It is evident spring has arrived and settled in when the Rhododendron collection rewards us with masses of colour. Many of the species are now blooming profusely through the wooded areas of the Garden.

Rhododendron uvarifolium var. griseum, buds opening out to reveal a collection of white bloom with blush pink markings. The species has a wide geographical and altitudinal range through the Chinese Himalayas.

Rhododendron faucium, From the high slopes of Northern China and India at 2600 – 3400 metres. Prominent flower parts extend from the mouth of the deeply pink coloured corolla.

Rhododendron ririei a sturdy multibranched evergreen which will mature into a small tree in its native Sichuan Province, China. Growing on hillsides at 1700 – 1800metres. Now covered by purple red flowers with dark nectar pouches at the base of the corolla. When covered in the statuesque buds the plant is at its most attractive, the brown scales contrast well with the tight buds deeply coloured.

Add the Praecox hedge (Rhododendron praecox grex), Forsythia, spring bulbs, a ground flora of emerging herbaceous foliage of all shades and textures and you have a garden that is awakening and well worth a visit.

Rhododendron aff. faucium. Photo by Tony Garn

Rhododendron aff. faucium

Rhododendron uvarifolium var griseum. Photo by Tony Garn

Rhododendron uvarifolium var griseum

Rhododendron aff. ririei. Photo by Tony Garn

Rhododendron aff. ririei