plants lighten up, even this greyish day.
In the more rough areas along the creek, the Mammoth Leaf dominates.
I follow the creak to the sea, and find another path back. The sun
do peak through a few times, but I would love to get some more
pictures of the garden, with sun on. When a specially black and big
cloud appears, I go for a cup of tea and a scone.
As the sun returns, I desperately try to capture the better parts of
the garden. This is one of the prettiest gardens I ever seen, and it
even have some real interesting plants from around the world, like
the Aloe polyphylla from Lesotho.
As the rain returns, I head back
to my car and Glendurgan Garden. My umbrella disintegrates the first
time I try to shake off the water, and I get real wet shoos, walking
on the footpath back between the gardens.
is owned by the National Trust. I have seen their sign many times,
but only now, I realises a membership not only give you free entrance
at all their 500 sights, but also free parking. And considering the
entrance for gardens is around 9-12 pound and the parking 3-4, the
63 pound should be paid back quite fast. Until now, I could have
saved at least 45 pound.
The garden is roughly the same layout,
but with two ravines. It is
fare from the same detailed design, but the large lines and huge
trees are fantastic. Again, the Rhododendrons are for most of them
in full flower. Some of the huge trees have epiphytes on the
branches, mainly ferns and Bromeliads, but also a few orchids.
Along the creek, a hedge labyrinth make up another ingredient to the
garden. At the seaside, a tiny village clings to the rocks, which
seem to be sledge. On the way up, I find a few terrestrial orchids,
and even more flowering bushes. The sun is a bit more helpful here,
and I don't unfold the raincoat a single time.
This include the gardens for
the day, and I head
further south to England's most southern part; The Lizard. While I
drive through one of the tiny villages on the costal back-road, I
spot a Free Internet sign in a cafe. It is, but the sandwich with
cheese and chutney and a pot of tea cost eight pound.
I find a bigger road, leading to Helston. Here, a huge Tesco have an ATM
and dinner for later. Then I find the peninsular The Lizard, and
start walking to Bass Point on a gravel road. It is windy, and
despite I can see the water on both sides, the road seems to run on
the top for ever.
The next little trail leads to Church Cove, where a tiny church and
a few huts make up a tiny community. The ancient
gravestones on the
churchyard is overgrown with real long lichens, which make a
The land ends in a abrupt fall, and the cliffs are marvellous. I
walk quite some to both sides of the ravine, which leads to a tiny
harbour. The entire area is either bare rocks or grass, covered in
flowers. The rocks them self covered in many forms of lichens.
When some dark clouds pulls in, I head to the most southern part of
both the peninsular and England;
Lizard Point. The sun
is here, and
the temperature raises to some comfortable, despite the wind. The
cliffs are even more breathtaking, the flowers more numerous and the
entire sight fantastic. Tiny shops and cafes in tiny sheds on the
rim, a lighthouse on the top, and many small trails around the area.
I do some long walks on the edges of the cliffs, down to the harbour
and even into a teahouses, just to make a photo of someone
having Cornish Cream Tea.
It is getting kind of late, but a sign showing to
Kynance Cove lures me in. It is on the opposite side as Church Cove,
and offers a completely other biotope. It is more heather, and fare
from as lush and green. The cliffs, on the other hand, are just as
magnificent. While I climb down to catch some motives of the sea
cliffs, I discover some orchids. It is a parasite, and don't bother to
make photosynthesise it self.
I spend a bit too much time here, but the drastic landscape
fascinates me, and the sun and warmth have to be enjoyed.
I head further west on, and look for a campsite. The first sign show
to a camper AND tent site, but after several kilometres driveway, I told they
only accept campers. The next one is on a farmers field, the toilets
have seen better, the reception closed, but the sign say 15 pound.
I'm not that desperate - yet. The next is on a real nice location,
the reception closed and the sign say 18 pound. Now, I'm that
As soon as the sun descents, it is getting cold. I freeze a bit
while I work in the car during the evening, and I am so glad I found
the huge duvet!
