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Progress in the Learning Garden!

The Harewood Learning team have this Monday begun work on the Harewood Learning Garden, and have learnt first hand the hard work of gardening!

Our aims of the first gardening session were to clear the corner of the garden ready for our pond area to be built, and begin work on our habitat pile.  The corner of the garden in the picture below is going to be where we dig our pond, so the first job of the day was to clear everything from this corner, before any digging could begin.  After raking leaves up from the area to become our pond, we soon came up against a large barrier in the form of a very troublesome shrub called a Philadelphus.  With very deep roots, this shrub was well and truly rooted in the ground, and consequently delayed our preparation of the pond area, as we were unable to remove it!

The Philadelphus shrub, which needed to be removed before the digging of the pond could begin

All the leaves raked from the area and the Philadelphus shrub still not removed!

After battling with the Philadelphus shrub, our next job in the garden was to rake the many dead leaves that had fallen in the flower beds.  This was a long job, as the piles of leaves were very deep, and we had been told to watch out for toads, who liked the damp piles of dead leaves!

The flowerbeds of the Learning Garden, ready for raking

All the leaves we raked had to be collected, as we would be using them to make our habitat pile, in another area of the garden.

For the habitat pile, we needed to rake all the leaves into a very large mound, in our wilderness garden.  Once the leaves were all in a pile, we gathered lots of branches and twigs from the garden, and laid them on top of the leaf pile, to creat our habitat pile, which we will continue to add to next week.

Further progress on the garden to follow…

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A new Learning Garden at Harewood…

The team at Harewood House are excited to introduce our new project for 2012, our Harewood Learning Garden, based in the garden of our Second Hand Bookshop at Terrace Cottage.

Trevor Nicholson, our Head Gardener here at Harewood will be leading this project, along with Jennifer Auty, Head of Learning,and the team at the Bookshop, fronted by Audrey Kingsnorth.

Using the proceeds from the extremely successful Second Hand Bookshop the team at Harewood will develop a ‘Learning Garden’, with local schools invited to take part in the care and growth of the garden.

The garden will be a focussed biodiversity and wildlife garden used for teaching children about the importance of gardening, wildlife, habitats, insects and plants.

Biodiversity is defined as the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, meaning that different plants and wildlife species will create a multi-layered habitat in the garden.

By combining sustainable practice with planting and features to increase biodiversity, the garden will offer a species-rich habitat for a range of garden insects and mammals. It will also provide a unique and rich learning experience for its visitors. The garden will offer a wealth of habitats for wildlife including:

  • Insect boxes
  • A pond
  • Bee and butterfly friendly plants
  • Log shelters/habitat piles
  • Compost heap
  • Bird boxes
  • Bat boxes
  • Hedgehog hides

The garden of the Second Hand Bookshop at Terrace Cottage is the site of our new Learning Garden

The garden will be split into two areas –

The ‘formal’ garden behind the bookshop will continue to have a lawned central area, but the borders will become a vegetable plot, herb garden, flower border, mixed shrubs, and a fern and woodland area.

The ‘paddock’ area to the side of the garden, accessed via the wooden gate will become a ‘wilderness’ garden. This will contain compost bays (for leaf mould and general compost), a wormery (potentially suppied by Willyworms), an insect lodge, habitat piles, and willow sculptures and nature themed artwork.

Our Learning Department and Gardening Team will be starting work on the garden from this Monday, to begin our fanatstic new project.

We will keep you updated with all the progress of our garden – subscribe to our blog!

The Harewood Learning Team.

Digging Up the Past..

In April this year Harewood will become the field-study school for the whole University of York Department of Archaeology. Over 80 students as well as the University of York archaeologists will be digging the site of ‘Gawthorpe’ the medieval manor house that stood on the site before the current Harewood House was completed in 1771.

Education sessions will allow school groups to explore the dig, get their hands dirty digging and talk to the archaeologists. Workshops, lectures and public tours of the dig as well as exhibits of finds will make up part of our Medieval Festival event taking place on Sat 16th & Sun 17th July so join us then to find out more!

Visit our What’s On webpages for details of all our forthcoming events…