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Developments in the Walled Garden at Harewood…

The ‘Dig for Victory’ bed is starting to show results…with peas, beans and potatoes looking promising…

As well as the three varieties we are growing as part of the ‘Dig for Victory’ plot, we have a further ten different varieties of potato growing in the Walled Garden.

Crops in the Walled Garden are all labelled so you can take a look for yourself and get tips and ideas for growing in your own garden!

Gardeners are always on hand and happy to answer questions too…

The Walled Garden is a hive of activity throughout the Summer months, harking back to its heyday when it would have been the centre of food production for the Estate.

Some of the varieties we grow…


Arran Victory was bred in the Isle of Arran by Donald Mackelvie. Victory, the oldest of the “Arrans” still grown, was named in 1918 in celebration of the ending of the war. It is rare and is one of only two blue skinned varieties still available for general cultivation. It is high yielding given a long season.


Home Guard. This first early variety was first introduced in 1942 and was grown by Jeremy Shirley’s father in the late 1940’s – the Dad’s Army Days!
Home Guard is a superior potato of excellent flavour that does not go floury like some varieties. Both the skin and flesh is pure white. High yielding and with good resistance to scab, this explains why this popular wartime variety found huge commercial success – and has continued to remain one of the gardener’s favourites since WWII.

Kelvedon Wonder has been a favourite with gardeners for many years. It is an early variety but is suitable for successional sowings throughout the season.

Bean, Broad
Green Windsor. Those of you old enough to recall those great old days of English gastronomy just after the last war will remember that the choice of starters for a 3-course, table d´hote (à la carte had yet to be invented) meal was either fruit juice or the ubiquitous Brown Windsor Soup. Introduced in 1831, this ever popular variety was once one of the main ingredients of said soup.


You can read more about the Walled Garden on our website, including the free beekeeping demonstrations run by the Harrogate & Ripon Beekeepers Association which take place in the Walled Garden on Saturdays from now for the rest of the Summer.

Enjoy the Gardens at Harewood this Summer!

Read more about the Gardens at Harewood here…

New bumblebee lodges in the Walled Garden…

Gardens - Installing Bumblebee Lodges Helen

In response to the global crisis in bee populations bumblebee ‘lodges’ are being installed in amongst the vegetable and fruit beds and orchard in the Walled Garden at Harewood for the second year.

Head Gardener Trevor explains it’s all part of Harewood’s conservation and sustainability strategy, “We use bumblebees to help with pollination in the orchard and vegetable garden. Bumblebees carry more pollen, visit more flowers and work at lower temperatures than the average honey bee and we’re keen to support British bumblebee populations as much as we can.” The Beepol bumblebee ‘lodges’ were installed last year for the first time and were a great success with bees buzzing happily in the borders.

Bumblebee approaching wax moth guard

What’s new this year, is a wax-moth-guard which attaches to each of the Beepol Lodges…

The nests and hives of a number of different bee species, including bumblebees, are sometimes invaded by wax moths. Wax moths lay their eggs within or close to the bee nests and the larvae hatch then disperse into the nest feeding on the contents. If nests are invaded during the early stage, then the wax moth infestation is often fatal.

Amazingly, the bumblebees soon learn how to push open the guard to leave and return to the nest. Wax moths however, are neither strong enough or clever enough to do this! It’s a great chemical-free solution.

Bumblebee-friendly flowers in the Walled Garden

You can find out more about the Beepol Lodges, and wax-moth-guards on the Beepol website, and Beepol Lodges will shortly be available to purchase from our Bookshop and Plant Stall in Terrace Cottage here at Harewood.

Gardens have become such important places for bees – here at Harewood the Gardens Team also make a point of growing bee-friendly plants such as salvias, catmint, raspberries, lavender, green manures such as phacelia, and other flowering shrubs.

Beekeeping Taster Days and Demonstrations…

Beekeeping taster day

The Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association also have a working apiary in the Walled Garden where they run Beekeeping Taster Days and demonstrations throughout the summer, helping people to find out more about bees and get some hands-on experience if they are thinking about keeping their own…

Explore the delights of the Walled Garden this summer!

