"Heligan: Fruit, Flowers and Herbs" celebrates the abundance of the award-winning productive gardens at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. With derelict structures restored to working order, the range of traditional crops now cultivated and harvested by hand is beginning to reflect the output of the gardens in their late Victorian heyday. This book tells the stories of reconstruction behind increasingly well-known features - the beautiful apple arches in the Vegetable Garden, the unique pineapple pit in the Melon Yard and the historically significant Paxton House in the Flower Garden. It conveys the central value - and character - of a committed and hard-working garden team, whose expertise increases as the seasons pass.
Meeting a broad range of horticultural challenges, they nurture crops to exceptional beauty, scent and flavour - from the delicate early narcissi and jewel-like peach blossom (hand-pollinated to secure trugs of perfect, succulent fruits in season), to the massive borders of tall, crazy, colourful antirrhinums, which delight visitors at the height of Summer; from unarguably the best-flavoured Royal Sovereign strawberries and succulent melons cradled to ripeness in their hand-knotted nets, to the last harvest home - anemones for Christmas. "Heligan: Fruit, Flowers and Herbs" is a mine of practical information as well as a visual feast. Together with its companion volume, "The Heligan Vegetable Bible" (Cassell Illustrated, 2002), it provides a comprehensive record of varieties grown at Heligan, including suppliers, and is the product of a decade of rich endeavour by many of the staff at 'The Nation's Favourite Garden' (BBC1 TV Gardeners' World).
Philip McMillan Browse is a horticultural consultant, and has been Director of the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation in California and Director of the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden at Wisley. He has been Horticultural Director of the Lost Gardens of Heligan since its modern beginnings and is one of the originators of the Eden Project. His publications include Palms for Cooler Climates (1993), and Plant Propagation (1979). He is co-author of The Heligan Vegetable Bible (2000), and General Editor of Gardening on the Edge: Drawing on the Cornwall Experience (Alison Hodge, 2004).