Garden guru plans Harlow Carr's future

One of the UK's top gardeners has been hired to help transform Harlow Carr as part of a '˜masterplan' for the Harrogate attraction.

Site owners the Royal Horticultural Society have handed landscape designer Nigel Dunnett the reins and he will now take charge of developing their most northerly garden.

Last year saw a record 375,000 visitors descend on Harlow Carr, prompting the Society to purchase the nearby Harrogate Arms and pledge more investment. Nigel plans to build on the Carr’s popularity by developing its distinct identity, and he hopes to open up the Streamside planting area to the public and create a new inspiration zone for owners of small plots.

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“I am very excited by this invitation to review the existing plan and carry the garden forward on its journey. It’s a fascinating project as there is huge ecological diversity already present. This provides great potential for a stunning range of horticultural displays and an intense, impactful visitor experience,” said Nigel.

The garden, which has seen visitor numbers increase by 27 per cent since 2011, already boasts wildflower meadows, woodland, running and still water set in a valley location. RHS director general Sue Biggs has welcomed Nigel’s appointment.

“We are absolutely thrilled that such a hugely influential and innovative landscape designer is on board to develop the masterplan. The garden already provides an inspiring and important resource for the region and, with Nigel’s proven vision and the talent already in place, Harlow Carr will be propelled to new horticultural heights and we hope, firmly established as a powerhouse on the UK visitor attraction scene.”

The charity has recently acquired a new northern site, Bridgewater near Salford, Greater Manchester.