Reasons to love Yorkshire – RHS Harlow Carr


It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit RHS Harlow Carr – it’s always inspiring.

We took Adam’s parents for a stroll around on Saturday, it was their first visit and despite it being December 1st the gardens still looked amazing.

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It’s hard to choose a favourite part of Harlow Carr but the areas that inspire me the most are the ultra neat and well thought out vegetable plots, with their recycled plastic raised beds, willow edging and perfectly planted rows. How do they do that?

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The alpine greenhouse is fascinating with an array of delicate plants in sunken pots inside and interesting troughs dotted around the outside. I always spend hours in the alpine zone and it sparked an idea to do an alpine advent on Instagram where I’ll be posting a different alpine each day.

A nice surprise was finding a new greenhouse. Check out the cool chilli and tiny apple decorations inside! The ideas coming out of this place are just endless.


I highly recommend a visit to Harlow Carr. I just think these guys really know what they’re doing and I come away with new ideas and good intentions of planting my vegetables in perfect rows each time…but for some reason I just can’t quite get the look?!

Have you been to Harlow Carr or any of the other RHS gardens?



Talk about matching greenhouse, cold frame, container and water butt envy!

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30 Responses to “Reasons to love Yorkshire – RHS Harlow Carr”

  1. Roy and Tanya December 6, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    we love it too, have to absolutely drag T, kicking and screaming – away from the Alpine house. I must say that the dogwoods look brilliant this year.

    But, because we’re well trained in such things – we found the Horsetail lurking among the bushes. Aha, I thought, no-ones perfect.

    Absolutely recommend Harlow Carr!

    • Anna B December 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Haha! Your comment really made me laugh! It’s an awesome place, glad you love it there too!

  2. Sue@GLAllotments December 6, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    It’s a while since we have visited Harlow Carr – you’ve inspired me to go again.

    The gardens that we have visited are listed with photos on my website although not all are RHS ones.

    If you want to browse click on the About Us tab at the top of my blog – that takes you to my website and there is a Places to Visit button on the left side bar.

    • Anna B December 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

      Hello Sue! Brilliant! I’ll have a good browse on your site this afternoon! :)

  3. croftgarden December 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Thank you for the tour just what I needed on a wet wintry afternoon

    • Anna B December 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      So glad you enjoyed it! I look at some of the photos and I think some don’t look like December at all, nice and warming indeed!! Thanks for dropping by :)

  4. gardeninacity December 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    I’ve haven’t been to England yet, so I haven’t been to Harlowe Carr. One of these days. I love the pictures near the third, fourth, and fifth pictures of the grasses and birches.

    • Anna B December 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      There are some wonderful gardens in the UK. My favourite is the 4th photo of the yukka type plant, the red leaves and the pampas grass. I just don’t think it looks like a December day in Yorkshire at all! Most gardens look bare at the minute. It’s a very interesting garden to visit. I thought Chicago was very green and leafy when I visited but I never got to see any gardens, just the downtown area because I was there for work. The art galleries were great. I’d love to go back. Hope your heated bird bath is still being appreciated by your feathery visitors! Thanks for dropping by again :)

  5. Diana of Elephant's Eye December 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    visiting your new blog via PatientGardener. Those little stacked twig trees have stolen my heart away. And our large poisonous green plastic rain water tanks mean I share your waterbutt envy!

    • Anna B December 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Hello Diana! Thanks so much for visiting! Yes, those little trees are fantastic aren’t they! There’s something cool around every corner at Harlow Carr. I just think everything is so neat, my garden is definitely not neat at all!! Every time I visit I’m completely inspired to try and tidy up!! Thanks again for dropping by :)

  6. notjustgreenfingers December 7, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    I went to Wisley in the summer a couple of years ago…I can only say it was absolutely beautiful.

    • Anna B December 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      I’d love to go there. It’s definitely on my list :)

      • Lynda Appuhamy December 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

        Wisley is my local RHS garden and i can highly recommend a visit there. Having seen your photos I am loving some of the more quirky features I see. So it looks like a trip up north is in order.

        • Anna B December 7, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

          Hi Lynda! There’s always something quirky and interesting going on at Harlow Carr, definitely worth a visit and Harrogate town centre is really nice too. I’m really hoping to visit Wisley next year. Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment :)

  7. djdfr December 7, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Beautiful indeed. I have never visited an RHS garden but have been to Villandry in France where they do fantastic “organized” vegetables. They have a team of gardeners and plan everything out like architects.

    • Anna B December 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

      That’s what I need to learn, the art of vegetable architecture! Villandry sounds great :)

  8. Nadezda December 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Anna, thank you for recommendation, I try to visit this garden when I come to UK.I love the photo of pale grass growing near maples(?), the red branches of dogwood(?) between white trunks, and nice decoration on ‘Christmas tree’. Thank you for sharing!

    • Anna B December 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Hello Nadezda! Thanks so much for your comment :) Good to know that you enjoy visiting Harlow Carr when you’re in the UK. Thanks so much for dropping by :)

  9. angiesgardendiaries December 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Enjoyed your blog. I always feel let down that the RHS don’t have any gardens north of the border. I WILL visit one day. Great inspiration to be had :)

    • Anna B December 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      Hi Angie! Really happy you enjoyed my blog post! I wish there was an RHS garden north of the border too. The more the better! The only garden I’ve been to in Scotland is Edinburgh Botanical Garden. My parents took me there when I was quite young and I loved it, I’m sure that’s another reason why I love gardening now. It all started there!!

  10. petspeopleandlife December 8, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    Very nice photos of the RHS garden. Neat and precise. Wish that I could that with my little piddly garden.

    • Anna B December 8, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      Me too! Thanks so much for your comment :)

  11. PJ Girl December 8, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Beautiful photos! I’ve never been to Harlow Carr but it’s on my wishlist for 2013! The christmas trees with chillies and crab apples are really great. Thanks for sharing your visit :-)

    • Anna B December 8, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Hi PJ girl! It’s definitely worth a visit! I love those decorations too, I have a load of dried chilies that I’m now wondering if I can do anything creative with! Thanks so much for reading and posting :)

      • PJ Girl December 8, 2012 at 9:10 am #

        It’s a pleasure to drop by. The chillies would look fab on a wreath… the great thing about visiting these fabulous gardens is the inspiration you come home with. I’m already thinking about planting a crab apple tree!

        • Anna B December 8, 2012 at 9:12 am #

          That’s so true, I’m thinking exactly the same!! A tree I would never have a ‘use’ for now becomes something I really want!

  12. janine December 9, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    same day i went to RHS wisley and it was a very similar experience. despite being the 1st december the gardens looked gorgeous, some sun rays toned it up. i love your pictures!

  13. Anna B December 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Janine! I definitely have to go to Wisley next year!! Thanks so much for dropping by and for your comment :)

  14. John December 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Never been. We must drag ourselves up there from Bradford. Thanks

    • Anna B December 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      Hiya John! It’s well worth it :)


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