RHS Garden Harlow Carr
|RHS Garden Harlow Carr|
|Location||Crag Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England|
|Area||23.4 hectares (58 acres)|
|Founder||Northern Horticultural Society|
|Operated by||Royal Horticultural Society|
The RHS acquired Harlow Carr through its merger with the Northern Horticultural Society in 2001. It had been the Northern Horticultural Society's trial ground and display garden since they bought it in 1946.
The Garden is situated on Crag Lane, off Otley Road (B6162) about a mile and a half from the centre of Harrogate. 
Harlow Carr has:
- Winter Walk
- Kitchen Garden
- Gardens through Time
- The Queen Mother’s Lake
- Wildflower meadow and bird hide
- Humus-rich terraces
- Winter Garden
- Scented Garden
- Foliage Garden
- Annual and perennial displays
- Ornamental Grasses border
- Alpine House
- Learning Centre
Springs of sulphur water were discovered on the site in the 18th century but development of the site as a spa did not take place for over a hundred years. In 1840, the owner of the estate, Henry Wright, cleaned out and protected one of the wells and four years later built a hotel and a bath house. People were charged two shillings and six pence (nominally 121⁄2p but about £11.00 at current prices) to bathe in the warm waters. The gardens were laid out around the bath house and in 1861 the site at Harlow Carr springs was described as:
a sweet secluded spot... the grounds neatly laid out, adorned with a selection of trees, shrubs, flowers, walks, easy seats and shady arbours.
The hotel later became the Harrogate Arms but closed in 2013.
The Northern Horticultural Society was founded in 1946 with the objective of:
The Society leased 10.5 hectares (26 acres) of mixed woodland, pasture and arable land at Harlow Hill from the Harrogate Corporation and it opened the Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens in 1950. The chief aim of the venture was to set up a trial ground where the suitability of plants for growing in northern climates could be assessed. The original area has been extended to 23.4 ha (58 acres).
The bath house was converted in 1958 to contain the library and study centre. More recently it has been used as an exhibition space for arts and crafts. The six well heads in front of the bath house have been capped off but remain beneath the present Limestone Rock Garden. At times there is a smell of sulphur in this area.
A new learning centre was built in 2010 containing classrooms for school visits and adult learning courses, and the library. The latter holds a range of gardening-related books, periodicals and DVDs which can be loaned to RHS members and accessed by any garden visitor.
In 2014 the Harrogate Arms and the land surrounding it was acquired by the RHS with plans progressing to restore the building, create new gardens around it and reintroduce its links with the old bath house.
Geoffrey Smith, writer and broadcaster, was Superintendent of Harlow Carr from 1954 to 1974.
- "ALVA - Association of Leading Visitor Attractions". www.alva.org.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Plan your visit". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 16 May 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Bettys at RHS Garden Harlow Carr". Bettys Online. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "The story of RHS Garden Harlow Carr". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 16 May 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Visit the Library at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire". Retrieved 23 February 2021.
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