Over the last few weeks here at Harlow Carr some big changes have been occurring.
First was the relocation of the Kitchen Garden to a site below the new Alpine House, including the creation of a new ‘3x3m' fruit plot and edible hedge! Next was the relocation of the planting from one side of the Rose Revolution borders. This week the section of pine trees adjacent to the main car park has come out (to be replaced with a new native shelter belt and a bioswale), along with the dividing hedges within that area.
To a newcomer this will look quite drastic, but this is the first stage of site preparation for the new Learning Centre, with building work commencing early in the New Year. The development of this new building, designed to be one of the greenest buildings in the UK, comes from the fact that we have long since out-grown our current study centre, due to the popularity of the wide range of courses we run here for people of all ages, including thousands of children, focusing on many subjects in and around horticulture.
It may still seem to some people that even though all this is happening for a good reason, a well established and popular area of the garden has now changed for good. However we are striving to make these big changes in the most resourceful way - reusing many of the plants from the Rose Revolution borders in other areas of the garden, and donating other perennials to Horticap, a charity which provides training and education in horticulture for adults with learning disabilities.
The old pine trees are also being recycled; the logs may well be used to build a log cabin in the new forest garden, and also for path edging. All the brash material is being chipped for use as mulch, and chippings will also be used for the forest garden path surfaces.
So I think it is safe to say that we are doing as much as possible to be green and sympathetic to our surroundings right from the beginning of this exciting and much needed project.
Thank you for reading
Gardener, RHS Garden Harlow Carr