When the sun shines in Cornwall there can be no better place in the world. And May is a perfect time to visit a Cornish garden which is famous for Magnolias, Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas. May is R&A time so here are my six this week from Glendurgan Gardens on the Helford River.
(1) White rhododendrons are so heavily scented they almost make you pass out as you pass by: I just love the way that in many cases the buds are a deeper shade than the actual flower.
(2) The Yellow Rhododendrons and Azaleas light up the shady areas.
(3) The large Cornish red was in evidence all around the garden though the one that famously sat behind a curved bench at the entrance to the garden has been removed.
(4) Soft shades of Lavender stood out in the meadow area, close to a Magnolia, and two magnificent Davidia involucrata (the dove-tree, handkerchief tree, pocket handkerchief tree, or ghost tree). We’ll take a look at those in a future post.
(5) And some of the most exquisite, in my opinion, are the delicate pink ones.
(6) But it is the stunning orange and the magnificent ‘fruit salad‘ (I am going to cheat and put these together), seen below together with a yellow variety, which draws your eye from across the garden, that are my favourites.
This post is especially for my friend Jo, who adores Rhododendrons. And if you are wondering what the difference is between an Azalea and a Rhodie then this will explain all.
“Rhododendrons and azaleas are both from the genus Rhododendron. On average (but there are exceptions), rhododendrons are larger shrubs than are azalea plants, and they have larger leaves. Also, in general, azalea flowers have five stamens, while the rhododendron flowers have ten stamens. … Finally, unlike rhododendrons, many azalea plants are deciduous.”
See here for the participant’s guide.