Honourable Rhododendrons!

What a month we’ve had!  We all needed the rain but we are thankful that the weather has now turned a corner, and the sun is shining and set to be perfect for the Bank Holiday and next week – just in time for visitors to enjoy the peak blooming of the rhododendrons.

Many of the rhododendrons and azaleas in the woodlands at Great Comp were planted by Roderick Cameron in the 1959/60s and the 1970s.

A fan of these East Asian shrubs, ‘Eric’ was determined to bring splashes of colour to the woodland areas of the garden and if he were still with us today, he’d be so pleased at how his special flowering spring shrubs bring so much joy to visitors today in 2021.

‘The Honourable Jean Marie de Montague’
With bright crimson-red flowers and dark spotting inside, ‘The Honourable Jean Marie de Montague’ (to give this plant her full name) is a stunning beauty and one of our favourites in the woodland at Great Comp Garden.

Her waxy green leaves and crimson flowers call you onwards down the woodland pathway towards The Temple. This rhododendron is tough and hardy and an easy one to grow. Flowering from mid May, Jean grows to a height of 2 metres in 10 years so is a great option for screening or a hedge. This specimen (pictured above) is growing on the hedgerow that borders Great Comp and the neighbouring farm.

‘Loder’s White’
If you are looking for a scented rhododendron then Rhododendron ‘Loder’s White’ with its mauve-pink buds opening to pure white flowers is a beauty.

Flowering in late May or early June, this rhododendron is a vigorous plant and a fine old hybrid that grows to 180cm in 10 years.

It’s pictured above with R.Yakushimanum a more compact rhododendron from Japan that was shortlisted at RHS Chelsea for Plant of the Centenary in 2013 for the decade 1943-1952.


Image: Courtesy of Vikki Rimmer