Tuesday, 29 May 2012

In a woodland garden.......

 Rhododendron often get a bad press in the UK.     Personally, I do not understand why.     I was so pleased that they were used in one of the show gardens at Chelsea this year.
I keep my collection of Rhododendron and Acers along the woodland walk.   A post on Acers to follow.
 I seem to have the perfect conditions for the plants, humus rich soil, and shelter.
Each autumn I dress them with leaf mould.....and that is it.   They really seem to take care of themselves.
For those of you, who are not Rhododendron lovers, tell me you do not like this :)
I leave you with my absolute favourite.....a gift from Mr P.    She is ten years old this year and I love her.    She is delicate and fragile, and her baby pink blooms enchant me......

I am a 'Rhodi' girl......

27 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the rhododendrons, they are beautiful...any anything which more or less looks after itself is a winner in my book. Exquisite blooms.

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    1. Tku Elaine,

      I have heard it said that rhododendrons are difficult. I suspect that like most plants, if they have the right conditions they do well :)

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  2. Me too - they are so beautiful and somehow exotic looking even if they do grow just fine all on their own as it were.

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    1. Iagree Jane, they do look a little exotic......

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  3. I just love Rhodies. You have some beautiful colors. It is funny how plants go in and out of favor just like clothing styles. About the time your Rhodies are mature they will in vogue again and your garden will be ahead of the others. They don't grow well in my garden. It must be the soil. I have tried them is several different places.

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    1. Hi Lisa,

      True, very true. When I saw them at the Chelsea flower show this year, I can see they just may come back into vogue.
      The soil is important......and mine seems to be perfect for them at the back of the garden :)

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  4. They are beautiful Cheryl, so colourful! They really do make a wonderful show and your photos of them are lovely. I can only grow a few smaller ones in pots as the soil here is not acidic.

    The downside though is that they have done untold damage to our countryside as our native plants can't compete with their size and thick leaves which shade them out and which in turn leads to the loss of wildlife which depends on them. I believe they have particularly caused problems to Oak and Hazel woodland in Scotland. Of course we have the Victorians to blame/thank for their introduction.

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    1. Hi Jan,

      Absolutely, I agree totally. The thug that lives alongside the lanes and in the woodland near me is a nightmare. They do cut it back though and remove it where possible, so thankfully to some degree it is being controlled :)
      Sadly, the dear Victorians have a lot to answer to !!!

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  5. Lol Rhodi girl! Well I am not a Rhodi guy indeed, also because they don't grow at mine! They are lovely though, especially the last two and the cognac coloured in particular. I am looking forward to seeing your acer collection by the way.
    Alberto

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    1. Hi Alberto,

      I guessed that they would not grow at your place. As I said on your blog, our gardens are indeed very very different.
      We seem to be at opposite ends of the garden spectrum.......fun hey!

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  6. Dear Rhodi girl,
    Your collection of rhododendrons is lovely. I am reminded of seeing huge rhododendrons growing "wild" in Washington State when we visited the temperate rain forest. My Rhodi does take care of herself. Once in awhile she gets a coffee ground mulch. I just looked up the dates for the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show....I would love to go...it is on my list of wonders to behold.
    Always delighted to see your blooms!
    Sherry

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    1. Dear Sherry,

      Rhododendrons are a non native species in UK. They have caused a lot of problems in the wild and are classed as a noxious weed.


      They are fine in gardens and I am selective.

      Wonderful for you to be able to see them in temperate rain forest........

      Chelsea Flower Show is wonderful, although it is difficult, I believe, to get tickets. I usually watch it on the TV. The give coverage every evening until the show is over.......

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  7. Interesting that rhododendrens get bad press in the UK. They are much beloved here in the NC mountains and folks drive from all over the country to see them in bloom. Perhaps it is because they grow wild and free all through the mountains. And even though they are so common, most people have domestic varieties in their yards here. Call me a rhodo girl as well.

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    1. Hi rhodo girl,

      I would think it is wonderful to see them in the mountains. Obviously they are a native species in US.

      In UK they are classed as a noxious weed in the wild.
      They shade out our native woodland plants which cannot cope with those conditions.

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  8. I like rhododendrons, but unfortunately my soil does not. I tried growing some dwarf ones in pots many years ago, but the vine weevils got them. Your plants look really happy.

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    1. Hi Crystal,

      Beastly vine weevil :(

      It is all down to the soil at the end of the day, I guess......

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  9. Hi Cheryl...They are just lovely, and your favorite is gorgeous, but I do like the 2 above it... so delicate looking ..
    We have had thunderstorms one after another since last night..sure hope they end soon !! Some real house shaking rumbles of thunder, and it has rained so much, and it had just started to dry up some ..I won't be in the garden today!!
    Grace

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    1. Hi Grace,

      Glad you like them.

      We are expecting more storms this evening. Thunderstorms were very much in evidence last night.
      I quite like sunshine and storms.....

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  10. Rhododendrons are fabulous when they are in full bloom, I think the problem with them is when they get out of control in woodland where they can smother everything except the largest trees. I don't have any but there are several really beautiful ones in neighbouring gardens as the soil round here suits them.

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    1. HI Rowan,

      I agree, in the wild they are a nightmare. I have dwarf varieties and they are controled. I also have a railway line at the end of the garden, so evergreens are a must here :)

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  11. I'm afraid I don't have the right soil for them - but they grow well a couple of miles down the road.

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  12. Hi Cheryl,

    I know you know what I'm going to say...

    Teehee. Yes their blooms are pretty, if a little too blousy for me but I just don't like their leaves - I don't like any evergreens and especially dislike waxy, plastic looking leaves (Laurels are quite possibly the devil).

    Although saying that I do certainly appreciate the rows of them at Clumber Park atm all in bloom.

    (No storms here, hasn't rained in a few weeks now. Hot, balmy evening but I believe thunder is or at least was forecast for tomorrow)

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    1. Liz,

      I knew exactly what you would say and I understand your comment totally :)
      However, I need strong evergreens at the back of the garden because of the railway line that runs along there.
      They give me good coverage all year round.
      I also have the devil, I mean laurels, Ha! I actually planted them for the scent of the flowers, because I love the smell of almonds.

      We are supposed to rain today but who knows, this time of year I find it is very hit and miss in this part of the world.

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  13. I think a walk lined with rhododendrons is gorgeous. I wish they grew around here.

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  14. Love them too! They look so beautiful in peoples' gardens. Your pics are lovely and I like the last one too.
    Happy gardening.

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  15. I love rhododendrons! They don't so well here, but I've seen magnificent ones in Oregon and a few still blooming in North Carolina, both places where they do so well. I can't imagine anyone seeing them in full bloom and not loving them!

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  16. Those last two are so pretty Cheryl. Rhododendrons aren't my favourites but some of them really are beautiful there is no denying it! My parents grow quite a few and they look lovely when they are all in bloom. x

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