A big welcome to you from the staff at Harlow Carr! This is the first of the Gardeners' blogs and so is a bit longer by way of introduction. We hope different members of the garden team will post regular updates but I will kick the blog off. My name is Dean Peckett and I am the Garden Manager responsible for the day to day care of the garden. I've been gardening for over 30 years and am very fortunate in that I get to stroll around the garden on a daily basis and admire its natural beauty. It always amazes me how quickly plants grow at this time of year and the garden is constantly changing and evolving with a vibrant and exciting sense of life. It reminds me that we have to take time out to stop and stare even when we are busy pulling out the weeds!
Early summer is a fabulous time of year, the garden is flourishing and the garden team are starting to see the first rewards of their hard work over the winter months with beautiful plants now coming into flower to include majestic Alliums Mont Blanc and Purple Sensation rising above later flowering perennials on our Main Border. Once the Allium blooms have faded the tidy folk amongst us might cut them down to make way for other plants, but here at Harlow Carr we leave them in situ to dry and become bleached by the sun (yes believe it or not we do get sun!) The dried Allium heads look lovely poking up through clumps of Knautia and Pennisetum in late summer.
A stroll down to the bottom end of the Main Border brings you to Streamside and a beautiful stone bridge based on a traditional Yorkshire design. If you stand here you get a lovely view of our famous Harlow Carr Hybrid Primulas which cannot fail to impress displaying a myriad of colours from soft yellow to vibrant orange and pink. Also look out for blue translucent Meconopsis poppys which are dotted along Streamside. When I stand on the bridge I always cast my eye along Streamside, up into the woodland and the Doric columns and then back up the main border to take in the view particularly in summer when the perennials and grasses are looking fabulous. This area is a natural arena for plants and is constantly changing throughout the year.
The plants are an important part of the garden display which we want everyone to enjoy, but here at Harlow Carr there is much more to enjoy in the garden with elements of surprise and fun. Those with a sense of adventure or with a family have been visiting our newly constructed circular log maze constructed out of 8ft long pine logs located at the top side of the arboretum. The maze is a safe friendly open place to play, with brushwood dens and musical logs all built by the garden team. I have a 6 year old daughter and if I was honest I get a lot of inspiration from her when it comes to designing installations for the garden which have play and fun in mind! The realisation is if we want to inspire gardeners of the future we need to capture young imaginations and encourage unrestricted play for families across all generations to share and enjoy.
Why not pay us a visit and see for yourself, everything we do in the garden is for the benefit of our visitors and we welcome your feedback.