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RHS Garden Harlow Carr Welcomes the World

RHS Garden Harlow Carr Welcomes the World

Paul Cook has been curator at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, North Yorkshire since 2013. He previously held the post of curator at Ness Botanic Gardens in Cheshire for more than 11 years. Paul is responsible for managing and developing the garden’s plant collections and leading a team of 30 horticulturists, RHS trainees and volunteers.

The gardens are right alongside the route of the Harrogate Circuit. What is RHS Garden Harlow Carr doing to welcome the spectators who will be out on the route?

We’re offering discounted entry throughout the nine-day cycling extravaganza. Visitors can enjoy our attractions at a fraction of the usual cost by purchasing a special ‘Rainbow Writsband’ which will entitle them to unlimited access during normal opening hours throughout the cycling event.

That means they can head onto Otley Road to watch the race then pop back to the garden to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Have you done anything in the garden to celebrate the World Championships in 2019?

We’ve decorated the approach to the site in UCI colours and installed the three ‘Harey Bikers’ – our famous willow sculptures – on the boundary with Otley Road. Betsy the Bee, our giant sculpture on Southfield, has also had a makeover.

She’s a striking sight any day of the week but we’ve painted her in the UCI colours so she can show her support to Team GBee! From the air, the cameras will be able to pick up cycling-themed land art.

What else has been big for RHS Garden Harlow Carr in 2019?

2019 marks 70 years of the garden. We celebrated by inviting gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh – who celebrated his 70th birthday this year too – to open the show. He chatted to visitors, gave a talk about his life in horticulture and put the finishing touches to a floral cake. At the moment, visitors can enjoy a 70 day-long sculpture trail which runs until 10 November. It’s well worth a look.

What are you looking forward to most in World Championships Week

The chance for visitors from across the world to experience everything that Harrogate and Yorkshire has to offer.

If you have to recommend one thing for visitors to do or see what would it be?

Ditch their cars and enjoy a stroll to the garden instead. There’s a leisurely 1.5mile walk which runs from the town centre, through the beautiful Valley Gardens and Pinewoods to Harlow Carr.

Once they’re here, they can enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the garden including the spectacular Main Borders, Alpine House, Woodland and Streamside walks or relax by the Queen Mother’s Lake. It’s a good idea to bring a picnic or enjoy a treat at Bettys Café Tea Rooms next door.



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