19/5 It seems to be dry, but the sun is
fare away, behind the lead-greyish clouds. I find someone at the
office, and are aloud to pay. She recommend me a walk along the
southern coast, despite the weather. Considering the time and lack of sun
anyway, I give it a go. A bit down the trail, I meet one of the
locals. She is out to find four renegade sheep, and we have a longer
Then I find the narrow path to the cliffs and eventually the beach.
A bit further up the coast, a big house is found. The grey weather,
the crows murky call, and the entire atmosphere make me think of Tintin and the Black Island. The flora
is interesting from the flowering apples to the many herbs. When I
reach the big house, it turns out to be rather posh after all -
The many, tall and low walls in the area is made from huge granite
boulders, nicely cut, to small sledge stones, nicely put into
patterns. I try to reach the old smuggler's caves, but the waves are
against me. It is real windy, and I realises; I have left with both
umbrella (which have been fixed) and raincoat, and the black clouds
make me return
A bit further down the coast, I was recommended
Michaels Mount. Both the castle, but especially the subtropical
garden should be worth a visit. And as they are owned by the
National Trust, I get free access with my
new membership. Parking on the mainland, on the other hand, is a
effective operation with many employed.
It is now low tide, and I can walk out there, and now I remember
both umbrella and raincoat. If I had been smart, I would have
brought my knitted hat as well. A cobblestone path leads to the tall
island, topped with a 11th century monastery. It have later been
reformed to castle and was restored in 1878. A small village
clings to the rocks at the harbour, but despite the cafes, I head
straight for the garden, considering it is kind of dry at the
It is fare from a large garden, but it is real special and well
maintained. It sits on the steep, nearly vertical southern cliffs,
and have a wide variety of flowering plants and succulents. I just
wished it also had sun....
I try to get some good pictures despite the lack of sun, but getting
fare enough away from the beds, causes a problem at the steep cliffs.
It have originally been laidout somewhere around 1730, and many of
the steps and walls seem original. Despite I'm cold to the bone, I
do several tours up and down it.
Hoping for a bit of shelter, I then seek out the
castle. The ancient stairs up to it, is the Pilgrims Steps, but
inside, no humbleness can be found. The interior from the 1700 to
1900 seems intact, and the large hall even have a fireplace. The
stained glass windows are fantastic, especially in the church. In
some of the hallways, portraits of present inhabitants way back to
century can be seen. Only the urge for a sandwich draws me out in
the drizzle. And then it turns out I'm too early, I can only get
cakes for now. Well, that have to do. I find a old and deep sofa,
and try to warm up.
When I'm heading back to the car, the tide have gone in, and I have
to take the ferry. Well, it is just a little boat, but it does the
I go back through the rather big town of
Penzance, which would be a nice visit - a sunny day. Instead, I head
for the significantly smaller village of Mousehole. Here, the rain
is lighter, and soon stops. I wished the wind would do so too.
is a little fishing village, which seems to have been adopted
The narrow streets and passages, the old houses, the hilly
environment and the harbour make is a real nice place to wander
around. I want to return one sunny day.
My next sight was supposed to be The Scilly
Islands, but the weather is even worse there. Instead, I turn in to
Trengwainton Garden. It is a bit rough, but have some
areas. Especially the Walled Garden, with both vegetables and
flowering herbs and trees are a real treat. Again, the tree-ferns and
Rhododendrons create a great frame for the rest of the plants, along
with a few creeks and the hilly landscape in
At the top, just below the mansion, a vide terrace provides a
magnificent view all the way out to the sea - a clear day. The
ancient brick-stone walls are overgrown with thick layers of mosses,
just as the stems from the huge trees.
It is getting late, and I start looking for a
place to park for the night. I think I might find it on my route to
the next site, but that fails. Instead, I get to drive a fantastic,
narrow, winding and real
interesting road - through thick fog. I will do this west-cost road
a clear day. I return to a larger
road, a campsite turns up, and I call it a day. I sit and working in
the gaming-room, but it is real cold, and I feel so much like going
back to the car and start it, just to get some heat. Considering
this is as fare south as I go, I really fear the northern Wales by
Despite the risk of loosing some fingers to frost, I make some
slideshows with the day's impressions.
Then I finish up the recent day's general photos in
It is time to start a new page, but I remain
in the very south, and will explore the Cornwall more on