Midget Gems

IMG_1944It was a pleasure to see rhododendrons in flower at Wisley during the week, as how many times do we visit gardens with rhododendrons but out of their usual season? This seems to be particularly true when we go up to Mum’s which never seems to coincide with Argyll’s rhododendron season. After the dry summer last year I have been expecting less of a show with our relatively immature examples, but the first bud on ‘Firelight’ is opening and there must be at least a dozen more; ‘Percy Wiseman’ is similarly endowed so we have many joys to come.

An earlier and tinier joy, however, is R ‘Wren’ in the rockery, no more than 6″ in height and spread, and rather more of a pale creamy yellow than the picture suggests:

IMG_1940A little larger and more floriferous than in previous years is R impeditum, also in the rockery, an 18″ or thereabouts gem:

IMG_1941The recent rhododendron acquisition, bought alongside the addition to the witch hazel collection a few weeks ago, is surprisingly in full bloom and looking a little big for its boots with large red flowers on its still petite frame in the woodland, a 3 or 4″ tall ‘Scarlet Wonder’. Fully grown it will not reach much more than a metre (excuse the mixed units!):

IMG_1943Definitely contenders for the ‘midget gems’ category are these little beauties in one of the ceramic sinks on the paved area – aren’t they gorgeous? Good things certainly come in small packages, as I am frequently told….


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16 Responses to Midget Gems

  1. Pauline says:

    I love your little R. impeditum with its tiny flowers and the lovely plants in your trough, is your aquilegia a Semi aquilegia?

    • Chloris says:

      It is lovely, it looks more like Aquilegia flabellata to me.

      • Cathy says:

        I have just googled ‘Cameo Pink White’ and it is a flabellata – once again you are right 😉 You are a dark horse, with an as yet unknown previous career involving plants – increasingly I am convinced of this!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – it has never looked as pretty. I am afraid I don’t know what a ‘semi-aquilegia’ is – do enlighten me. It’s ‘Cameo Pink White’, if that helps.

  2. Chloris says:

    I love your little rhoddies, do you have an acid soil? I have to grow mine in pots which is a nuisance, I love these little ones.

    • Cathy says:

      It is a long time since I have checked the soil, but I remember it being pretty neutral – in fact we are very lucky all round with the soil, nice and deep and a great consistency. I can’t remember where or when I bought the little ones but I am sure I would have space for more – sorry you can only grow them in pots though 😦

  3. AnnetteM says:

    I love your little R ‘Wren’. Our rhododendrons are just coming out too. Might photograph some of them for the ‘End of Month View’. We are lucky that Aberdeen soil tends to be acid so is good for rhododendrons.

  4. Lovely to see all these smaller specimens. No excuse for not finding space for some! Hmm! I too have a trough like that!

    • Cathy says:

      There were three sinks sitting in the garden (nothing in them) when we bought the house, all taken out of the property. We have put one back in and the others now have plants in, this one and one with hostas

  5. Anna says:

    A most beautifully planted sink 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – it was replanted last year after being overgrown, but there is a still a space that requires something else – hmm, what shall it be….?

  6. I used to love visiting Westonbirt when the rhododendrons were out because I would pick up the fallen flowers and thread them on to sticks… In my defense I was little at the time! No azaleas or rhododendrons for me, alkaline soil, although elsewhere in the village – and certainly on the Island – there are thriving colonies. I love the sink, I have been eyeing up our belfast sink, but TNG wants to keep it for washing sandy feet in…

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