Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Holiday - Part 2 Monday 14/04/08

We visited The Eden Project on Monday and had a lovely day. It was busy but not too bad. The only place we really noticed the number of visitors was inside the biomes, but it didn't stop us looking around and enjoying the views. It was fascinating to see the different levels of tropical forest and the flowering plants. Many of these are our house plants, no wonder they struggle to cope with our centrally heated houses when normally the tropical biome is kept at 78% humidity during the day and 99% at night.
From the inside you could also see the construction of the biomes with the indivdual hexagons which are based on soap bubbles - the architect found inspiration whilst washing up. Each hexagon bubble is triple layered and filled with air. Each bubble is supported internally.
We stopped for lunch before visiting the Mediterrean climate biome, which was also very beautiful. It was also cooler and drier at this time of year. It covers the Mediterrean climate regions of the US, South America and South Africa as well as the Mediterranean in Europe and had lots of plants which we do grow in our gardens in England. Some of these plants may need a south facing wall for protection from the worst of the English winters or are summer bedding, in the case of the daisies from South Africa. There was a restaurant with both hot and cold food together with a huge gift shop. If you buy your tickets in advance online and gift aid the payment you then get a years free membership. We spent all day there and came back to our hotel happily tired and footsore, our heads full of all the wonderful things we had seen.
Tuesday - We visited The Lost Gardens of Heligan near St Austell. We had another good day and enjoyed following the paths around the formal garden and vegetable garden. Most of the vegetables are just being sown but in a month or so will be sprouting. We stopped for lunch at the Stewards House and ate the most delicious freshly homemade rolls filled with local cheese and ham. After lunch we continued our walk down into the Jungle Garden, it felt as though we were walking into the valley of the dinosaurs from the film Jurassic Park. There were walkways along the valley, taking you down to the bottom and back up to the top. There are even Praying Mantis insects around on the plants, one of the visiting ladies found one and showed it to us and other visitors who came past as it had climbed onto her sleeve. There were very tall palm trees aged 100 years plus; Monkey Puzzle trees 30-50ft tall as well as thickets of Black Bamboo with canes the thickness of my wrist. At the base of the valley was a stream which filled shallow ponds which were full of Water Lillies. We made our way back along the woodland path, stopping to look at the Grey Lady and the Mud Maid and finally the Green Giant. Near the exit there was another shop and restaurant where we stopped for tea. We enjoyed our day looking at the gardens, but if you've never been before you must remember to keep looking up as some of the trees are over a hundred years old and very tall. We didn't visit the Lost Valley because Tony's foot was hurting but we will return again, perhaps to see it in a different season.

4 comments:

Lesley said...

Your holiday sounds wonderful Jane! We went to the Eden Project shortly after it opened and I'd love to return to see how it has developed. I've always wanted to visit Heligan. We're in North Cornwall in the summer so I may have to work on Moogsdad to take us there!!

Lovely photos :)

xxx

Alison Boon said...

The Eden Project is so fascinating isn't it. You could spend hours and hours there. Thanks for sharing the pictures

Alison said...

Glad you enjoyed your Cornish holiday...Eden Project is amazing isn't it:-)

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time! Lucy x