The forecast this weekend was for lots of rain so I wasn't surprised when I was woken in the early hours of yesterday morning by a downpour. By the time we got up the rain had stopped so we decided to chance it and head off for our monthly visit to Harlow Carr. I'm glad we did as it was lovely and warm and the sun actually put in an appearance. There wasn't any further rain yesterday but it looks as though it's in for the day today.
Harlow Carr is looking very green and lush just now. Everything has grown so much since we last visited and this is the scene which greets you as you enter the gardens.
One area we hadn't visited yet was the Montague Burton Teaching Garden so we rectified that on this visit.
The garden is used for both school and adult education and covers a range of topics. The outdoor classroom areas are wonderful, I just love the large wooden chair.
There's a large greenhouse, coldframes and a wildlife pond as well as raised beds containing a number of different plants.
As we left the Teaching Garden we continued on the same path and came to a small lake. The wildflower planting around the edges must attract lots of wildlife.
There's some beautiful planting along the stream at this time of year, candelabra primroses and hostas make fabulous partners here.
As I've mentioned previously in my posts about Harlow Carr, there are lots of willow sculptures dotted around the gardens. I've never come across this fish leaping out of the stream before though.
I had to wonder who needs a spade this big. Just imagine how quickly I'd have my allotment dug over with that.
Do you remember the bare patches at the side of the stream in my previous posts where I said the gunnera would spring in to growth? Here it is now, not a bare patch in sight any longer. Once it gets going it develops at an amazing speed.
Isn't this acer stunning? I've been promising myself one for a number of years now and it's still on my wish list.
There's lots of irises blooming at the moment.
On to the Kitchen Garden and as you can see, there's been plenty of growth here too during the last month. The beds are filling up fast.
There's some beautifully trained fruit trees, this one's a conference pear.
It looks as though they're going to have plenty of fruit this year, there's lots of apples developing.
The rhubarb bed looks different again, there's still plenty of stalks to pull but it's a tangle with other plants.
I've developed more of an interest in herbs over the last year or two, the herb bed here is flourishing. I want to have a closer look at it next time I visit.
The chicken coop which was empty a couple of months ago now has residents. They've got a good space to scratch around in.
There's six chickens in total, Poppy and Rosemary are the Silver Laced Wyandottes, Dandelion and Sorrel are the Crested Cream Legbars, Angelica is the Blue Laced Wyandotte and the Golden Laced Wyandotte is Saffron.
There's been a tremendous amount of growth in the bed I'm following. Being filled with herbaceous perennials, there isn't much to see at the beginning of the year but that's certainly changed now.
I'm not sure what this lilac flower is but it's blooming away just now. I suppose the look of this bed will change all the time as more and more plants begin to flower.
Lady's Mantle hanging on to a few droplets of rain from earlier in the day.
I think this is Knautia. Can you see the tiny spider clinging on to the underneath?
There's a whole bed of these beautiful alliums, they're such wonderful subjects to photograph, though I can't make up my mind if I prefer a single bloom where each tiny star flower can be distinguished or if I prefer to see them en masse. How about you?
If you're planning a trip to Harlow Carr I can thoroughly recommend it at this time of year, as this post shows, there's so much to see.
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