Tag Archive | Rhododendron

Rhododendrons where they belong – in 450 acres

OK, so I’ll eat some of my words….

Last weekend we went to a wedding at Gregynog Hall in Powys, Wales. We walked around the gardens and I have to say that they were very impressive  with lots of woodland, ancient oaks and beech trees and some of the acres were huge (for acers), the largest Monkey Puzzle tree I’ve seen and the rhododendrons were also wonderful – see pictures below.  

It seemed we were there at just the right time, virtually every flower out and a great selection of colours.

Of course, they have 450 acres to play with, so they have the space for a huge and impressive display and boy, did they have one.  So, congratulations to everyone for the gardens and if you’ve got 450 acres too then plant some rhododendrons (and wait for 100 years for them to spread like these have.Image

(Though I’m still not convinced if you have a small garden, tbh).



Rhododendron flowers early, as usual I am underwhelmed

Sorry guys, but I just find you rather dull.  Yes, I’ll admit it, I am not keen on rhododendrons.

I’m not talking about the fact that they are invasive in some UK woods and forests taking over from the native plants – though that’s clearly a problem.

I have been to some places with huge lines of them on both sides of a road – I guess that’s when they are supposed to be the most impressive, but they seem to flower for such a short amount of time, petals from some flowers already falling off (or just going soggy and green) before others are out and I want to shout out “Is that IT?  Is that all you can do?  How much space do you take up with your tedious glossy leaves hanging down, slow-growing habit and for 90% of the year you are just a bit of a mess.”

So, last week one of ours decided to flower earlier than usual and you’d think that in Spring I’d be pleased to find a splash of red amongst all the yellow, but somehow I just can’t get excited.  Yes, I’ve given them a bit of love and attention and fertilizer for acid-loving plants, but still, but still, sorry guys – you are just drab.

OK, architectural – well a bit.  The other one is taller and budding now so perhaps I’ll have a change of heart in a couple of weeks or so – but I think I should move them,  somewhere where they are just the backdrop to other plants, somewhere where they don’t have to do much to earn their keep and during the few days (nearly typed weeks, but honestly days is probably more accurate) where they do flower, we can be pleasantly surprised.  The other option would be to put them in the hedge, I’ve no problem with mixing different plants in the hedge…. there’s another option I guess, if I get really fed up, they can go to the village fete and someone else can have them.  Just don’t buy me any for a present, OK?

Sorry guys, I feel bad typing this



– better get a cup of tea and walk around the garden for a bit.