RHS Harlow Carr
Landscape In Harrogate, North Yorkshire
One of the Royal Horticultural Society's flagship gardens in Harrogate.
RHS Harlow Carr is a garden belonging to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. It is one of the RHS's flagship gardens, and is open to the public all year round.
The garden was acquired by the RHS in 2001, following a merger between the Northern Horticultural Society and the RHS, and has since undergone a number of changes and improvements.
The Northern Horticultural Society was established in 1946 with the primary objective of promoting and advancing the science, art, and practice of horticulture, with a particular focus on the unique conditions found in the North of England.
In 1950, the Society leased a 10.5ha (26 acres) plot of land at Harlow Hill from Harrogate Corporation and subsequently opened the Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens. The main purpose of these gardens was to serve as a trial ground for evaluating the suitability of various plant species for growth in northern climates. Over time, the original 10.5ha has been expanded to 23.4ha (58 acres).
The gardens are situated on what was once a part of the Forest of Knaresborough, an ancient hunting ground used by the Royal family. In 1734, springs of sulphur water were discovered on the site, although it took over a century for the development of a spa to take place. In 1840, the estate's owner, Henry Wright, cleaned and protected one of the wells, and four years later, a hotel and bath house were constructed.
The hotel, known as the Harrogate Arms, along with the surrounding land, was acquired by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 2014. Plans are currently underway to restore the building, create new gardens around it, and re-establish its connections with the old bath house. The wellheads in front of the bath house, which were once used by six wells, have been sealed off but remain beneath the present Limestone Rock Garden. At certain times, the distinct smell of sulphur can still be detected in this area.
Since merging with the RHS, the garden has undergone numerous developments, including the establishment of the Montague-Burton Teaching Garden, Gardens Through Time, and the Winter Walk. The Main Borders have also been redesigned to stunning effect, and the Annuals Meadows have been creatively themed with willow-woven sculptures. The Woodland has been regenerated and now features a Rhododendron Glade adorned with spring-flowering bulbs. The Alpine House and the £3.3m Bramall Learning Centre, recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the country, are the latest additions to Harlow Carr.
You can find the following areas at Harlow Carr;
Main Borders (including the White, Mediterranean, Sun and Sub-Tropical Borders).
The Streamside, which runs through the centre of Harlow Carr.
The Winter Walk.
The Kitchen Garden.
The Alpine House.
The Lakeside garden.
The Sub-Tropicana Garden.
The Scented Garden.
The Sandstone Rock Garden and Heather Beds.
The Queen Mother's Lake.
The Teaching Garden.
Bramall Learning Centre and Library.
There is also a branch of Betty's Tea Rooms at Harlow Carr although the queue is usually very large, we found the smaller Kiosk within the gardens had a shorter, faster queue and was good far sandwiches and a sausage roll!
How To Find RHS Harlow Carr
Contributed by Andrew Gardner
I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.More Places from Andrew
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