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Moving Mirrors at Harewood

Moving Mirrors at Harewood
Standing at approximately 150cm wide by 200cm high, this Chippendale mirror has taken four men about two hours to move. One of 24 Chippendale mirrors at Harewood House, this particular piece has been in the Watercolour Rooms since 1994, however, its original location remains unknown.

Thomas Chippendale’s largest commission was Harewood House and many of the original items remain within the collection. As one of Britain’s finest furniture makers, Chippendale created rare and beautiful furniture for the Lascelles family almost 250 years ago.

Secrets of the Himalayan Garden

Harewood is renowned for its beautiful gardens and inspiring planting schemes. In the Himalayan Garden, which is at its peak between April and July, the stream, rock garden, waterfall and mature planting give this enclave of the grounds a natural, untamed feel, not unlike being in a miniature version of a Himalayan valley.

Harewood House in Yorkshire has a wild garden

Harewood’s Himalayan Garden contains many rare and unusual plants, many of which were introduced by intrepid plant explorers, and include Blue Poppies, Cobra Lilies, Primulas and Orchids, all planted amidst a host of trees, shrubs, rhododendrons and bamboos.

What to look out for?

Rare plants grown in Harewood House in Yorkshire

These must include the famous Blue Poppies of the genus Meconopsis from the Sino-Himalayan region. There are several kinds of Chinese and Himalayan poppies growing in the Himalayan Garden and many more are being planted this spring. They’re not all blue either, other colours include lemon, white, pink and red. Some species grow as small Alpine plants on thin soil in the rock garden, whilst others can grow to 2 metres on humus-rich, moist soil in the woodland garden.


Rare Terrestrial Orchids at Harewood House in Yorkshire


If you’re looking for orchids there are several types growing in the Himalayan Garden, mainly in the gorge and rock garden area. Terrestrial orchids representing genera such as Pleione, Cypripedium and Calanthe can be found at Harewood.



Harewood House has unusual plants in the gardensCobra Lilies of the genus Arisaema are an exciting and unusual addition to any garden. There are several species growing at Harewood, all of which are very striking plants with their distinctive snake-like appearance. They are very variable too with some having large reticulated hoods with long appendages and very large leaves, whilst some are short and slender with club-like appendages and narrow leaves. One species even has a cobra-like hood and a twisted tongue-like appendage and can grow up to 2 metres tall. Keep a look out for this striking plant in July.


Primulas are grown at Harewood House in Yorkshire


One of the simplest and most striking plants to grow in the Himalayan Garden is the “Candelabra” primula. Flowering between May and June, this is a robust spieces, thriving in wet soils. From western Sichuan, the bright pink flowers stand out against the pale silver stems.


Rhododendron grow at Harewood House in Yorkshire

One of the finest displays of colour at Harewood in spring is derived from the hundreds of species and hybrid rhododendrons that grow throughout the grounds. From dwarf species with tiny leaves and flowers growing in rock crevices in the gorge to tree rhododendrons standing upwards of 20 feet tall with large trusses of funnel-shaped flowers growing in the woodland garden, there is a huge variety of colour and form here. The best time to see the rhododendrons in flower is between April and June, although we do have a beautifully fragrant white-flowered species which flowers in late summer. This is Rhododendron auriculatum which was HRH Princess Mary’s favourite.

Top Tips for Growing Rhododendron from our Head Gardener:

Trevor has been caring for Harewood’s gardens for over 20 years now and has some hints to help you choose and successfully grow rhododendrons in your own garden.

  1. Choose the right rhododendron for your particular site and buy quality plants from a good nursery. There are so many different kinds of Rhododendron available to suit all kinds of situations. Ask at the nursery for advice on the best rhododendrons for your site.
  2. Plant in moisture-retentive acid soil. Good drainage is also important, and on some sites it is better to plant in a shallow scoop, firm in with soil and then mound-up to the top of the root-ball with compost rather than to plant in a pit. At Harewood, we add compost at planting but prefer to add this to the upper part of the root-ball rather than sitting the plant onto a layer of compost, which then sinks leaving the plant sitting in a sump which collects water, especially in winter.
  3. Keep your plants healthy by applying an ericaceous fertiliser annually in early spring, and giving them a plentiful supply of water during the summer months, followed by a mulch of leaf mould in the autumn.

Don’t forget to come and visit Harewood when we open in April to see these beautiful plants at their best.

Harewood nominated for Landmark of the Year award

Six months on from the Tour de France, following the magnificent Grand Depart event, Harewood House has been nominated to win Landmark of the Year 2014-15, a BBC Countryfile award.  Going up against Shakespeare’s Birth Place Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, Llanddwyn Island Lighthouse on Anglesey, The Kelpies in Falkirk and Dark Hedges in Armoy, Harewood will compete for the award in a public vote.

Lord Harewood said, “The Grand Depart was a great occasion for Yorkshire and I’m really proud that Harewood was able to play its part in it. Everything came right on the day – even the weather – and that’s a tribute to the hard work, energy and commitment of so many people, both here and across the county.”

Harewood House at the start of the 2014 Grand Depart

The weekend was a fantastic spectacle of sport, community and entertainment which resonated around the world. Harewood stood at the start of the race as a true Yorkshire icon, hosting thousands of spectators including their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The sight of the peloton approaching the historic building as the Red Arrows flew overhead was one of the moments of the day, prompting race bosses to describe the start of the 2014 Tour de France as “the grandest Grand Depart ever”.

Harewood House welcomed the Royal Family

July 2014: HRH Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry open the 2014 Tour de France at Harewood

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said, “The Tour de France was an amazing showcase for Yorkshire. Harewood House was a magnificent backdrop and helped raise Yorkshire’s profile around the world.”

Vote for Harewood:

To whittle down the contenders, BBC Countryfile asked experts in each field to draw up shortlists of candidates. They are now asking members of the public to vote for their favourites via post, email (awards@countryfile.com) and on the BBC Countryfile Magazine website, http://www.countryfile.com/article/landmark-year-201415.