Making an entrance at RHS Garden Harlow Carr

A striking new entrance feature to RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate has been created thanks to a partnership between the RHS, Yorkshire Water and a talented team of local drystone wallers.

Following designs drawn up by master craftsman David Griffiths from Bradford, Harrogate-based stone waller Neil Beasley and a team of three fellow professionals have spent the past year replacing a previously uninspiring boundary at the entrance to Crag Lane, off Otley Road, with a new feature drystone wall. The wall has been crafted from reclaimed sandstone from Harlow Carr and freshly quarried stone from Johnsons Wellfield in Huddersfield. The centrepiece of the design features two three-metre high stone monoliths which include the name and logo of the most northerly RHS garden.

Neil – who has been working as a professional drystone waller for more than 10 years – is no stranger to the RHS, having played a part in two gold award-winning gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Neil said: “Every job comes with its own unique challenges and this was no different. Pipes and services needed to be carefully navigated and we had to create a special foundation to support the weight of the monoliths which are huge, individually cut pieces of stone, each weighing 7.5t. The final result is well worth it and is certainly hard to miss if you’re driving along Otley Road.”

As well as providing a creative signpost to the garden, David Griffiths designed the entrance feature to incorporate planting pockets to enable Harlow Carr’s gardeners to add some horticultural touches using alpines and drought-tolerant plants in the nooks and crannies.

Sue Ritchie from Yorkshire Water – which owns the land the entrance feature sits on – said: “The RHS contacted us at the very early planning stages which meant we could work closely together to protect our infrastructure within the site. The Harlow Carr team has been a pleasure to work with and the new feature looks fantastic.”

Neil and David are now developing designs for a replacement stone bridge to span the 58-acre garden’s stream near to the Geoffrey Smith memorial stone. The work is being funded by the Friends of Harlow Carr and will start in summer 2018.

Photo credit: Yorkshire Post