Day 138: rhododendron

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year


Subtlety is not a quality with which rhododendrons trouble themselves – at least when they’re in flower – but I maintain that it’s the clashing colour combinations in which many rhodie fans arrange their collection that causes offence to those of delicate sensibilities, rather than any one individual plant. The sight of fuchsia pinks and corals with deep reds, lilacs and rich yellows might present a challenge for even the most colourfully extrovert among us, but each individual specimen in flower is a thing of great joy – the extravagance of blooms like ruffled silk, the freckled markings on the uppermost of the five petals, the long graceful stamens, the depth of colour for a plant that favours woodland shade. Subtlety has its place, of course, and for most of the year these plants will fade into the backgroud, content to charm those who would look with dark, leathery foliage and furry brown indumentum. But now, it’s spring, and subtlety can wait.

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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.