The New Rhdodendron Garden
For many years I have bought bargain bin rhododendrons (without labels) and planted them in the wrong places. Then some were all shifted into a new, sensible garden. What colours would they be? How big would the shrubs get? All is about to be revealed this spring...
Pale Cream Rhododendron
Rhododendrons which had been suffering were promised this last chance at living a normal life - good soil, part shade, and absolutely no greedy neighbours (like gum trees). Finally this spring they are gratefully coming into flower (well, nearly all of them) for the very first time. They are all in Middle Garden, over the water race.
Warm Red Rhododendron
This is a defining moment. I have such high hopes - it seems like I have been waiting for years! What colours have I actually got?
A Colour Disaster!
Aargh! Let me describe the first colour combinations - already I can see signs of trouble. For example, does lavender-lilac go well with a warm orangey-red? Does girlie pink go well with rusty orange? Eek!
Further along a rhododendron with the label 'Blue Something-or-Other' is launching some not-very-blue blooms (actually they look suspiciously like magenta). The next-door neighbours - a cream and a fleshy pink - aren't going to like this at all!
As an amateur colourist my initial reaction is one of embarrassment. I've got it wrong again! My budget approach to gardening has again led me away from good sense and good colour design.
Perhaps I could pack the spaces between the new rhododendrons with bright green shrubs and small hybrid flaxes - the perfect excuse for visiting the nursery and buying more plants.
Big Pink Rhododendron
Of course, if I'd spent more money initially and actually chosen rhododendrons whose colours blended together... In the meantime I'm after a coloured hybrid flax with lavender and brick red toned leaves with a hint of girlie pink. Hmm...