Star Struck or Root Bound

With so much going on at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, I can't decide if I'm star struck or root bound

For most people, Christmas is nicely tucked away in December, but for us here at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, it’s not the case.  We’ve been busy preparing for the start of our Christmas events by making stripped willow stars - 500 of them to be precise.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr staff making Willow stars weacingOur (nearly) resident willow weaver Phil Bradley paid us a visit and has been running drop in workshops to show everyone how to weave the stars. The pile of completed decorations has been growing ever larger, and there’s a real community atmosphere going on. It's something very pleasant to do, and even more so as the rain has been lashing down outside.

While we enjoyed the seasonal spirit, others here at the garden have been faced with the unenviable task of removing a large ash stump out of an area that is currently being reworked. It was a big old tree and needed to be felled; but it didn’t go gracefully and left behind the largest root I have seen for a good while. Even the 8 tonne digger we had hired struggled to shift it out of its hole.

Digger removing tree rootsGarden planning for the future

Renovations in this part of the garden have been going on to enable us to improve the streamside for people to enjoy; it’s one of the longest cultivated stream sides in the country. Large rocks have been placed there to shore up the ever crumbling sides and we need to reshape and re-landscape the remaining bed.

Once prepared, it will be planted up with simple combinations of Harlow Carr primulas, iris and hostas which will enhance the whole area with the stream merrily babbling along in the background. Do come and pay us a visit because although the area is undergoing renovation, it will be a fantastic enhancement to this part of the garden, and great to watch as it develops.

Soil whispering

Elsewhere in the garden this week, the students have been enjoying a master class about allotment planning and soil types. It amused me to see them all assessing the soil by taking a fist full and compressing and scrunching it in their hands whilst listening to the sound it makes – I could only think of soil whisperers. That said however, how much it squeaks and crunches does tell them a lot about the consistency and texture of the soil (even though it certainly made a great picture).

More information

Garden design
Tree preservation orders
Tree stump removal

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