My new rhododendrons are flowering! They came to Mooseys as an anonymous gang of reject shrubs, given away by the local rhododendron nursery. The back of the Willow Tree Garden seemed the ideal spot - moist and partially shaded, with good soil - and a handy irrigation sprinkler.
I have made some bad mistakes with rhododendrons. Some places I've visualised them growing happily into old age, ever grateful, turn into dust bowls in the middle of summer. Other spots which start off dappled with spring shade end up sun-baked and depressing. Several of my rhododendrons have been shifted several times - little wonder that they've held off flowering until now!
Cherry and Yoghurt
Last season a few of the Willow Tree Garden shrubs bloomed for the first time. It was magical seeing their colours - for all I knew I could have inherited a host of dull whites and dirty lilacs. My luck was in - they all seemed to be subtle creams and warm lemons.
This year there is much more to report - bigger branches, huger flower-heads - and some new colours to admire. What a success! Everything is so well colour co-ordinated, as if I specially chose the flowering times and the neighbouring shades. Hmm...
Peaches and Cream
Each of the new rhododendrons takes a fruit salad colour. There are apricots, pineapples, soft tangerines, dull cherries, bananas and cream - all together in one garden. A mouthwatering mixture, beautifully positioned under the generous branches of the Willow tree, surrounded by water and greenery, with just the right amount of shade. Yum!