Client: Lost Gardens of Heligan
Date: October 2019

The famous Lost Gardens of Heligan is our longest-standing client, having been with us since the 1990s.

Heligan lay lost and forgotten for decades before a chance discovery lead to its salvation. Now, 200 acres of fields, farmland, working gardens and woodland have been restored. We’re proud to have worked with The Lost Gardens of Heligan for almost 25 years, watching them grow into one of the greatest gardens in the country.

A lasting partnership

Over the many years we’ve worked together, we’ve come to know the gardens well. So when it came to setting out the Heligan brand, we were able to create the most in-depth guide that we’ve ever produced. This extended brand guide combines values, personality, tone of voice and visual identity with practical advice on how different teams and departments can bring them to life. The result is a handbook that everyone, from gardeners to retail staff, can use to create unique and genuine experiences. 


We’ve helped Heligan through multiple iterations of its website, from early browsers to responsive, phone-friendly experiences. The latest creation, fresh for 2019, represents an era of rebirth and renewal for the gardens, with an inspiring and vibrant design. 

The site brings the gardens’ personality to life using original illustrations by Mally Francis. An animated header image represents the horticultural year in four seasons –­ roses and rhododendrons sit alongside acorns and anemones – while a bumblebee hover state adds a dimension of fun to the main navigation. Hinting at Heligan’s history as a working garden, illustrations also feature produce grown on-site, such as a pineapple, squash and onions. 

Placing user experience at the forefront, we adopted a mobile-first process, designing initially for smaller screens before expanding for larger devices. This ensures that a key audience of on-the-go tourists is able to access information whenever it’s needed. Other subtle inclusions, such as a content-filled homepage, intuitive navigation and prominent cross sells, help to create a smooth user flow and a positive experience that’s reflective of Heligan’s warm and generous personality. 

Lorna Tremayne, Marketing Manager, The Lost Gardens of Heligan

We’ve collaborated with Nixon on multiple projects over the years, so we know that they understand the Heligan brand well and always place this deep knowledge at the heart of their work. Each website they’ve designed and developed for us has improved upon the last, and when it came to commissioning the latest version we absolutely trusted that we’d get a brilliant outcome. We felt that the team really met our needs and our brief, and were able to think strategically in order to identify what would work best, both for our visitors and us. The results have certainly made this project worthwhile, and have made it amazing value for money for us. The whole journey was so easy, both in terms of communication and staying within our timeframe and budget – and everyone was lovely to work with. We look forward to continuing this relationship for years to come.