Heligan’s Sundial Garden

“In the 1896 edition of The Gardener’s Chronicle, this garden was noted to have ‘the finest herbaceous border in Britain’. In summer, its borders are once again bursting with heritage blooms and are a haven for an array of bees and butterflies.”  [source: Heligan website]

The Sundial Garden is a secluded walled garden with wide herbaceous borders full of bright flowers and plants. And a central sundial of course. Several benches give you the opportunity to rest and relax – look at your phone or watch the bees and hoverflies heading for the nectar giving plants or quietly read a book, or write. I’m afraid I just simply sat and people watched for half an hour before taking photos of the lovely flowers and chatting to one of the gardeners. On this visit I made sure I had my camera equipment with me with spare battery and card after last time.

Yellow and purple spires seem to dominate the colour scheme in late summer, with the addition of yellow and orange red hot pokers (Kniphofia) and Helenium, blue (hardy geraniums and cornflowers), pale pink and white softening the borders and a vibrant red clump of Lobelia cardinalis shrieking for attention in one corner. And if anyone can ID those spires of purple plumes I would be very grateful. Agastache? Salvia?

Bees were undoubtedly attracted to the Physostegia virginiana, in turn attracting lots of photographers looking for that perfect bee image. Definitely a plant that will find its way into my garden next year.

As someone who is passionate about flowers this has to be my favourite part of the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

~wander.essence~ photography


  1. beetleypete says:

    Love that chubby bee!
    Google says the flowers are Lupins, but what do I know? 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      There were loads of bees, problem was getting one to be still long enough! And definitely not lupins 😁 Google photo ID on flowers is very hit and miss. But thanks for trying 😍

  2. Sue says:

    I know you don’t like Heligan as much as some gardens, but this area looks lovely

    1. Heyjude says:

      My favourite spot in the gardens.

      1. Sue says:

        I can see why

  3. Ann Mackay says:

    You’ve made me want to visit Heligan. 🙂 Meantime, I enjoyed my virtual visit here.

    1. Heyjude says:

      This is a particularly lovely area if you like plants.

  4. lolaWi says:

    thank you for taking me to Heligan. truly a place of beauty, a photographer’s delight! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Nice to have you join me 🙂

  5. It’s simply beautiful. I could easily sit a while and watch all the comings and goings.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, it is a lovely place to simply sit and watch.

  6. How beautiful, Jude! What a garden so abundant with life and color! Thanks for sharing it. I’ll link it to my October 3 post. 😊

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    It’s been years since I was there, it looks lovely. Not many guesses, could I be right?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not sure Gilly, it had crossed my mind, but if it is astilbe it is different to the ones I have seen before.

  8. So beautiful! I love visiting gardens and have been to quite a few since starting volunteering for the National Garden Scheme.

    1. Heyjude says:

      A marvellous way to see lots of gardens 🙂

  9. Lignum Draco says:

    Absolutely beautiful and serene. I’m afraid I’m no help with identifying the flowers.

  10. susurrus says:

    I think they are astilbes too. These ones have sturdy flowers, but I’ve seen several different types at Holehird gardens. Do you have any pictures showing the leaves – they could offer a clue?

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