Spring is just around the corner

The sky is changing and there are some springtime changes at Harlow Carr

I have been mightily pleased on my morning commute to work to see the sky just beginning to take on the deepest shade of blue instead of the jet black that it’s been since the beginning of January. It takes me 50 minutes to get to work so I have plenty of time for to contemplate and it is uplifting to know that soon I’ll be driving to work in the light again.

The snow proves RHS Garden Harlow Carr with a fairytale lookWe have had a smattering of snow here at RHS Garden Harlow Carr - just enough to make it look beautiful and enchanting, but not enough to cause major problems, which is just how we like it (left).

This week is our financial year end so we have been very busy ensuring that loose ends are tied up and nothing is left outstanding. This has involved a lot of scurrying between offices and frantic use of the phone to check and double check that nothing has been missed.

The delightful bloom of Magnolia campbellii Alba GroupUp in the woodland we are busy preparing another lovely woodland shelter made possible by a kind donation. This is nestled in the glade area of the woodland and is surrounded by some magnolias including a magnificent Magnolia campbellii Alba Group towering above it (right).

The floor of the shelter is going to be a mosaic of pebbles in a magnolia design, to be laid out and set in early February, and we are particularly excited about seeing it come together.

Over in the south side of the garden we have planted a thousand native whips. At the moment these just look like a row of canes with clear spirals around them so they look a little odd, but this is necessary to protect them from the sharp teeth of rabbits. We have planted a great selection of oaks, birch, alders, field maple, and hawthorn and it will be interesting to watch them flourish over the following months and years, altering the look of the landscape.

The winds played their part earlier in the week when a large lime tree came down. It had been identified as a tree that needed some attention, but the wind took the decision out of our hands on Wednesday and, once down, it was easy to see why it had become weak as the inside was just a hollow core. It was fascinating to see that, during the summer, bees must have moved in as there were a lot of old honey combs nestled inside the stump proving once more how the demise of one structure provides the home for another.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.