Friday, 13 May 2011

13.05. Rhododendrons

I have spent the day in Lewisham, helping a friend of mine with his garden, so I haven’t done any planting in my garden today, or my gardens to be precise! But tomorrow’s another day :-) I did however take some photos today before leaving, so I thought I would share them with you today.

First some photos from my new garden next door, all the plants are spread out ready to get in the ground. I suppose I could have got twice as many plants as I have for this garden, but after 2-3 years these beds would have been pretty crowded, so I am planting for the future, not for instant gardening! There will be room for a few more plants though, here and there, which I will get later in the year, and I will also get some bulbs in the autumn, for next spring - some daffodils and crocuses I think.

Some of the plants at the front here are bedding plants which will not survive the winter, although some bedding plants like fuchsias do survive mild winters; I have a non-hardy fuchsia which is 6 years old now, it even survived the horrible winter we had this year! Some of the geraniums might survive too, it all depends on ground frost more than air frost, so we’ll see next spring how many gaps I am left with in this bed. This is the shady side of the garden, but there are spring bulbs that can go here too, and later on in the spring I might get some hostas, when they are in season.

And here is a photo from my garden, the roses are really starting to come out now. Another week maybe and the rest will be out. These roses will keep on flowering until I cut them down next spring, right through the winter, but the first flush of flowers in the spring is always the most prolific and lasts for a good few weeks.

The first of the ‘Freedom’ roses is  flowering, a gorgeous yellow colour that neither my camera nor my computer justify. Funnily enough, I've got the two roses, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Peace’ next to each other, I didn’t know the name of ‘Peace’ until long after I had bought and planted ‘Freedom’, ‘Peace’ was here when I moved in and I found the name for it when looking it up on the Internet. I bought ‘Freedom’ at a Hampton Court flower show in 2005. Quite a fitting pair of roses together :-)

And look here, at my Rhododendron! It looks better and better every year, this is the 7th year I have it. This particular one is a dwarf Rhododendron; it won’t grow much bigger than this and will happily stay in a tub forever. This one is part of a series of 7 Rhododendrons, named after the 7 dwarfs, and mine is called Dopey :-) 

Rhododendrons is a huge group of more than 1000 plants, from tiny ones like mine to huge trees more than 30 metre tall when mature, so it is important to choose the right Rhododendron for your garden when you buy one! Rhododendrons and azaleas belong to the genus Rhododendron of the heath family (Ericaceae). The heath family includes the heaths and heathers, blueberries, mountain laurels and several other ornamental plant groups.  Most members of this family require acid soil and good drainage...Oh, and Rhododendron means ‘rose tree’ in Greek, so now you know :-)

Here is one of the flowers up close, they are made up of many trumpet shaped flowers tightly put together, usually 6 or 8, and the flowers are like tissue paper when you touch them. 

Tomorrow I’ll do some planting in my new garden, if my back will accept more of that kind of work…I might need a day doing nothing at all soon! I keep waiting for that rain we are promised, haven’t seen anything yet, but according to the weather forecast we might get some drizzle tomorrow afternoon. I’ll believe it when I see it! Until next time, take care.

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