Click here to visit the gardens webpages for videos, recipes and more…

Working on the Borders this Summer…

Work is in progress on the Terrace today…various flowers are currently on display in the Terrace Borders…

Pruning Rose Ophelia

Box Hedging before trimming

Flower borders in June with Ophelia Rose and Dictamus Fraxinella

Trimmed Box Hedging

Clipping the roses in the Border

Cutting the Box hedging on the Terrace Parterre

Spring bedding on the Terrace Parterre

Cutting the Parterre, trimming the Box Hedge, clipping the roses, planting the Spring bedding…it’s a busy time of year in the Gardens!

Find out more on our Gardens webpages…

Harewood Discovery in the Yorkshire Post…

In case you missed it in the paper, the Yorkshire Post were intrigued by a recent discovery made during current refurbishment work on the offices at Harewood House.

We’re not talking about a piece of unknown Chippendale or a Turner watercolour, but a brief insight into the lives of two workmen who were working at Harewood on 14th April 1912 –  an anniversary that’s been much talked about recently following the centenary anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Found behind a panel on a doorway, E Sunderland and E Wilton wrote:

Titanic Discovery

Titantic Disaster
Sunday April 14th 1912
1503 persons drowned
705 persons saved
Commander Capt: Smith
This disaster happened near [illegible].
The boat was the largest afloat and on her maiden voyage.
E Sunderland
E Wilton
Painters

Robert Kay, Harewood’s chief decorator, who himself has worked at Harewood for 37 years, knew of Edgar Sunderland from his predecessor who remembered the man.  ‘He was well known for leaving time capsules and notes around the House.  We recently found photographs and newspaper cuttings behind a wall in the State Gallery from 1886.  It’s a wonderful way to enjoy and find out more about the legacy of people working at Harewood and we never know what we might find next.  I started work on the door panel on 14th May and it was eerie finding this exactly 100 years and one month from the date of the sinking, particularly as this year sees the centenary.’

Henry, 6th Earl of Harewood would have been in his early twenties on this date and the rooms continued to be used by the Lascelles’ family through the childhood’s of the 7th Earl of Harewood, who died in July last year, and his son David Lascelles, the 8th Earl of Harewood and his brothers.

In the early 1980s , Harewood revealed its most extraordinary find, handpainted Chinese wallpaper which had originally hung in the Chintz Bedroom in 1769 by Chippendale’s men.  But as fashions changed, it was removed, stored and forgotten for almost 2 centuries.  This fabulous wallpaper was conserved and re-hung in the newly refurbished East Bedroom for visitors to enjoy in 2008.

Harewood continues to evolve, both as a visitor destination and a major player in Yorkshire’s heritage.  The University of York is currently engaged in an archaeological dig on the site of Gawthorpe, which was the predecessor to Harewood House.  The dig will form a major element of Harewood’s major forthcoming Medieval Faire at the end of June and the 5 year celebration of Medieval at Harewood.  This is the second summer students from the University of York have been working in the grounds and finds continue to astound.

Harewood continues to provide clues to its history, some that we search for and some that we come upon by chance.  Harewood and its people might change across the centuries, but if anything is a constant here, it is change and Harewood looks forward to embracing finds in the future …. now where did Robert put that Jubilee time capsule?

Visit Harewood this Summer… Discover the House, Grounds and Gardens – you can check our opening times and prices on our website

News from the Bookshop…

Bookshop - Terrace Cottage

You may have noticed trestle tables outside the bookshop with a glorious display of healthy plants for sale including flowers, herbs and vegetables….the new plant stall at the bookshop is open!

Call into the Bookshop on your next visit to Harewood…

We have hardbacks and paperbacks, books for adults, books for children and a comfy area for you to kick back, relax, enjoy a cup of coffee and browse the books at you leisure.

Harewood Second-hand Bookshop is run by a team of volunteers and depends entirely on donations…

All proceeds help fund educational projects around Harewood House and Gardens and the Bookshop run events and activities to promote reading to the young and old.

We are currently desperate for music CDs, so if you are spring cleaning your collections, we would love to have any unwanted copies you may have…

Shhhhhhh….the Clandestine Cake Club comes to Harewood, read the bookshop newsletter to find out more… There’s also still time to enter our Favourite Five survey to let us know your top reads.

Read more on the Bookshop webpage…