On Saturday I went with my daughter on a little trip over the Harrogate to Harlow Carr Gardens, a small garden run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). They have a Betty’s Tea Rooms there so we went for lunch, sitting outside to enjoy the glorious day (warm and sunny for the first time this year!) and the gorgeous view over the terrace.
I love going to Harrogate and the green open spaces there are always beautiful but I haven’t been to the Harlow Carr gardens for many years. I don’t really even remember when the last time was. Its a bit early in spring to really appreciate it – in June it hosts the Harrogate Flower Show – a very busy and hugely colourful event when the garden is really at its height.
Even so, it was lovely to stroll around the garden after lunch and a quick look around the tea room shop. Its rhododendron time and the garden has many old and large rhododendron shrubs, all laden with colourful blooms.
The garden isn’t that big at 58 acres but it has many paths winding around it with secret places, playgrounds for children, exhibition centres and plenty of stops for ice cream and tea.
History of Harlow Carr Gardens
The garden was opened as the Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens in 1950 by the Northern Horticultural Society, which merged with the RHS in 2001. It was set up to grow plants in our northern English climate to find out what thrived and what didn’t. Clearly the rhododendrons, mostly from the Himalayas just love it here…
Before that it was within the Forest of Knaresborough, the town nearby where I visit often, and was originally a Royal hunting ground. In the 1730s a sulphur spring was found on the site and a century later, the land on which the garden now sits was developed as a spa with a bath house and hotel. Apparently the original building and the land around this hotel was bought by the RHS a couple of years ago and plans are afoot to restore it and surround it with newly planted gardens.
That would be really good and would add to the things to do here on a relaxing day out in spring or summer.
Unsurprisingly, I took loads of photographs so I’ll keep the words of this post short and sweet and let you revisit our lovely afternoon walk… see you at the end of the week with the latest episode of the Crafternoon Treats Crochet podcast xxxx