Revelling in high summer

High summer at RHS Garden Harlow Carr is full of delights both floral and musical...

Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, Eryngium x zabelli ‘Jos Eijking’ and Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’The reason I like working here so much (apart from it being a most beautiful garden) is that every day is so varied: so, for example I had Radio York in on Monday and waxed lyrical about the lovely plants on the Mediterranean border (see my previous blog).

On Tuesday I had a big spring clean in the nursery which was extremely therapeutic, between me and several volunteers that I press-ganged into helping, we filled two large tractor trailers full of plants that had seen better days or were in need of rehoming elsewhere. At the end of this we could see much light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and with the extra space we had a good restructure of where to put the remaining plants and re-grouped them into more manageable categories with aisles down each side for easy access – hurrah!

Thursday was a glorious day, very warm and sunny and hardly a cloud in the sky; it was the best day for showing a group of horticultural students from Leeds round. They were particularly interested in the planting combinations on the main borders which are coming into their glorious best now.

My favourite view is half way down on the right hand side: fronted up by Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ behind which the startling vibrant blue stems of the sea holly Eryngium x zabelli ‘Jos Eijking’ are to be seen and the most intense red of Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ provide a backdrop to both of them (see photo, top). Simply stunning!

The evening was spent most pleasantly: walking around listening to the band as it was members evening, over 400 people came to enjoy the gardens and they brought chairs, rugs and picnics; the atmosphere was tranquil and the band played some lovely tunes and were well appreciated. I harboured thoughts of mugging several people and running off with their chilled white wine!

Today I have been scything some meadow areas which had - quite frankly - got more weed than meadow in them so down they had to come, I was pleased to see that many small voles escaped the blades and ran off like small clockwork creatures all legs intact - lovely to see them at such close quarters as they are so secretive – so a real privilege for me, and another good week passes all too quickly by.   

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