Monday, March 3

RHS - Harlow Carr

Today we made a second attempt to visit the RHS garden nearest to us - Harlow Carr. We did attempt a visit last month but only managed to visit the alpine house before the heavens opened and we had to abandon our visit. That visit did have one highlight in that we caught a glimpse of red kites wheeling above the gardens. This time the kites didn't put in an appearance but we did manage to see more of the gardens.

There was far more colour than we had expected.


I love the shape of bare trees and that you can really appreciate the beauty of the bark.
 The bare stems of the cornus glowed in the sunshine.
 Mark you would have loved them!
Most of the trees were under-planted with impressive drifts of spring bulbs - crocuses, cyclamen coum, snowdrops, scilla, puschkinia and masses of varieties of iris reticulata


We would have really liked to have come home with some iris reticulata but unfortunately the plant sales area didn't have many for sale. I guess I'll have to search some out elsewhere. We did come away with one or two things though.

As well as a surprising amount of colour there were also one or two other surprises hiding amongst the planting.
For more photos visit Martyn's blog here.

29 comments:

  1. The colour of the iris against those stems is stunning. You've had better weather than us today Sue. We're off to Wisley in the morning hope we're as lucky.

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    1. It's dull here at the moment today, Victoria - I hope it is better for you. At least Harlow Carr is near enough for us to react to the weather rather than plan ahead.

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  2. The iris and crocus are amazing this time of year. I'm a fan of heather so I really like the top photo. Heathers are very reasonably priced and can make a nice show all on their own. I think I may add some new heathers this year.

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    1. We used to have a heather patch in the garden but haven't anywhere suitable now, Kelli. They look lovely en masse and the bees love them

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  3. Scale. That's the thing which we domestic gardeners struggle with. We have a dozen or two Iris Reticulata, but THEY have thousands of them! Doesn't it make you jealous?

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    1. You are absolutely correct,Mark and just think of the cost!

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  4. We are all at it. I went to Rosemoor this weekend. It's lovely to see the gardens set out in such splendour. True inspiration.

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    1. It is, Jessica and you have the space to replicate some bits.

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  5. These bulbs are beautiful. As Mark says, the quantities produce a very different effect.

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    1. I think another thing is that they are closely planted, Alain whereas I tend to spread them around in the hope that they eventually bulk up.

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    1. It is one of the colours of the moment, Endah

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  7. What did you think of the scarecrows?

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    1. We missed that area for some reason and only saw them at a distance, L. I did zoom in and take one photo though - was it a competition?

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    2. I think it was an activity/exhibition for half-term but they did look as though they were crucified.

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  8. Beautiful colours, I do love all the spring bulbs.

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    1. So do I, Jenny. Their display is over far too quickly.

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  9. The bulbs look just lovely, oh for the space!!

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  10. There's so much colour, you wouldn't think there would be at this time of year, but the bulbs put on a spectacular show, especially when planted en masse like that. I've let my RHS membership lapse because we've got Archie now and dogs aren't allowed in the gardens. There's free entry to the RHS gardens this Friday for non members, I wish they'd have it on a weekend so I could leave Archie at home with someone.

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    1. It's such as shame how many places have an anti-dog attitude. I'd pay an entrance fee when I wanted to take Tivvy which would help weed out the irresponsible dog owners. As she is only with us some of the time being mostly with my sister it isn't as big a problem for us.

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  11. That's a lovely cheerful bulb display. Pity you didn't see the kites. We have a few round here most days and they are very impressive.

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    1. We weren't too disappointed about the kites as we saw quite a few on our last visit,

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  12. I love those dogwoods, I'm hoping mine grow in the back and end up like that next winter. The crocus in the lawn are so pretty, and I laughed at that wonderful giant spade!!!xxx

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    1. The dogwoods respond to being pruned hard don't they, Snowbird. It's hard to see on the photo but their is a metal bird on top of the spade!

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  13. Lovely pics again Sue! I am liking crocuses (crocii??) more and more this year. Does Harlow Carr have any problems with squirrels eating the insides of crocuses? I used to work at Chiswick Park in West London and in early spring the squirrels would make a right mess of the crocuses- must have been a really special snack for them!

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    1. The mystery crocuses - crocii? There were squirrels in their wooded area, Jill but they didn't appear to venture out to where the crocuses were.

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  14. Hard to beat massed bulbs under trees, and those drifts of crocuses in the grass are magical. I really like the massed dogwoods too, so hard to replicate in a small garden without paying the price of a rather somber border for the rest of the year.

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    1. I was contemplating crocuses in our lawn, Janet.

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