RHS Garden Harlow Carr
|RHS Garden Harlow Carr|
The entrance to Harlow Carr Gardens
|Location||Crag Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England|
|Area||27.5 hectares (68 acres)|
|Founder||Northern Horticultural Society|
|Operated by||Royal Horticultural Society|
The garden is the most recent addition to the RHS, acquired by the merger of the Northern Horticultural Society with the RHS in 2001. It had been the Northern Horticultural Society's trial ground and display garden since they bought it in 1946. In the year ended 31 January 2010 the garden received 217,820 visitors.
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 qGarden
- 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 2s 6d (£0.12 1⁄2) 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. 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.
The bath house now houses the garden study centre. The building was converted in 1958 and contains a meeting room, the library and offices. 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.
The Northern Horticultural Society was founded in 1946 with the objective of:
The Society leased 10.5 hectares 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 10.5 hectares has been extended to 27.5.
Geoffrey Smith, writer and broadcaster, was Superintendent of Harlow Carr from 1954 to 1974.
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