Middle Garden Rhododendrons
The trees in Middle Garden grow ever upwards, and I have to remember to limb them up to make room for the rhododendrons underneath. The understory of beautiful spring-flowering shrubs is fast filling out. In spring Middle Garden is at its most colourful, and the rhododendrons are just too big to ignore. A majestic pink beauty is my spring signal that pink things will be appearing all over the garden.
When the big pink starts to fade a very subtle pale lilac takes over. I've built a path which meanders past these two lovely shrubs. All the better to admire them!
Pale Lilac Rhododendron
By the lawn a large creamy shrub flowers in late spring. The ground here is uncompromising, in fact it's quite dry and sandy - yet this rhododendron seems to survive. Actually, there used to be two. In a worried moment I shifted one out and planted it in a shadier, moister spot. Well, guess what? It didn't make it. Whereas the one left behind survives, year after year. And the moral of the story is?
Another compact shrub enjoys being out in the open, on the edge of Duck Lawn. I suspect it might be Percy Wiseman, but I'm not sure. This was one of a pair, too. The other one suffered the oddest fate. I'd dug it out to shift it, and wandered off for just a few minutes. When I returned it had gone - fallen into the water race and washed downstream off the property. Oops.
Last But Not Least...
Last, but possibly the most spectacular to flower, are two shrubs coloured indigo and magenta. These large rhododendrons bloom late, at the end of the great flowering wave of Moosey Rhododendrons. They are sheltered in the summery Middle Garden underneath a weeping maple tree, and can be easily seen from the house lawns.
Purple Rhododendron in Middle Garden
A few years ago I spent days cutting out and limbing-up the original Pittosporum trees in this garden, to give the under-planted rhododendrons more space to grow. Brilliant displays of colours like this are my reward.
Then in the winter of 2011 the biggest Pittosporum was sawn down, to give the rhododendrons yet more air and light. There's still dappled shade, so they won't get scorched in summer. And look how they're responded!