A look ahead to the inaugural RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show

Meconopsis 'Lingholm' at RHS Harlow Carr

Meconopsis 'Lingholm' at RHS Harlow Carr - Credit: RHS / SiRA Studio

Learn a thing or two about the many different varieties of poppies at the first RHS Harlow Carr Flower Show

Flower adornments on a tweed jacket

Flower adornments on a tweed jacket - Credit: Archant

In its native state Meconopsis – the Himalayan blue poppy – grows in some of the most inhospitable parts of the world, in a cool aspect at high altitudes. Yorkshire’s climate may not quite compare to the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, yet it has proven itself a prime growing area for some of the 79 species of Meconopsis, in particular, Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’ – a fertile variety that can be grown from seed.

In 2010, the Royal Horticultural Society’s northernmost garden at Harlow Carr, near Harrogate was chosen as the site for a four-year trial of the often admired larger blue poppies. The trial focused on a selection of fully perennial varieties and was designed to assess individual cultivars for their flower quality, longevity of flowering, growth rate and form. It soon emerged that Harlow Carr’s micro-climate - with its moist acidic soil and dappled shade - provided optimum conditions for these beautiful plants.

Paul Cook, curator at RHS Harlow Carr said: ‘Cool summers and relatively cold winters suit Meconopsis perfectly. While they can prove difficult to maintain in southern gardens, they often thrive in cooler, more northerly regions like Yorkshire and are at their best from mid-May and throughout June.

‘Our big blue poppies have been a huge hit with visitors and make a glorious early summer spectacle along the streamside.’

A festival flower crown made from florets of Angelica and bold pink Dianthus

A festival flower crown made from florets of Angelica and bold pink Dianthus - Credit: Archant

Harlow Carr’s poppies are one of many horticultural highlights for visitors to the garden’s first flower show which runs from Friday, June 10th-12th. Other must-sees at this three-day floral extravaganza include the allium displays in the main borders and the dolly-mixture colours of the famous Harlow Car (sic) candelabra primulas.

Browse the specialist nurseries and garden trade stands, buy and pick up advice from the very best in the business. A wealth of beautiful herbaceous perennials and summer bedding plants will be on display from alliums, agapanthus and alpines to hostas, hydrangea and heuchera. Look out too for Fair-trade plant pots, accessories and hand-crafted garden furniture.

Most Read

There is a full programme of expert talks and demonstrations hosted by well-known garden writer and broadcaster – and Harlow Carr’s new garden advisor – Martin Fish. Highlights include flower arranging demonstrations by BBC2’s The Big Allotment Challenge judge and award-winning floral designer Jonathan Moseley, question and answer sessions with members of the RHS Garden Advice Service and talks from a selection of nurseries.

Follow the streamside’ Reflections on the Landscape’ trail, a month-long outdoor sculpture trail with pieces by mainly Yorkshire sculptors designed to reflect the natural landscape – from wood, stone and wicker sculptures to metal fungi and animals made from wire.

Getting there

A complimentary park and ride service will be in operation at the show. Drivers should follow SatNav HG2 8QZ to the Brown Car Park at the Great Yorkshire Showground which will be clearly signposted. Buses will run to and from the show every 15 minutes from 9.30am-6.30pm. Disabled and coach parking is available at the garden.

Entrance to the RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show is included in normal garden entry and the show is open from 10am–5pm each day. Visitors are advised to bring cash for their purchases wherever possible.