Sunday, 30 August 2009

If You Go Down To The Woods Today.....

I'm not actually sure if this is a bear or not, perhaps a rabbit looking at the long ears, but this is what we came across during our day out to RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate today. What a great way to collect leaves to make leaf mould. I'm quite embarrassed to say that I've never been to RHS Harlow Carr before, as I live so close. I really enjoyed it though and will definitely return, I can highly recommend it.

There is a lovely woodland trail where we came upon a bird hide. We only saw sparrows, blue tits and a robin, but there is a book in the hide for visitors to record what they have seen and a few people had seen woodpeckers today.

If you have young children, there is plenty to keep them amused. Today there was a treasure trail for them to follow, and there is an adventure playground along the woodland trail. There's also a small area filled with sand and diggers.

With it being a little late in the year, I wondered if we would see the gardens at their best, but I wasn't disappointed. There was lots of colour still to be seen, and the borders weren't looking at all tired.

I certainly came away with greenhouse envy after seeing their fabulous glass house which is filled with alpines. I found myself working out how many different varieties of tomato I could grow in there.

My favourite part was the kitchen garden. They grow all manner of fruit and vegetables, and the plants look in tip top condition. There's no evidence of slug damage, I wonder what their secret is. Everything is labelled too, so if there is something which you don't recognise you only have to check the label.

Another favourite was the bookshop. I just love books, and the shop was so well stocked. I spent quite a while in there browsing, but I could easily have spent longer.

Back home, I am picking tomatoes in earnest. They have started to ripen quicker than I can pick them. I am growing more cherry tomatoes than salad type as they get eaten quicker. I'm always popping one or two in my mouth whenever I go in to the kitchen.

I'm also pulling spring onions from the garden. They've grown really well this year and I have lots of them. I love them added to cheese in a sandwich.


  1. Sounds like a great day and I love the leaf mould bunny/ bear???

  2. How adorable, bunny or bear, either way, I love it. This is a good year for tomatoes. Glen's Aunt gave us some from her garden while we were in Utah, oh my they were good. Tomatoes are a whole different animal if you grow them at home!
    Glad you had such a nice day, I don't think I have ever been to Harrogate. You make me think I should find a way to come back for a visit.

  3. Me again,
    My husband asked if your cherry tomatoes were "Gardeners Delight"? That is what he grew in our allotment. Delicious, he says to tell you if you haven't grown them, you should.

  4. lol about how many tomatoes you could fit in the greenhouse...I'm sure you don't really need to grow more!!

    I've had a good year for my tomatoes and onions too, I now really want cheese and onion sandwiches and I know the kids finished all the cheese off last night at tea!!! gggrrrr.....will have to send my son to the shop! :-)

  5. No mention of Betty's? :D

    I went to Harlow Carr for the first time a month or so ago... I was quite disappointed with their garden centre though, barely anything to buy from their own garden and pretty much everything else was the same as what I could buy at my local garden centre. Oh well...

  6. Glad you enjoyed your trip, Jo. I went to Myddleton House today which is very pretty and will be going to Audley End next week to have a look at their organic kitchen garden. Wisley is my cloest RHS property and I particularly like their allotment simulation.

    I have a Tomato glut too. I was impressed with 'Whippersnapper' (a heritage variety) and 'Micro' have been excellent as always but I thought 'Tumbling Tom' was very bland and I won't be growing that again.

    G x

  7. Looks like something from Alice in
    Wonderland ;-) Must have been a great lark for the kids. Cheers!

  8. I love places like Harlow Carr - you can get so much inspiration from them, and ideas too. The bear/bunny is a great way of collecting leaves for leaf mould and it's good that the borders were still colourful and going strong. We visited an exotic garden in Norfolk at the weekend and I hope to do a post on that later in the week.

    I second what Kat has said - 'Gardener's Delight' toms live up to their name!!

    Jeanne x

  9. The bunny/bear is imaginative, Kella. It shows that you can make something which is there to serve a purpose fun.

    Yes, you should definitely have a trip back to the UK, Kat. I bet it would be fun to look round the places where you used to live. I have grown three different types of cherry tomatoes. One of them is Gardener's Delight.

    I know I don't need any more, Tanya, but if I had a greenhouse that size...... Hope you got your cheese and onion sandwich.

    I was a bit disappointed with the garden centre too, Liz. It was very overpriced and nothing out of the ordinary. I didn't mention Betty's as we didn't go in. The cakes looked fantastic though.

    Is Tumbling Tom the same as Tumbler, Georgie? I grew Tumbler last year and wasn't impressed. I'm going to have a go at some heirloom tomatoes next year.

    It certainly could have come from Alice In Wonderland, Avis. Further round they had another one in the shape of a teapot. The Mad Hatter's tea party perhaps.

    I love looking at gardens, Jeanne. Even a little corner of a huge garden like Harlow Carr can give you inspiration.


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