Rhododendron
A bygone love returned in gardens

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From bygone times, and perhaps less appreciated in today's gardens, rhododendron from the heath family (Ericaceae) with more than 500 species of flowering plants. They belong to the acid-loving plants, which are widely represented in "La Petite Ardennaise", a soothing oasis in a small wooded area. Our garden is both a collective garden, which can be labeled both romantic and unique in its kind.
Obviously the forest with an area of 1200 m2 not as grand as in a castlegarden, but the range does include such a
56 unusual species of rhododendrons.
Scattered among many azaleas, camellias and pieris they form La Petite Ardennaise. As vice-planting more than 350 species of native and non-native perennials added, such as ferns, hellebores, epimedium, ariseama's podophyllum, and others..
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The whole concept is faithfully built, where all plants have found their habitat. This is all, of course, did not happen; a lot of preparation, research and above all a lot of hand work here are preceded. The net result is!
Now a little more about these evergreen shrubs:
Rhododendrons are often wild in mountainous regions and moist humus-rich forest environments. By breeding these species throughout history turned into wonderful hybrids and cultivars. The variety of floral splendor is so great that it can be difficult to list on.
However, most species are suitable for semi-shade (at forest edges with morning or evening), in sandy humus rich, moist soil. Others like the Yakushimanum hybrids, (identifiable by the hairy undersides of leaves, it serves to prevent evaporation) than endure once again a sunny spot. But in my experience the flowering period is shorter and the colors are much paler, the other is the bloom or richly. Most are fully hardy for our region, with a few exceptions. This then question you better, the Internet also gives a lot of information, but are you looking info up in Belgium or neighboring countries from the north and east, they give a better safety of your plant or not thriving in our region. Anyway, there is a lot to tell about this plant, but that is not the intention here.
Our range also includes some species, such as Rh. Erytrocalyx (very nice) and Rh. Scyphocalyx Dicrhoanthum (fiery orange-red).
Hybrids such as Rh. Lem's Monarch, Rh. Picotee, Rh. Ring of Fire, or Rh. Golden Fleece - are one of the many toppers!



The care of rhododendrons is fairly simple. It's a bit careful with cicadas and the edge-beetle (yew-beetle), if you have one there when you need timely intervention. Furthermore, do not need to be pruned, only the outbreak of faded flowers promotes new button-setting for the next year (especially necessary when plants are young, otherwise the power to seed formation instead of new shoots). In the autumn / spring a mulch layer of leaves and / or chop wood applied to the base of the bush prevents dehydration of the roots. By prolonged drought, the root-balled provide timely and proper watering. Rhododendrons really love a regular shower turn on the foliage. If fertilization you give a nitrogen-poor diet, but in moderation! Organic material such as compost or humus with low Ph level is definitely recommended. In autumn only provide magnesium and potassium, certainly no fertilization, making the young shoots may not harden off in time for the winter made its appearance. What applies to most acid-loving shrubs, is an iron-rich soil, which is not a luxury. In that respect we are chiseled here in the Kempen.



Some rhodos behaved two-year, ie, the bloom may be already skipping a year, others have four or five years in coming before they start (more extraordinary species), and then suddenly they give their beautiful flowers on display.
For whom patience is definitely worth it! Those who seek out special types of questioning is best to first well at a specialized breeder, prior to its acquisition. A cat can not buy in a bag!




In the winter when the frost comes in, and arid east winds thrive at low temperatures across the landscape; they curl their leaves to prevent dehydration. They look like shrubs with hanging sticks. One of the few plants that we know who do it this way.

Much pleasure in garden,


Useful websites:

http://www.rhodoland.nl/home_nl.htm
http://www.neerlandstuin.nl/struiken/rodo.html



Guy & Danielle