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Explore the Himalayan Garden at Harewood House

The Himalayan Garden at Harewood is a marvelous place to explore during spring. The bright colours of the rhododendrons, the fresh green leaves in the trees create a wonderful atmosphere which is a complete contrast to the formal Terraces which Harewood is best known for. It’s a place which includes a massive variety of naturalised planting which has matured since it’s creation in 2007. Here are a few highlights visitors to the garden can enjoy now.

Spring Blooms at Harewood

Visit the Terrace at Harewood in Yorkshire

Next year is an important year for the gardens due to the ‘Capability’ Brown Tercentenary celebrations with our own exhibition programme forming part of Harewood’s response. All eyes will be on the gardens and landscape so we want them to look their very best. We have reintroduced a tulip scheme in the Terrace borders to give a strong early season display. We have planted 3,600 grape hyacinths in the Pyramid beds on the West Upper Terrace, with the deep purple foliage of Heuchera being included as part of the scheme.

Throughout winter we have been busy planting thousands of bulbs along the Lakeside and within the Bird Garden naturalising the space. With 10,000 English Bluebells, over 1,000 Snake’s Head Fritillary and 7,000 botanical daffodils (Narcissi) introduced on the grassy slopes, spring promises to be filled with colour. That’s not all! 4,000 Wood Anemones, Cyclamen and many more have been planted to enrich these woodland gardens.

Our major project work however has been concentrated in the Bird Garden with tonnes of overgrown shrubbery being removed. New views across the Lake have been opened up and we have an exciting planting scheme to follow which will be introduced throughout 2016.
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We are all looking forward to seeing you again at Harewood this season.

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:

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.

Autumn Highlights in the Gardens at Harewood

October plant borders at Harewood House in Yorkshire

With hundreds of acres of rolling landscape adorned with stately trees and framed by mixed woodlands, the grounds at Harewood are well-known for their spectacular autumn colour. But look a little closer, beyond its misty valleys and sylvan slopes – into the gardens – and you’ll be rewarded with an array of hidden gems to discover at Harewood this autumn.

Bejewelled with exotic plants, the Terrace flower borders are a sight to behold as they drip with colour during late summer and autumn. Just when some of the more traditional summer flowers begin to fade, the rich hues of more tender subjects, such as dahlias and salvias, burst onto the scene, adding drama and verve to complement the more muted, velvety tones of such autumn stalwarts as asters and sedums.

Red Hot Pokers in the gardens at Harewood House in Yorkshire

A walk along the Archery Border reveals a whole host of trees and shrubs from all over the world. These provide a framework of ornate leaves and stems, through which, is woven a tapestry of hot colours as displayed by such plants as stately red hot pokers, ornamental gingers and devil’s tobacco.
Notes from Trevor Nicholson, Head Gardener

Walled Garden update…heritage varieties and organic techniques to prevent pests

Since we’ve had all that rain and, now that the sun has come out, the vegetable crops are growing really well in the Walled Garden!

Releasing ladybirds
Simpson Lettuce
Carot-fly barrier protects crops without using chemicals
Globe Artichokes
Grape Vines in the Glasshouses (not currently accesible to visitor, but watch this space!)
Lettuce Rows
Onions growing well…

We’re using various organic techniques to prevent pests, including putting fine gauze around the carrot plots to act as a barrier against carrot root fly.

There are some interesting heritage varieties to be seen now too. On some of the indoor crops, instead of using chemicals to control pests such as ‘mealy bugs’ we are using a specially-bred ladybird which eats them!

Visit the Walled Garden at Harewood…

Read more about the Walled Garden including videos, recipes and more!