Irises and more

Don’t you just love it when something unexpected and pleasant happens?

I’ve mentioned in various posts one of my favourite places for a day out: RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. It has so much to offer, since it has beautiful gardens with a large variety of different themes and habitats, as well as several playgrounds and a fabulous garden centre. On top of that, there is a lending library and they frequently have special events.

Today’s was an iris exhibition. Not that I went there in the first instance for that. I did in fact have books to take back to the library and it made sense to let my daughter enjoy the adventure playgrounds with their splendid treehouses and maze.

I also had a voucher entitling me to £5 off if I spent £40 or more in the garden centre. Of course I wouldn’t just spend the money to save five pounds, but I had an agenda. Namely, to buy a blueberry bush, now that I have prepared the ground at home for it (using coffee grounds and pine needles to make the soil more acidic). By the way, it didn’t cost me forty pounds but I came away with a large bush which was already coming into leaf.


What I didn’t realise – I didn’t read the label properly – is that it would give better yields if I had more than one of them. Never mind, let’s see how it goes. At least a chunk of the garden has been filled with something new and interesting 🙂

Talking of interesting, whilst wandering around the RHS garden, we discovered a whole section which we had previously been completely unaware of. It has a bird watching station and a wood, which might be managed for logging and have manmade paths, but which is barely cultivated.



This will be wonderful to spend more time in. Today we needed to see the iris exhibition though. They were in fact on the verge of shutting shop when we got there and there wasn’t a great deal to see. However, a gentleman came up to us and said if we could wait just a couple of minutes when the exhibition was officially closed we could take a bunch of irises home with us. So, here they are below.


© Helen Butt, March 2014

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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18 Responses to Irises and more

  1. lizard100 says:

    I’ve now got four of five blueberries. But we did get a set of three at the end of the summer. They were reduced in price so maybe that’s worth trying. I like the coffee grounds idea. We give them tonnes of leaf mold every year.

  2. Jane says:

    Had a fab blueberry bush ( a smallish one which grew really well in a pot)had some really good fruit from it, sadly the branches were really brittle and during a windy period the whole thing from the stump broke off 😦 happened to my mums as well, dunno if this is cos they were dwarf or whether blueberry are prone to this. If I get another will be kept in a place that is hidden from wind!

  3. Jane says:

    ps what happened to the broad beans ?xx

    • Oh, put them out too early, didn’t I. Some of the plants have grown and will do fine but I’ve resown in places and am waiting for them to show. Thanks for asking, anyway!

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