Things that go grunt in the night

Join RHS Garden Harlow Carr's blogger Katherine as she helps hedgehogs in need and discovers Domecaps and Elfin Saddles

Hedgehog streetFrom helping hedgehogs...

Hedgehogs are in trouble and we’re busy trying to raise people’s awareness to their plight, so Tom White, one of the garden floral team members, is working hard on preparing hedgehog friendly gardens. Along with The Wildlife Trust, we are developing “Hedgehog Street” and putting together three small gardens; one contemporary, one formal and one wild. The gardens will be 5m by 5m (16½ft x 16½ft), and each one will have holes in the boundaries to allow access through.

As hedgehogs travel far and wide in their nightly forays, sometime moving a mile a night, you can encourage them into your gardens by planting leafy plants like hostas to provide cover and attract food for them such as slugs. They in turn will then help control these garden pests and may you may even help increase the hedgehog population.


…to giant musical instruments

As part of Betty’s Tea Rooms trees for life project (where they are celebrating all things wood), we are getting a giant Glockenspiel installed in the garden. It is a thing of beauty and craftsmanship and will certainly turn heads, if not ears, so please come along and give it a play when next you’re passing.

Fungal forays

Smoky domecapIn other exciting news a rare fungus has been found in the gardens. We held a fungus foray during our Autumn Food Festival celebrations, where our local experts the Mid-Yorkshire Fungi Group headed up some guided tours and found a smoky domecap (Lyophyllum gangraenosum).

None of the group had seen this before and there have only been three previous records of it in the whole of Yorkshire, so they were all very excited. Other species spotted included the collared earthstar and two species of… wait for it… elfin saddle, (they have brilliant names don’t they?)  My imagination, overactive at the best of times, has been busy conjuring up stories around these names already.

Back to the kitchen garden - where harvesting is under way, including the apple ‘Red Falstaff’ which certainly looks inviting and tasty; crisp and juicy, it gets my vote. 

A happy harvest to you all.

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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.