Baddow & Galleywood

July 2019 Speaker

This meeting once again was well attended and we were pleased to welcome Robin Carsberg who is a Royal Horticultural judge and has been interested in gardens and the environment for many years.

Over a number of years he has concentrated on the flora and fauna or the south west of England, especially the treasures of Cornwall, The Eden Centre and the Lost gardens of Heligan.

The site of the Eden project was a derelict clay pit, and under the auspices of Tim Smit 18 million tons of dirt, clay and gravel were removed and replaced with 90,000 tons of top soil. The work started in 1998 and was opened in 2000 for the millennium. Enormous greenhouses called Biomes were constructed to house Mediterranean, Rain Forest and Outdoor plants, vegetation and shrubs and trees from around the world. There is a Core Education Centre for educating school children in the importance of conservation and ecology protection in the coming years. There is also a special area for growing pineapples and other tropical fruit by adjusting the ventilation and humidity to replicate the tropical atmospheres needed.

Robin then went on to explain how the Lost Gardens of Heligan were reconstructed. These gardens were originally opened in1850 and in operation into the 1900’s but as many of the gardeners went to fight in the First World War and very few of them returned. The gardens then became derelict.

It was after the 1990 hurricane which devastated many areas that a tiny room was discovered in the rubble, and then the remains of store houses and tools sheds appeared and the area was excavated again.

Metal detectors found over 600 metal tags from the original plants and ‘Kings of Coggeshall’ researched these and managed to recreate the gardens as they were many years ago.

Robin illustrated his talk with many lovely slides of the plants and flowers and trees he talked about and kept us all mesmerised by his enthusiasm and knowledge of the gardens.

Our members then enjoyed their refreshments and social chat at the end of the meeting as usual.